Regulatory Framework for Protecting Watershed Health in the Metro Vancouver Region


Note to Reader:

In May 2010, the Metro Vancouver region adopted a holistic strategy for managing liquid discharges and rainwater resources. Two years in the making, the Integrated Liquid Waste & Resource Management Plan (ILWRMP) established the framework for moving beyond regulatory compliance to transitioning Metro Vancouver to an approach where watershed-based planning is integrated within a broader, sustainability framework. 

In June 2011, Minister of Environment Terry Lake announced that the Province had approved Metro Vancouver’s visionary plan. He also strengthened the plan by imposing conditions that expanded what is expected of Metro Vancouver’s member municipalities vis-à-vis rainwater management. 


Monitoring & Adaptive Management Framework for Protecting Watershed and Stream Health

According to Andjela Knezevic-Stevanovic, Division Manager for Environmental Management at Metro Vancouver, the Minister of Environment’s approval of the Metro Vancouver region’s Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan included a requirement that Metro Vancouver will assist member municipalities to develop a coordinated program to monitor stormwater and assess and report the implementation and effectiveness of Integrated Stormwater Management Plans.

Weight-of-Evidence Performance Measurement

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“In 2012, an inter-governmental working group with staff from municipalities, Metro Vancouver, and Ministry of Environment was tasked with developing a weight-of-evidence performance measurement approach that would be available to all Metro Vancouver member municipalities,” explains Andjela Knezevic-Stevanovic .

“The draft Adaptive Management Framework (AMF), which has been developed, provides a universal, consistent, yet flexible, monitoring framework that may be implemented across municipalities of different sizes, drainage patterns and budgets.”

Framework is a Living Document

“The AMF is meant to be a ‘living document’, adaptively managed itself, and updated as required to reflect advances in stormwater/rainwater management, monitoring techniques, and to build on the accumulated experience of stakeholders in the ISMP process, ” continues Andjela Knezevic-Stevanovic.

“It enables municipalities to report out biannually (to the Ministry of Environment), pursuant to the requirements of the region’s Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan, on the effectiveness of watershed-based planning initiatives and the health of their watersheds.”

“If the Ministry of Environment is satisfied that this assessment program could result in improvement of Integrated Stormwater Management Plans and protect stream health, the deadline for municipal completion of these plans may be extended from 2014 to 2016.”

Milestones in the Roll-Out Process

The draft AMF was presented to members of the regional Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group (SILG) and the Environmental Monitoring Committee (EMC) on September 26, 2013. An additional session, in November 2013, was arranged to present the information to a broader audience and garner additional feedback before the AMF is finalized.

To Learn More:

To download a copy of the draft document that was released in October 2013, click on Monitoring & Adaptive Management Framework – Draft Report.

To download a copy of the Agenda for the November 2013 consultation event, click here.

For more background, click on BC Environment Minister Strengthens Metro Vancouver’s Visionary Plan for Managing Rainwater Resources to read an article posted on the Rainwater Management community-of-interest in 2011.

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