To facilitate better land use decisions, the GIP is collaborating with the Water Balance Model Partnership to enhance the web-based scenario modeling and decision support tool. The Water Balance Model is a core element of a comprehensive Outreach & Continuing Education Program (OCEP). There is awareness and growing interest across North America and elsewhere in the potential for applying the Water Balance Model to evaluate the effectiveness of rainwater runoff source controls under different combinations of land use, soil conditions and rainfall distribution.
City of Fife takes the lead in mandating implementation of low-impact development as part of holistic approach
The Fife City Council recently took a bold step to encourage low-impact development (LID) for all construction projects within the city. Under the new requirements, low-impact techniques would be required as part of all stormwater drainage permits within the city.
The approach to stormwater management in the United States has evolved from a focus on rapid conveyance and disposal of runoff to anemphasis on using natural systems to minimize hydrologic and pollutant impacts from developed areas. A project undertaken by the Water Environment Research Foundation and titled “Using Rainwater to Grow Livable Communities”, explored the benefitsand key factors influencing the success of stormwater best management practices. In addition, the project developed a website.
Pressure to build on hillside lands was the catalyst for the City of Nanaimo adopting the steep slope development permit area and zoning bylaws. Cottle Creek Estates provides an early example of how these bylaws, and Nanaimo's approach to green infrastructure, are being implemented.
Thinking Green: Developers are proposing projects in Skagit County that incorporate new ways of handling rainwater
New green building techniques beginning to take hold in Skagit County aim to slow that water’s flow. Examples of these techniques include rooftop gardens and vegetated strips of land between streets and sidewalks called “rain gardens.” The idea is to use the natural topography to help handle rainwater.
The purpose of the Urban Forest Research Project is to provide planners, developers and municipal engineers with the tools and research they need to approach rainwater management in a more integrated and sustainable manner. Th University of British Columbia has established a website to showcase the project results and link to web stories on the Rainwater Management Community-of-Interest.
Nature's Revenue Streams is a 3-year public-private pilot project, based in Saanich BC, that will link rainwater infrastructure to the restoration of stream and watershed function. The project will show how urban development can be used as an opportunity to improve watershed and stream health, build/restore aquatic habitat and reduce infrastructure costs for developers and the municipality while also addressing rainwater runoff.