“Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative” promotes collaborative approach to achieving Watershed Health Goal


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Towards a Watershed Health Legacy

Launched by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC in 2012 in collaboration with five regional districts, the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI) supports implementation of integrated and watershed-based community planning processes on the east coast of Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland regions of British Columbia.

“In Year 3, the program is built around an Inter-Regional Collaboration Workshop Series. The spotlight is on the Watershed Health issue and how to move forward with implementation and integration, really. This sharing and learning process aligns with each region’s priorities and individual work plans.Peter-Law1_2012_120p The deliverable is ‘Beyond the Guidebook 2015,” reports Peter Law, a founding Partnership Director and a member of the Inter-Regional Leadership Team that is responsible for the series.

Formerly with the Ministry of Environment, he was Chair of the inter-governmental Steering Committee that produced Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released in 2002.

Responsible Rainwater Management

In both Canada and the United States, there is a growing green infrastructure movement. This reflects a heightened public awareness of the need to build our communities differently. Also, land use and infrastructure professionals increasingly appreciate that effective green infrastructure is at the heart of responsible rainwater management.

In its November-December 2011 issue, Stormwater magazine published an article co-authored by Kim Stephens and Jim Dumont. Their article, “Rainwater Management in a Watershed Context: What’s the Goal” is a thoughtful review of the divergent goals of rainwater management in the US and Canada written from a British Columbia perspective,” wrote Michael Carney of the Congress for the New Urbanism in his rainwater blog.

“The article Kim stephens (120p) - 2008connected the dots between recent developments in the United States, such as A Strategic Agenda to Protect Waters and Build More Livable Communities Through Green Infrastructure released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April 2011, and comparable initiatives that have been underway in British Columbia for the past decade,” explains Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director.

“While land use and infrastructure professionals are using a similar vocabulary on both sides of the border, our goals appear different. The apparent divergence has significant implications for rainwater management in a watershed context.”

Jim dumont (120p)“The approach we have taken in British Columbia differs from that of the United States EPA due to the nature of the root problems being solved,” continues Jim Dumont, the Partnership’s Engineering Applications Authority. ”The critical issue in British Columbia is the damage and loss of habitat caused by development and erosion of the headwater streams. EPA has focussed upon water quality in the main stems and coastal waters and seeks to restore the resources of those waters through the goals and objectives of the Clean Water Act.”

To Learn More:

To read the complete story posted on the Convening for Action community-of-interest, click on Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative: Year 3 Program

Visit the IREI homepage at https://waterbucket.ca/viw/category/inter-regional-education-initiative/

The IREI is an initiative under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.

To download a copy of the article by Kim Stephens and Jim Dumont, click on “Rainwater Management in a Watershed Context: What’s the Goal”, published in 2011. The article elaborates on how science-based understanding has informed the process for moving from awareness to action in British Columbia.

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