Manage Runoff Volume at Site Scale to Protect Watershed Health



Note to Readers:

During the November-December 2010 period, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia released a series of five articles that are designed to inform local governments and others about a 'course correction' for Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMPs). The series describes:

  • what ISMPs are;
  • how local governments can do more with less; and
  • how local governments can ensure ISMPs are outcome-oriented.

The first in the series provides regulatory and historical context, identifies introduces guiding principles for implementing change on the ground, explains what outcome-oriented means, and sets the stage for the four stories that follow.


Planning framework for integrated plans

Manage Runoff Volume at Site Scale to Protect Watershed Health

In Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia, the term ‘urban watershed’ is a metaphor for those watersheds, or parts of watersheds, over which local governments exert control through regulation of land use. The Community Charter empowers British Columbia municipalities with extensive and very specific tools to proactively manage the complete spectrum of rainfall events.

In addition, British Columbia case law makes clear the responsibility of municipalities to manage runoff volume to prevent downstream impacts.  An increasingly important corollary to that responsibility is the need to work from the regional down to the site scale, to maintain and advance watershed health to ensure that both water quantity and quality will be sustained to meet both ecosystem and human health needs.


To Learn More:

To read the complete story posted on the Rainwater Management Community-of-Interest, click on Story #1 in the ISMP Course Correction Series: Re-Focus on Stream Health and Watershed Outcomes

Also, click on Beyond the Guidebook 2010: 'Urban Watershed' Explained — ‘Urban watershed’ refers to drainage tributary areas within which zoning and land use are under the jurisdiction of a local government.

ISMP story #1 - cover (475p)

Posted November 2010