Nanaimo Experience in Stormwater/Rainwater Management: Getting to where the City wants to go


CRD 30 - georgia basin

In November 2007, the Capital Regional District  hosted a full-day workshop titled Bio/Infiltration: Tools for Rainwater Management. Organized under the umbrella of the Stormwater, Harbours and Watersheds Program, the workshop emphasis was on municipal implementation, particularly funding, bylaws and other tools available to municipalities to work towards innovative rainwater management.

The workshop featured case studies from both sides of the Georgia Basin, thereby facilitating a sharing of experiences. To read the complete story, click on Rainwater Management in the Georgia Basin: Capital Regional District workshop celebrates on-the-ground successes.


City of Nanaimo Experience in Stormwater/Rainwater Management: Getting from here to where we want to go

Dean Mousseau and Kevin Brydges provided the engineering and environmental perspectives, respectively, in discussing their trials and tribulations in reconciling Council policies with traditional engineering standards. The Engineering and Development Services departments have a different understanding and/or interpretation of the drainage mandate, and this has resulted in road blocks (challenges) that have been overcome incrementally over time.

CRD 21 - nanaimo turning point

From the perspective of the Development Services Department, a key to moving forward with implementation of sustainable practices is making the distinction between ‘flow characteristics’ and ‘peak flows’. By placing the emphasis on maintaining ‘flow characteristics’, this has facilitated implementation of a water balance way-of-designing on-lot measures for rainwater runoff volume reduction.

CRD 26 - nanaimo municipal tools

In reviewing the tools available to municipal staff, Dean Mousseau noted that his area of heaviest involvement is at the Design Stage Acceptance. He then commented on how the Steep Slope Policy is creating opportunities to approach land development differently. The flexibility provided by the ability to transfer density results in an incentive for developers to collaborate with municipal staff to achieve design with nature outcomes.

CRD 22 - nanaimo cottle creek estates

Dean Mousseu and Kevin Brydges elaborated on the Cottle Creek Estates development to illustrate the new direction in Nanaimo.

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. This  precedent-setting residential development is located off Hammond Bay Road in the Departure Bay area of Nanaimo, and was featured as part of Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the Nanaimo Region.

To download a copy of their presentation, click on this link to City of Nanaimo Stormwater.


Posted August 2008

Originally posted on the Green Infrastructure Community-of-Interest in December 2007