Aligning with New Directions: from Stormwater to RAINwater in Metro Vancouver
Metro Vancouver's Integrated Liquid Waste & Resource Management Plan
“Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island are learning from each other, and are moving in the same direction,” observes Ed von Euw, Senior Engineer in the Policy and Planning Department of Metro Vancouver. His responsibilities include leading development of Metro Vancouver's updated Liquid Waste Management Plan.
In November 2009, Ed von Euw was part of the inter-regional faculty for the second seminar in the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series. Representatives from four regional district governments contributed to the curriculum.
“Through the advisory Reference Panel process, Vancouver Island experience has informed and influenced elements of Metro Vancouver's updated plan, in particular those actions that will advance a regional team approach. In its Final Report, the Reference Panel cited the Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series as an example that reinforces the approach to integration embraced by Metro Vancouver.”
Stormwater to RAINwater
“As engineers, we traditionally reacted to flooding problems,” Ed von Euw told the Comox Valley audience. “For the past decade, however, in Metro Vancouver we have been considering rainfall management rather than stormwater management. Rainwater falls on the site. If you manage it on site, then you don’t have stormwater runoff.”
“As soon as the rainwater is concentrated as runoff and leaves a site, it can be carrying pollutants and it can also cause channel degradation. Now you have stormwater that needs to be managed. That's part of our Liquid Waste Management Plan; and so is RAINwater management.”
“The key is that rainwater is a resource. The Plan recognizes that…it says it in black and white, and we are quite keen about treating it as a resource.”
“There are so many overlapping jurisdictions when you are talking about a site or piece of property….collaboration is needed…that's what we're finding in Metro Vancouver. There is no magic way through it. In our region, we formed the Stormwater Inter-Agency Liaison Group so that we could collaborate.”
“In Metro Vancouver's Plan, rainwater is so all-encompassing that it is actually included under all three of our goals…and several strategies. If we can manage rainwater at the source, we can minimize stormwater runoff.”
Link to PowerPoint Presentation:
To download a copy of the presentation slides that provided a backdrop for the information and experience sharing by Ed von Euw, click on Metro Vancouver: Integrated Liquid Waste & Resource Management Plan PDF
Links to YouTube Videos:
To provide flavour for the sharing by Ed von Euw, a set of video clips has been uploaded to YouTube. These video clips are cross-referenced to his slides as listed below:
- Slide #9: Paradigm-Shift in Metro Vancouver: from RAINwater to STORMwater (2:24)
- Slide #14: An introduction to Metro Vancouver's SILG: Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group (1:25)
- Slide #15: An overview of what was accomplished during the period 1997 to 2002, and how this provided the foundation for the current Metro Vancouver program (1:50)
- Slide #16: Context for the “new approach” in Metro Vancouver, starting in 2002 with the publication of a series of guidance documents (2:30)
- Slide #19: Metro Vancouver's role as a founding partner for both the Water Balance Model and the Water Bucket Website (0:57)
- Slide #20: An explanation of why SILG works: “sharing of like minds” (1:42)
To read a related and relevant story, click on Stormwater Management, Low Impact Development, Sustainable Drainage, Green Infrastructure, RAINwater Management…. what is an appropriate term to use?
Posted December 2009