Topsoil: Just How Do You Obtain a Topsoil Layer, to Advance Rainwater Management and Water Conservation Goals?



Penticton forum - soil depth

Topsoil – A Fundamental Building Block

An absorbent topsoil layer has emerged as a fundamental building block for achieving water sustainability outcomes through implementation of green infrastructure practices. In this case, the targeted water sustainability outcomes are: less irrigation water use; and reduced rainwater runoff.

At the third seminar in the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series, Susan Rutherford of West Coast Environmental Law represented the Green Infrastructure Partnership. She introduced the Topsoil Law and Policy and Technical Primer Set to illustrate a practical application of Shared Responsibillity.


Topsoil for Dummies

“The Green Infrastructure Partnership has been developing the Topsoil Law and Policy and Technical Primer Set as an outcome of the Surrey Forum in March 2009. We were having a discussion about Shared Responsibility,” explained Susan Susan rutherford (120p)Rutherford.

“The thought was to take a green infrastructure goal, and it could be any goal, to illustrate the steps that a local government needs to take to implement something as simple as a topsoil policy.”

“The City of Courtenay, City of Surrey and District of North Vancouver have been at the table. It has been an interesting conversation. Each local government has offered an interesting perspective. Each local government is of a different size. Each has had a different experience.”

“The Primer Set is all about how to obtain a performing soil layer. The Law and Policy Primer deals with the full range of issues, including how to work with your peers within your local government to sell an idea. There is a lot of upfront thinking and planning.”

“On the technical side, it is amazingly complex for something seemingly as simple as topsoil. If you take a shared responsibility approach, you will have a much better chance of success.”


Links to YouTube Videos

Two video clips have been uploaded to YouTube so that interested readers can hear how Susan Rutherford introduced and explained the Law and Policy and Technical Primer Set. Click on the links below:

Performing Topsoil: Why the Green Infrastructure Partnership developed policy and technical primers (2:25) 

Performing Topsoil: Content for the policy and technical primers (2:20)


Link to Announcement by Green Infrastructure Partnership

Click on Topsoil: Just How Do You Obtain a Topsoil Layer, to Advance Rainwater Management and Water Conservation Goals?


Link to PowerPoint Presentation

Click on Shared Responsibility: Application of Bill 27 to Achieve Water OUT = Water IN to download a PDF of the presentation by Susan Rutherford at the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series.

Susan rutherford - topsoil primer set - 1 of 2

Susan rutherford - topsoil primer set - 2 of 2


About the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series

The Comox Valley is the provincial pilot for demonstrating a ‘regional team approach’ that is founded on broad and inclusive partnerships and collaboration that reach for the common goal of sustainability.

The 2009 Series was a collaboration of four local governments in the Comox Valley: the Comox Valley Land Trust, CAVI – Convening for Action on Vancouver Island, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the Green Infrastructure Partnership and two provincial Ministries (Community & Rural Development; and Environment).

Click on Program Overview for a synopsis of the theme, scope and desired outcome for each of the three seminars in the 2009 Series.

Comox valley seminar #3 - crowd scene (360p

Posted December 2009