Green Infrastructure Partnership launched ‘Topsoil Primer Set’ at Bowker Creek Forum in Victoria, British Columbia




Bowker Creek Forum

In February 2010, the Bowker Creek Forum in Victoria was the venue for the formal launch of the Topsoil Law and Policy and Technical Primer Set. The Bowker Creek Forum celebrated urban watershed management successes in the Georgia Basin.



Aligning Provincial Goals and Local Actions

Developed by the Green Infrastructure Partnership, the ‘Topsoil  Primer Set’ synthesizes the pioneering experience of the City of Courtenay, City of Surrey and District of North Vancouver. To download copies of the two Primers, click on:

The decision to develop the Primer Set was an outcome of the 2009 Surrey Water Balance Model Forum. The Surrey Forum was a first step in advancing a regional team approach to rainwater management and green infrastructure in Metro Vancouver, an approach that will align local actions in the Georgia Basin with provincial goals.


Implementing Green Infrastructure

Susan Rutherford of West Coast Environmental Law and Rémi Dubé of the City of Surrey were the co-leads for the topsoil initiative. Susan synthesized the experience of participating municipalities in order to create the Law & Policy Primer. Rémi was responsible for the Technical Primer.Bowker creek forum - susan rutherford and remi dube (200p)

“We realized there could be a benefit to providing municipal staff and the professional design community with a succinct statement of all of the legal, policy and technical ‘essential elements’ necessary to successfully implement a specific green infrastructure objective,” states Susan Rutherford.


Links to PowerPoint Presentations

Susan Rutherford: Just How Do You Obtain a Performing Topsoil Layer for Rainwater Infiltration – Law & Policy Primer (0.4MB PDF)

Rémi Dubé: Just How Do You Obtain a Performing Topsoil Layer for Rainwater Infiltration – Technical Primer (3.4MB PDF)


Topsoil Importance

Ray fung (120p)“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,” states Raymond Fung, Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership (GIP).

“The Green Infrastructure Partnership views topsoil as the interface between rainwater management and drought management. Soil depth creates a sponge…. which can limit runoff during wet-weather periods; and reduce water need during dry-weather periods.”


Posted March 2010