Water Balance Model News: Inter-Provincial Partnership releases "The Plan for the Future"
What Stakeholders Need to Know
Released by the Inter-Provincial Partnership in November 2009, Water Balance Model for Canada – The Plan for the Future is a comprehensive document that will guide tool enhancement over the next three years.
“The Plan for the Future provides a concise synopsis of “need to know” information about the Water Balance Model,” explains Ted van der Gulik, Chair of the Inter-Provincial Partnership (IPP). He is also Chair of the BC Inter-Governmental Partnership (IGP).
“The Plan for the Future also presents a road map for greatly increasing both the computational capabilities of the Water Balance Model and its usability in visioning future alternatives for use of water and land.”
“The Water Balance Model is moving toward an expert system with broad capabilities that can quickly provide answers to questions, and compare a number of site / watershed conditions, while giving consideration to the effects of climate change. The identified next steps in the development process will target specific technical matters; and will produce a system that can be a coach, providing guidance to all levels of users.”
Adaptive Management (“Learn by Doing”)
“The Water Balance Model will continue to be fashioned around the basic concept of adaptive management; this can provide moving targets as scientific knowledge advances. In a similar manner, there must be a parallel shift in its coaching abilities to match the moving targets.”
“Beyond these very significant facets of the Water Balance Model, and its future incarnations, is a driving factor that is critical. This evolution offers more than a useful and responsive environment for calculations and knowledge sharing: it constitutes an evolution that will reduce costs for regulators and proponents of change alike; and it will significantly increase the uniformity, reliability and robustness of the conclusions and the results that are created using this system.”
Since the target of this framework is the responsible development and management of lands under pressure, the significance of this from an economic and preferred practice perspective is very substantial, and should be welcome to all ranges of stakeholders in the decision processes surrounding this issue.”
“In British Columbia, a backdrop for Water Balance Model development and application is provided by Living Water Smart and the Green Communities Initiative. These provide a provide a policy framework for aligning efforts at three scales – provincial, regional and local – to achieve desired outcomes for community design,” adds Ted van der Gulik.
“In Alberta, the Water for Life Strategy and Land Stewardship Act provide a framework for efforts that will help Alberta achieve a better balance between economic growth and environmental / social values,” states Liliana Bozic, ALIDP Vice-Chair.
“Water for Life, the Land Stewardship Act and a number of water planning documents promote sustainable use of water resources in Alberta.”
Vision and Mission
“The IPP vision is that British Columbia and Alberta communities will embrace a design with nature guiding philosophy to achieve settlement change in balance with ecology. To that end, the IPP mission is to help local governments prepare for climate change, choose to live water smart, and build greener communities,” explains Ted van der Gulik.
To learn more about the origin of the term “settlement change in balance with ecology”, click on Water for Life and Livelihoods: How does a community balance settlement change and ecology?
Focus on Watershed Outcomes
“At the end of the day, the goal is to achieve water sustainability and protect stream health through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices,” continues Richard Boase, Co-Chair of the BC Inter-Governmental Partnership.
“The Water Balance Model provides regulators, developers and designers with a science-based decision support tool that enables evaluation of the effectiveness of site planning that incorporates green infrastructure to achieve rainwater management performance targets.”
“The focus is on watershed outcomes so that there are clear linkages with the land use planning and development approval process. This means establish achievable performance targets for rainwater volume capture and runoff rate control, under various combinations of land use, soil and climate conditions. This also means that communities must develop affordable and effective land use strategies that both green the urban landscape and improve watershed health.”
Posted November 2009