Tools and Resources

FLASHBACK TO 2011: Okanagan Basin Water Board released ‘Managing Stormwater in a Changing Climate’ – a report on the From Rain to Resource 2010 workshop

“We spent the last half a century trying to control runoff with dikes, storm sewers, curbs and gutters. We can’t engineer away our problems fast enough, and have to look at other, lower impact solutions. Now, increased development and increased storm intensity from climate change are increasing peak flows and altering the rules of the game,” stated Anna Warwick Sears. “The Okanagan is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of unmanaged stormwater and rainwater because all surface water flows into the lake system that runs along the bottom of the valley.”

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WHAT HAPPENS ON THE LAND DOES MATTER! – hosted by Forester University (May 2017), the Water Balance Webinar from British Columbia introduced a North American audience to the methodology that underpins vision for “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”

“We were delighted to have Kim Stephens and Jim Dumont share British Columbia’s cutting-edge continuous simulation model, known as the Water Balance Methodology, via a Forester University webcast,” stated Emily Shine. “At Forester University, we aim to position ourselves at the forefront of innovation in rainwater management and green infrastructure, and that is why we described Water Balance Methodology as a webinar that could not be missed.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2007 PUBLICATION: The Green Infrastructure Guide – Issues, Implementation Strategies and Success Stories

“Two complementary strategies can ‘green’ a community and its infrastructure: first, preserving as much as possible of the natural green infrastructure; and secondly, promoting designs that soften the footprint of development,” wrote Susan Rutherford. “Green infrastructure design is engineering design that takes a ‘design with nature’ approach, to both mitigate the potential impacts of existing and future development and growth and to provide valuable services.”

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BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2015: Local governments urged to look at an urban watershed as a whole system, and develop fully integrated solutions that stand the test of time

The pioneer work of Richard Horner and Chris May in the 1990s provided a reason and a starting point for revisiting urban hydrology in BC. “So many studies manipulate a single variable out of context with the whole and its many additional variables,” states Horner. “We, on the other hand, investigated whole systems in place, tying together measures of the landscape, stream habitat and aquatic life.”

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MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Sustainable Service Delivery – Watersheds are infrastructure assets

“Implementation of asset management along with the associated evolution of local government thinking is a continuous quality improvement process, not a discrete task. This led us to the concept of a continuum. The relevance of this way of thinking is that different local governments will always be at different points and different levels of maturity along the asset management continuum,” wrote Ray Fung (photo left) and Glen Brown in their Sitelines article.

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ARTICLE: Hydrology Rules! – “Simply put, hydrology hits first and hardest,” explained Dr. Richard Horner about insights yielded by Washington State research in the 1990s

If we get the hydrology right, water quality typically takes care of itself in a residential development. “When the goal of land servicing practices is pre-settlement hydrology, this reduces the quantity of urban runoff discharged into a stream. It also improves the quality of the remainder of that which is discharged. In short, mimicking the natural water balance has a dual benefit,” emphasized Richard Horner.

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ARTICLE: Watershed-systems Thinking Meets Asset Management

“The BC Framework sets strategic direction for asset management and its implementation in BC. It gives communities guidance to apply science-based methodologies and tools to plan for sustainability and resilience within their communities. Most critically, it encourages communities to think about what asset management entails at the land-use planning stage, when levels of service that can be provided sustainably—fiscally and ecologically—are determined,” wrote Glen Brown.

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Primer on Sustainable Watershed Systems: Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia urges communities to integrate “water balance solutions” into land use decisions

“Stream health and what happens on the land are connected. In the early 1990’s, the ‘Coho Salmon crisis’ raised the alarm that changes in hydrology caused by land development were resulting in small stream salmon demise. The stewardship sector was the catalyst for restorative action in BC,” stated Peter Law. “Today, community organizations partner with local governments to monitor and restore local watershed health.”

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British Columbia’s Water Licensing Calculator: Managing water as one resource

“All non-domestic users of groundwater must now obtain a licence to extract and use water from wells. This requirement applies to wells constructed both before and after the Water Sustainability Act came into effect. This means that 20,000 existing non-domestic wells must now apply for a licence. While the new legislation affects everyone, most of the 20,000 wells are in the agriculture sector,” wrote Ted van der Gulik.

Read Article Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC’s website showcases water-centric innovation and leadership

Communication is vital. Storytelling leads to understanding about why we need to do business differently; and this is promoting completion and a race to the top. “ is providing reasons to have the conversation about ‘why change’. The resulting awareness of need will help us obtain the mandate to implement watershed-based land use planning,” stated Marvin Kamenz, Town of Comox Municipal Planner, in 2009.

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