Greater Vancouver Regional District Provides Funding for Rainwater Management Community-of-Interest

SILG kickoffmeetingfor rainwatercoi_sep2005

The Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group (SILG), a technical committee of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, provided funding so the Water Sustainability Committee (WSC) of the British Columbia Water & Waste Association can implement the Rainwater Management Community-of-Interest (COI). According to Raymond Fung, P.Eng., Chair of the WSC (and Manager of Utilities for the District of West Vancouver), “We really appreciate that SILG stepped forward to sponsor the Rainwater Management COI. This will enable the team to build on what has already been accomplished with the Water Balance Model website, and thereby provide a comprehensive picture of what is taking place in British Columbia. SILG is to be commended for again taking a leadership role.”

“In terms of providing leadership, it was in 2001 that SILG recognized the value of the water balance approach and funded the development of a working model to assess the affordability and feasibility of site design solutions for achieving performance targets”, added Mark Wellman, P.Eng., SILG Coordinator, “The results of this applied research were incorporated in Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, published in June 2002. This guidance document, founded on BC case study experience, formalized a science-based understanding to set performance targets for reducing rainwater runoff volumes.”

“In July 2002 the Inter-Governmental Partnership (IGP) was formed to develop the Water Balance Model for British Columbia as an extension of the Guidebook”, continued Ed von Euw, P.Eng., GVRD Senior Engineer, “The IGP began as a subgroup of SILG and quickly expanded to become a provincial group with municipal representation from four regions: Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan Valley.”

The IGP is now a consortium of 20-plus local, regional, provincial and federal agencies and is co-chaired by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Canada. Its mission is to enable local governments and landowners to make informed land development decisions and meet performance targets for rainwater volume capture and runoff rate control under a variety of land use, soil and climate conditions.

The formal kick-off for COI development was a workshop involving the SILG membership and the IGP steering committee. According to Ted van der Gulik, P.Eng., IGP Chair, “Now that the Rainwater Management COI is up and running, one of the items that we will be addressing over the coming months is the question of branding vis-à-vis the Water Balance Model. For sure, users will be able to access the WBM directly from the Rainwater Management COI. An option that we will be assessing is whether the Rainwater Management COI will take the place of the BC HomePage on the national WBM portal.”