Water Balance Model Partners Forum will showcase vision for ‘WBM Express for Homeowners’




WBM Express for Homeowners

In February 2010, the District of Central Saanich adopted its Surface Water Management Bylaw. Because the bylaw encourages homeowners to use the WBM to make decisions that achieve a lighter ‘hydrologic footprint’, the bylaw became the catalyst for action by the Inter-Governmental Partnership (IGP) to develop a homeowner version of the WBM. By July 2010, the bylaw had provided the impetus to bring together a local government focus group in a planning session hosted by Metro Vancouver.

The focus group represents a spectrum of local governments within the Georgia Basin.  The City of Surrey, District of North Vancouver, Cowichan Valley Regional District and Central Saanich have volunteered to demonstrate application of the ‘WBM Express for Homeowners’.


Watershed Context

“The ‘WBM Express for Homeowners’ is a bottom-up initiative; and is geared to achieving the on-property rainwater management and performance target objectives of local governments in a watershed context in order to protect stream health,” states Richard Boase, IGP Co-Chair. He represents the District of North Vancouver.

“A framework for developing integrated and holistic plans is consolidated in Richard boase (120p)a single table (click here to download Table 2 – Developing Outcome-Oriented Watershed Plans) in Beyond the Guidebook 2010. Originally released in 2008, Table 2 was developed in conjunction with the consultation process for Metro Vancouver’s Integrated Liquid Waste & Resource Management Plan. It lays out the cascading logic for establishing, evaluating and implementing watershed-specific runoff targets that will protect stream health.”


Project Vision

The analytical process for ‘lightening the hydrologic footprint’ is summarized as follows:

  • What is there now on the property?
  • What is the planned change?
  • What can be done to mitigate the increase in runoff volume?

“When homeowners go to a ‘rainwater management link’ on the host local government website, we envision that they will be able to: type in their address; access a version of the WBM that has pre-set values (for climate, land use); apply source controls; run scenarios; and print a report,” continues Richard Boase.Carrie baron (120p) - city of surrey

“Actually, the ultimate target audience goes well beyond homeowners. We see the WBM Express as a vehicle to connect with builders, developers, consultants, real estate agents and students/educators,” adds Carrie Baron, Manager of Drainage and Environment with the City of Surrey.

“The WBM Express will open the door to all kinds of educational opportunities. It will be a resource for developers and others to help the public understand the effect of their choices and decisions on the natural environment. It could be incorporated into the curricula for high school and post-secondary institutions.”


Project Timeline

“Our vision for building the WBM Express is influenced by two existing web-based tools: Surrey’s Sustainability in My Back Yard and North Vancouver’s Geoweb– Community Solar Application. The Surrey tool provides a picture and the North Van tool demonstrates the capabilities. Our goal is to build the platform in 2011 and connect to local government web delivery systems in 2012,” concludes Richard Boase. 


To Learn More:

The foregolng is extracted from an article posted on the Rainwater Management Community-of-Interest. To download a PDF version of the complete article, click on Water Balance Model Partners Forum will showcase vision for WBM Express for Homeowners.