OKANAGAN RAIN TO RESOURCE WORKSHOP: Water Balance Model facilitates adaptive management approach to implementation of alternative green infrastructure techniques – Jim Dumont
Note to Readers:
The purpose of Day 2 of the ‘From Rain to Resource Workshop on October 29 in Kelowna is to integrate the perspectives of the people working on-the-ground and those developing and adopting policy. A presentation on the technical application of the Water Balance Model will be delivered by Jim Dumont, Engineering Applications Authority for the BC Inter-Governmental Partnership that is responsible for the Water Balance Model.
Watershed Objectives & Adaptive Management
“The evolution of the capabilities of the web-based Water Balance Model (WBM) has arisen in response to the need to embrace adaptive management in the creation of watershed objectives and to quickly test alternative green infrastructure techniques prior to implementation,” states Jim Dumont.
“The WBM allows the user to quickly establish the existing, or the predevelopment, base line that will become the standard used to measure the performance of future development scenarios during the planning and design of a project. This allows the user to test various methods to establish the easiest and best ways to achieve the most desirable vision of the future for the Site, the Development, or the Watershed.”
Data Inputs for Hydrologic Simulation
“The WBM embeds land use zoning from municipal member partners, soil calculator and a new calculation engine QUALHYMO utilizing the Environment Canada climate data that includes rainfall, snow, temperature and evaporation.”
“The easy access and calculation speed combined with the embedded data and information allows the user to easily and effectively plan and design green infrastructure techniques which will achieve the vision and objectives established for the Site, the Development, or the Watershed,” concludes Jim Dumont.
To learn more about the Water Balance Model, click on the links below
Water Balance Model wins Premier’s Award for Innovation and Excellence — “The drought, forest fires and floods that B.C. experienced in 2003 highlighted the need for a tool that integrates ‘green’ development practices with rainwater management.”
3-year program will enhance the capabilities of the Water Balance Model for Canada — “The rapid growth and success of the present second generation of the Water Balance Model has fuelled a level of user interest and need that has made it clear that the time has come for the next bold leap forward in the evolution of this web-based tool.”
Technical Manual enables Water Balance Model users to “follow the numbers” — “The manual is a highly navigable online text organized in a manner that allows the user to understand a variety of aspects of the Water Balance Model in varying degrees of detail.”
District of North Vancouver experience in applying the Water Balance Model to develop a watershed restoration vision — “We saw the Water Balance Model as an important tool that would help us to work within our developed community to restore function and value based on the premise that developed land can contribute to watershed restoration.”
Water Balance Model can create an understanding of the past and compare it to many possible futures — “A key message is that the Water Balance Model is a ‘scenario comparison tool’. This is where the WBM shines as it is not constrained by starting or ending points. It compares whatever the user can envision.”
Application of the Water Balance Model: Does it require more or less data than other drainage simulation tools? — “The WBM uses the information gathered as part of a normal design process. It does not require the user to have more site information than required by any other system of design.”
Application of the “DFO Urban Stormwater Guidelines” has evolved over the past decade to protect stream health — “The objective of protecting stream health is broader than how much volume one can infiltrate on a particular development.”
British Columbia Moves Beyond 90% Rainfall Capture Target Proposed by United States EPA — “At the end of the day it is how effectively we apply the suite of available rainwater management tools that will ultimately determine whether we will succeed in protecting stream health.”
Adaptive Management Means ‘Learning by Doing’ — “The goal of adaptive management is to learn from experience and constantly improve land development and rainwater management practices over time. This requires ongoing monitoring of demonstration projects to assess progress towards progress towards performance targets and the shared watershed vision.”
Water Sustainability Action Plan
“In Beyond the Guidebook 2010, the Water Balance Model and the Water Bucket Website are described as the twin engines driving an outreach and continuing education program, one that is fully integrated under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan,” states Mike Tanner, Water Bucket Chair.
“OCEP promotes a ‘water-centric’ approach to community planning and development. The program comprises inter-connected elements that give local governments and practitioners the tools and experience to better manage land and water resources.”
Released in June, Beyond the Guidebook 2010 demonstrates that the practitioner culture is changing as an outcome of collaboration, partnerships and alignment; and provides local governments with ‘how to’ guidance for developing outcome-oriented urban watershed plans.
To Learn More:
A crucially important message in Beyond the Guidebook 2010: “We now have the tools and experience to design with nature” — “So many in local government are searching for the magical ‘silver bullet’to resolve watershed issues and challenges. Yet soil, vegetation and trees can do more for our watersheds than decades of planning, consulting and complicated engineering design will ever achieve.”
Beyond the Guidebook 2010 Advances Runoff-Based Approach to Setting Watershed Performance Targets — “A framework for developing integrated and holistic plans is consolidated in a single table. This ‘mind-map’ lays out the cascading logic for establishing, evaluating and implementing watershed-specific runoff targets that will protect stream health.”
Bowker Creek Blueprint brings new meaning in British Columbia to the Ian McHarg vision for “designing with nature” — “The Blueprint is a 100-year action plan to make the watershed restoration vision real. Watershed restoration is a long-term commitment. The Bowker Creek Blueprint is all about stakeholders committing to actions on the ground, one reach and one property at a time, over the next 100 years.