DOWNLOAD: A Look Back to the SmartStorm Forum Series: Genesis for the Water Balance Model
Note to Reader:
More than a decade ago, the SmartStorm Forum Series comprised events on Vancouver Island (Nanaimo in January 1999) and the Sunshine Coast (Sechelt in September 1999), and in the Fraser Valley (Abbotsford and Pitt Meadows in March 2001).
The genesis for the series was a focus group workshop held in October 1997. Convened by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), the workshop was part of the rollout process for the Fish Protection Act, enacted only a few months before.
The coming together of a group of change agents in October 1997 set in motion a chain of events that has reverberated through time.
The SmartStorm Forum Series generated the momentum that led to development of the Water Balance Model for British Columbia.
An Overwhelming Response
“The response to the SmartStorm Forum Series was simply overwhelming,” recalls Barry Janyk, former Mayor of the Town of Gibsons, and Series Moderator. “For the first event, held in Nanaimo, the doors had to be closed when the surge of last-minute registrations reached the 250 seating capacity of the Coast Bastion venue.”
“When we decided to host the second event on the Sunshine Coast, the skeptics asked me who would come to the Sunshine Coast. Well, they did come and they came from far and wide, including a representative of the Ontario Ministry of Environment. We attracted a capacity crowd of some 225 to the local theatre in Sechelt.”
“We attracted comparable crowds in Abbotsford and Pitt Meadows. We created a buzz.”
The two Fraser Valley forums built on the momentum and lessons learned from the previous Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast forums. To learn more about the program content for each event in the SmartStorm Forum Series, click on the following links to access the brochures:
- 1999 Nanaimo brochure: Integrated Stormwater & Stream Corridor Management
- 1999 Sunshine Coast brochure: Smart Development & Stormwater Management
- 2001 Fraser Valley brochure: Smart Development & Stormwater Management
From the introduction to the Sunshine Coast brochure: “The realization in the early 1970s that upstream activities have downstream impacts was a breakthrough in drainage planning. ..Two decades later, concern for the environment has led to another turning point…..Understanding how to collaborate with other disciplines to align roles and responsibilities is key to mitigating both flood hazard and environmental risks, and making science-based strategies a reality.”
A Series Outcome was “Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia”
“The SmartStorm Forum Series led directly to Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released in mid-2002. In turn, the Guidebook led to development of the Water Balance Model for British Columbia, completed in 2003,” adds Peter Law, Chair of the Guidebook Steering Committee.
To Learn More:
To download and read the complete story, click on A Look Back to the SmartStorm Forum Series: Genesis for the Water Balance Model.