FLASHBACK TO 2007: Across Canada Conference Program Showcased New Directions in Urban Watershed Health and BC Case Study Experience


Note to Reader:

In 2007-2008, the University of British Columbia (UBC) was the lead organization for a national initiative led by Dr. Hans Schreier. The subject area was Rainwater Management and the objective was to create a national network of experts that collaborate and share their experiences. To make things happen, Dr. Schreier and his team received a grant from the Canadian Water Network to promote a ’knowledge translation strategy’.

Knowledge Translation Strategy Keyed to Across Canada Program of Regional Conferences

“Innovative approaches are needed in order to mitigate the risk of flooding, pollution, and aquatic ecosystem degradation, and enhance beneficial uses of hans_schreier3_120purban waters,” stated Dr. Hans Schreier of the University of British Columbia.

“To examine such approaches, a series of three regional conferences on innovative rainwater/stormwater management were held in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto during 2007 to 2008 under the sponsorship of the Canadian Water Network (CWN) and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).”

Richard Boase of the District of North Vancouver shared his experience at each conference. His presentation was titled New Directions in Urban Watershed Health.

WBM_Missing Link

Make Better Decisions

Richard Boase provided conference attendees with an overview of how the Water Balance Model enables local governments and the land development community to make better decisions.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADrawing on the District of North Vancouver’s GIS resources, Richard Boase was able to identify representative properties from different eras – 50 years ago and today – to underscore how the contemporary approach to site development results in dramatically greater volumes of surface runoff.

“A key message is that we were doing better 50 years ago when we did not even think about the need for rainwater capture,” observed Boase. For the complete story on this case study comparison, click on Water Balance Model insights inform New Zealand delegation.

2007_UBC Conference_Richard Boase_Courtenay example

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARichard Boase then provided examples from his municipality, the City of North Vancouver, the City of Courtenay, and the City of Chilliwack to illustrate how changes in standard practices are currently being implemented throughout British Columbia. “Another key message is that we can achieve cumulative benefits one site at a time by implementing design with nature infrastructure regulations and practices,” stated Boase.

To Learn More:

The University of BC hosted the first event in June 2007. This was followed by an event hosted by the City of Calgary in October 2007, with the third event hosted by the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority in early 2008.

For an overview of the UBC conference program, click on Canadian Water Network Launches Pan-Canadian Initiative at University of British Columbia Conference.

To read an article about the Knowledge Translation Strategy that was co-authored by Hans Schreier and Jiri Marsalek in 2009, and published in the Water Quality Research Journal of Canada, click on Innovation in Stormwater Management in Canada: The Way Forward.

Back yard rainwater infiltration system as constructed by Richard Boase to retain garage roof drainage on-property

Back yard rainwater infiltration system as constructed by Richard Boase to retain garage roof drainage on-property