Integrated Watershed Management: “We are guided by the principle of incrementalism,” explains the City of Coquitlam’s Raul Allueva


Note to Reader:

The goal of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in producing Watershed Blueprint Case Profiles is to facilitate inter-regional collaboration, such that sharing and cross-fertilization of experience and understanding helps all local governments go farther, more efficiently and effectively. The “Coquitlam story” is the second in the series.

Creating a Legacy - Metro-Van_Sep-2012

Creating the Future in Coquitlam

“The Coquitlam story is important because the City has been evolving an effective and adaptable approach to development and implementation of Integrated 06_Kim-Stephens_March-2013_120pWatershed Management Plans (IWMP) over the past decade,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC. He and the City’s Melony Burton co-authored the Coquitlam story.

“By telling the stories of those who are spearheading changes in practice, this helps other local governments eliminate the “disconnect between information and implementation” that may otherwise hold them back.”

Melony Burton_120p“In 2001, Metro Vancouver and its member municipalities recognized the benefits of a watershed-based approach to integrating drainage, ecology and land use planning. The region made a commitment to the Province to have watershed-based plans in place by 2014. This commitment became a regulatory requirement pursuant to the region’s Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP),” adds Melony Burton.

Embrace Incrementalism

“Sometimes you can be so far ahead of others that it looks like you are behind,” continues Raul Allueva, the City’s Manager of Development Services.

“In 2003, the City was clearly visionary when it first embraced and then formalized a watershed-based approach as a foundation piece in the Official Community Plan. By Raul-Alleuva_City-of-Coquitam_120pthe latter part of the decade, however, Coquitlam was viewed by others in the region as the example of what not do.”

“Despite the setbacks, the City has never stopped progressing.  We are guided by the ‘principle of incrementalism’. By this, we mean implementing change one step at a time and acknowledging that adjustments can be made along the way.”

To Learn More:

To download a copy of the Watershed Case Profile, click on Watershed Planning & Rainwater Management: Creating the Future in the City of Coquitlam.

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