Archive:

2016

Sustainable Service Delivery: Watersheds are infrastructure assets


“Implementation of asset management along with the associated evolution of local government thinking is a continuous quality improvement process, not a discrete task. This led us to the concept of a continuum. The relevance of this way of thinking is that different local governments will always be at different points and different levels of maturity along the asset management continuum. This is why we focus on outcomes and do not prescribe what to do in BC,” wrote Ray Fung.

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“We must debate the question of urgency in responding to climate change,” stated Chair Vic Derman when introducing his report to the Capital Regional District’s Environmental Services Committee


“Unquestionably, many of the decisions we must make will involve financial outlays. In some cases, they will be considerable. When deciding whether or not decisions being considered are ‘affordable’, the CRD and local governments should ask the question: ‘What will be the cost to the planet and ultimately to us, if other local governments around the world were to join us in deciding that we simply can’t afford to respond’. In all likelihood, we cannot afford not to,” concluded Vic Derman.

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Think and Act like a Watershed: Harness Nature to Adapt to a Changing Climate


Research at Simon Fraser University resulted in development of a framework for evaluating application of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA). “Julia Berry did a great job of integrating concepts and testing the evaluation framework on her two case cities. Hopefully the work continues to advance our understanding of how to make these concepts accessible and measurable to help guide and promote implementation,” stated Sean Markey.

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Green Infrastructure in Kitsap County, Washington State: Manchester Stormwater “Park” achieves desired environmental and social outcomes in Puget Sound


“A spiral rain garden is the focal point of the park. Water that typically flows off the hillside is collected and treated through this facility. Then every half-hour, one cell of the three-cell spiral walls releases its water charge through rocks located on the sides of the figure. It then filters the water through the spiral, putting clean water back in to Puget Sound,” explained Andrew Nelson.

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GREEN COMMUNITIES & DESIGNING WITH NATURE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Partnership for Water Sustainability’s “Feast AND Famine Workshop” showcased solutions and tools for building water-resilient communities (Dec 2015)


“We face a number of cumulative and compounding human effects that at present make sustainability a moving target. We need to stabilize these effects if we don’t want adaptation and resilience to constantly be beyond reach,” said Bob Sandford. “The problem is that that we have begun to undermine the planetary conditions upon which we depend for the stability of environment and economy that are the foundation of our prosperity.”

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“That wetland isn’t just pretty – it’s quantifiable infrastructure,” wrote Roy Brooke in a Globe & Mail op-ed


“People do not build infrastructure for its own sake, but to provide the services they require. Across countries and sectors, there is a growing recognition that nature can provide vital services equivalent to those from engineered assets,” wrote Roy Brooke. Where nature provides equivalent services to engineered infrastructure, it should be accorded at least similar management and protection. Much can be done to support and accelerate the trends under way.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2011: “Rainwater Management in a Watershed Context – What’s the Goal?” published as the conclusion to a green infrastructure series by Stormwater Magazine


“This article makes important comparisons between stormwater management in the US and Canada. Although both are moving toward greater use of green infrastructure, the differences in approach are significant…. and practitioners in the US can learn a great deal from BC’s approach,” stated Janice Kaspersen.

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NEW REPORT: Green infrastructure significantly reduces flood damages


“Green Infrastructure (GI) is necessary for water quality and stream health, and enhances community resiliency and environmental protection. In addition to these benefits, GI reduces government expenditures and protects existing investments in flood control. However, to be effective, GI must be implemented at the watershed level and communities must realize that they will all benefit from each other’s investments,” explains Dan Medina.

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What Happens on the Land Matters: Restore the Water Balance in Urban Areas!


The City of North Vancouver’s Rain Garden Program is a foundation piece for a long-term vision for restoring watershed health in a fully urbanized city. “A single rain garden will not make a material difference. But 1000s of rain gardens would be a different story. Restoring stream health requires a long-term commitment over decades by the community, successive Councils and City staff. We can turn the situation around over time,” says Mayor Darrell Mussatto.

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Moving Towards Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management: Environment Deputy Minister lauds work of Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC


“The Ministry of Environment appreciates that the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC embraces shared responsibility for the Water Sustainability Action Plan. The next phase of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative through 2017 will add to ‘Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework’ and integrate watershed systems thinking and adaptation to a changing climate into asset management,” wrote Wes Shoemaker.

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