Water Balance Model Now a National Initiative


Developed by a BC-based Inter-Governmental Partnership as an extension of Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, the Water Balance Model for Canada (WBM) enables users to compare scenarios for rainwater runoff volume reduction in order to achieve a light ‘hydrologic footprint’. The Partnership comprises a consortium of local, regional, provincial and federal agencies.

The early success of the WBM in British Columbia, particularly in promoting an understanding of how to improve the built environment and protect the natural environment, generated interest in expanding the focus of the tool to reach a national audience.


According to Cate Soroczan, Policy and Research Division of CMHC: “This early success led to the decision by Environment Canada, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Province of British Columbia to join forces to create a truly national Water Balance Model for Canada that achieves three outcomes:

  • Enable local government jurisdictions and stewardship groups in other provinces to share in the knowledge gained in British Columbia;
  • Generate a nationwide discussion forum on sustainable drainage initiatives; and
  • Access additional sources of funding to accelerate the development of the WBM.” 



To date, the structure and content placeholders for provincial rainwater management communities-of-interest have been created for five provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. “We are actively pursuing inter-provincial partnerships to take ownership of and populate this first group of pages with local success stories”, according to Laura Maclean of Environment Canada (the British Columbia Partnership Co-Chair), adding that “communities-of-interest for the remaining provinces and territories will be developed as and when there are expressions of local interest and/or supporting funding,”