DOWNLOAD: British Columbia Partnership announces that rebuilt “Water Balance Model” now incorporates Climate Change Module

Note to Reader:

Launched in 2003 by a British Columbia inter-governmental  partnership, the web-based Water Balance Model is a scenario comparison and decision support tool. In 2009, the partnership released a comprehensive document titled Water Balance Model for Canada – The Plan for the Future. This laid out a road map for greatly increasing both the computational capabilities of the tool and its usability in visioning future alternatives for use of water and land.

The federal-provincial Regional Adaptation Collaboratives (RAC) Program then provided core funding over a 3-year period to implement a substantial portion of The Plan for the Future. The RAC Program has supported coordinated action towards advancing regional climate change adaptation decision-making.

The re-built Water Balance Model incorporates modules for land use, rainfall capture, climate change, rainwater harvesting, tree canopy interception, stream erosion and drainage infrastructure. The first announcement in a series showcases the Climate Change Module. The article elaborates on the story behind the module: WHO, WHY, WHAT, HOW, WHERE, WHEN and THE RESULT.

To download a PDF version, click on British Columbia Partnership announces that rebuilt “Water Balance Model” now incorporates Climate Change Module

WBM_Climate Changer Module_Screen-Shot_2012

The Team that Developed the Climate Change Module

“The technical team that synthesized our understanding of the science and then developed the Climate Change Module comprised Dr. Charles Rowney, Chris Jensen and Jim Dumont. In addition, Trevor Murdock of the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) played a key supporting role. This team represents a Ted-van-der-Gulik-2_2012_120pconsiderable concentration of brainpower. In particular, we benefitted from the applied research that Chris Jensen has completed in conjunction with his post-graduate studies at the University of Victoria,” stated Ted van der Gulik, Chair of the Water Balance Model Partnership, when he announced that the Climate Change Module is now live.

Why the Module Was Developed

“Local Governments are making significant progress in preparing for a changing climate, from vulnerability assessments to comprehensive climate adaptation plans. Throughout these processes, a key challenge has been translating global climate science to local land-use decisions. The new Climate Change Module in the Water Balance Model helps overcome this obstacle,” continues Chris Jensen. He is responsible for advancing climate adaptation in the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development’s new Integrated Policy Branch.

“Almost all BC local governments have signed the Climate Action Charter. This commits them to greenhouse gas reduction. Also, local government plans and policies typically state that land use and infrastructure planning will consider climate change adaptation. If mitigation is about CARBON, then adaptation is about WATER. Hence, being able to quickly and effectively model how the ‘water balance’ may change over time is a critical input to local government decision processes.”

“We know that hydrologic modelling can be very expensive and time-consuming. We heard from communities that they desired an easy to use tool….one that would help them understand and identify evaluate options for climate adaptation…from site to watershed scale. This need served as a catalyst for development of the Climate Change Module. The RAC Program then funded its development.”

“Now that we have it, the Climate Change Module will support two provincial initiatives: Living Water Smart; and Preparing for Climate Change: British Columbia’s Adaptation Strategy. Adapting to climate change and reducing our impact on the environment is a condition for receiving provincial infrastructure funding. The Climate Change Module will help local governments demonstrate that they can meet this conditional requirement.”

“Decision makers need support when interpreting complex and uncertain climate projections. A core deliverable under the Adaptation Strategy is that the province will develop adaptation planning tools for decision-makers. The Climate Change Module is one such tool,” concludes Chris Jensen.

To Learn More:

To read the complete story, click on British Columbia Partnership announces that rebuilt “Water Balance Model” now incorporates Climate Change Module to download a PDF copy of a report-style document.