The purpose of the Primer is to provide engineers and non-engineers with a common understanding of how a science-based approach to rainwater management has evolved since the mid-1990s. “Pioneer research yielded guiding principles; these are standing the test of time. Evaluation of, and analyses using, the entire rainfall and stream discharge spectrum allows us to see new connections to stream health and to begin the process of creating effective mitigation strategies,” reports Kim Stephens.
GUIDANCE DOCUMENT: Primer on Urban Watershed Modelling to Inform Local Government Decision Processes (November 2011)
From the stream health perspective, appropriate and effective green infrastructure is a way to increase the level-of-service. Expressed another way, green infrastructure that restores the rainfall absorption capacity of the watershed landscape will increase the level of ecological protection. “For storm sewer systems, the process of establishing an acceptable ‘Level-of-Service’ will require local governments to review, examine, and justify the existing standards and how to transition into the future where costs must be balanced against public needs and expectations,” states Jim Dumont.
“Founded upon the principle of collaboration, the Partnership is an autonomous society. The Partnership provides a legal entity for further evolution and delivery of program elements developed under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, released in February 2004,” states Richard Boase.
Partnership for Water Sustainability has a role in implementing ‘Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan’
“The strategy for leading and implementing change is called Convening for Action in British Columbia. The shared vision is that settlement change will be in balance with ecology: the right development in the right place at the right time. We can achieve this vision if development is guided by a ‘design with nature’ philosophy: start with green infrastructure and truly restore the urban fabric,” states Kim Stephens.
“As information and communication become more integrated (What was life like before the internet?), distributed networks are emerging as powerful components of our social system. Rather than Big Brother gathering data and taking top-down action, responsibility is shared,” states Anna Warwick Sears, Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.
Water Balance Model Partners are charter members of the ‘Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia’
“Early support and sustaining financial support by champion local governments that are Water Balance Model Partners was a foundation block in a building process that culminated in formation of the Partnership as a legal entity in 2010,” reports Ted van der Gulik.
“Convening for Action is a framework that brings stakeholders together, supported by the province, but led by local government. Collaboration and integration is a true bottom-up approach that identifies the issue and then seeks to address it through the alignment of all stakeholders, with emphasis on local government needs,” stated Glen Brown. “The philosophy behind the Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC is quite simple: bring local and regional stakeholders together where there is a desire and energy to make some form of change.”
“In 2001, Metro Vancouver’s member municipalities recognized the benefits of this approach and made a legal commitment to the Province to have ISMPs in place by 2014 for their watersheds,” reports Robert Hicks.
”People eagerly embrace the opportunities for engagement and education. They really want to share their thoughts and experiences. Residents have a stake in restoring watershed health. There is so much experience that we can mine. We who live in the watershed are the experts,” stated Soren Henrich.
“CAVI organizes convening for action forums, challenges Vancouver Island communities to visualize what they want to look like in 50 years, and is building leadership capacity to ‘design with nature’ to manage settlement change and adapt to climate change,” states John Finnie.