Absorbent Soil for Rainwater Management – Lessons Learned in the City of Courtenay


  Comox4 - a subdivision from the air

The projected growth of Vancouver Island and resulting cumulative impacts are drivers for reassessing where and how land is developed, and water is used. To promote a new way-of-thinking related to infrastructure policies and practices, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) organized Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation on Vancouver Island: The 2007 Series.

The City of Courtenay's Soil Depth Policy was one of four case studies featured as part of Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovatiion in the Comox Valley in October 2007. The event was co-hosted by the Comox Strathcona Reglonal District and the City of Courtenay. The theme for the event was 'Connecting to Sustainability'.



Capturing Rain Where It Falls

The City of Courtenay was the first BC municipality to adopt a policy requiring developers to provide a minimum soil depth on building sites as a rainwater management tool. The policy was adopted in January 2004 immediately after the City became a founding member of the Inter-Governmental Partnership that developed the Water Balance Model for British Columbia.

Richard boase demo - how wate moves thru soilAccording to Kevin Lagan, “A defining moment for me for was the soil-water demonstration that Richard Boase of North Vancouver District did at the December 2003 training workshop for Water Balance Model partners. The infiltration process sounds complex when you use words to describe it. But when you observe how water moves through a soil profile, it is a powerful learning tool.”

Sandy pridmore, city of courtenayAccording to Sandy Pridmore, Engineering Technologist with the City of Courtenay, “The challenge for the City is in how to ensure that developers and house builders fulfil their obligations to provide and preserve the minimum required depth. This will be the focus of my presentation.”


Courtenay soil depth policy

For more information on Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the Comox Valley, please click here.



Who is CAVI?

The CAVI Partnership comprises the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the provincial Ministries of Environment and Community Services, and the Green Infrastructure Partnership.

CAVI logp

CAVI is co-funded by the Province and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. The Water Sustainability Committee of the BCWWA is the managing partner and is providing program delivery. For more information about the CAVI Partnership and what it wants to do, please click here.


Posted October 2007