"ISMP Course Correction" aligns with Metro Vancouver's proposed Ecological Health Plan

Note to Reader:

In May 2010, the Metro Vancouver region adopted a comprehensive and holistic strategy for managing liquid discharges and rainwater resources. Two years in the making, the Integrated Liquid Waste & Resource Management Plan established the framework for moving beyond regulatory compliance to transitioning Metro Vancouver to an approach where watershed-based planning is integrated within a broader, sustainability framework.

In November-December 2010, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia released a 5-part series about considerations driving a course correction in the way ‘Integrated Stormwater Management Plans’ (ISMPs) are undertaken.

Each year, Metro Vancouver prepares an Action Plan for the organization’s work in the years ahead. Metro Vancouver Action Plan 2011 lays out specific goals, targets and actions to meet regional priorities. One of these priorities is ecological health.

The Integrated Plan is the regulatory driver for ISMPs, and the ‘course correction’ is the tool to make real the Metro Vancouver region’s Ecological Health Plan. The article below connects the dots between the three.

To download a PDF copy of the article, click on “ISMP Course Correction” aligns with Metro Vancouver’s proposed Ecological Health Plan

ISMP course correction - poster (360p)

Partnership for Water Sustainability presents vision to Regional Engineers Advisory Committee

The genesis for ISMPs was a desire to integrate the community, engineering, planning and environmental perspectives. Why: To develop truly ‘integrated’ solutions – that is, solutions that accommodate changes in settlement and land use while protecting property and aquatic habitat.

The essence of the paradigm-shift is captured in the image above. To download a PDF copy of the image, click here.

Unfunded Infrastructure Liability

The unintended consequences of ISMPs completed to date have informed the ‘course correction’ described in Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia. Released in June 2010, the formal rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2010 commenced in September at the UBCM Annual Convention.

Local governments bear the entire financial burden to stabilize and restore watercourses impacted by increased rainwater runoff volume after land is developed or redeveloped to a higher density. The resulting unfunded ‘infrastructure liability’ is a driver for the ISMP Course Correction.

Under the over-arching umbrella of Convening for Action in British Columbia, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia is implementing a professional development program through collaboration with willing local governments in various regions of the province. The next phase of this professional development program will focus on the ISMP Course Correction.

The purpose of the program is to transfer knowledge, develop leadership capacity, and ‘achieve more with less’ by pooling resources and sharing lessons learned.

To Learn More:

Click on Summary Report for ISMP Course Correction Series to download a consolidated reference source that comprises a front-end plus all five documents in the ‘ISMP Course Correction Series’. The front-end is complete with a set of five recommendations.

Achieve More With Less

Local governments have many competing priorities for spending money; lots of projects to keep staff busy; and finite resources. Everyone is challenged to do more with less, and get it done. After a decade of ISMP experience, key issues are ‘cost’ and ‘cost versus value’. The money issue revolves around the long-term dilemma of how to pay for infrastructure and watershed improvements if there is no source of funding.

A Course on the ISMP Course Correction

In May 2011, Kim Stephens (Partnership Executive Director) met with the Metro Vancouver Regonal Engineers Advisory Committee (REAC) to inform the region’s municipalities about the 2-day course that the Partnership will be launching with assistance from the Green Infrastructure Partnership and Metro Vancouver’s Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group in Fall 2011. The focus is on the money issue.

“The experience, lessons learned and outcomes described in Beyond the Guidebook 2010 have informed the framework and objectives for the course on the ISMP Course Correction,” stated Kim Stephens. Kim stephens (120p) - 2009

“In championing this initiative in collaboration with local government, the Partnership’s vision is that an ISMP Course Correction will help municipalities achieve more with less, and reduce their infrastructure liability.”

“The course will guide local government practitioners through the steps in developing an ISMP that is balanced and holistic. An ISMP that is truly integrated would provide a clear picture of how local governments can apply land use planning tools to create a future watershed condition desired by all.”

“This approach contrasts with a conventional ISMP approach where the primary emphasis is on data collection, computer modeling and pipe analyses; and results in an enhanced Master Drainage Plan. This is why we are branding the paradigm-shift as moving to landscape-based from model-centric,” concluded Kim Stephens.

To Learn More:

To download a copy of the curriculum planning document released by the Partnershipfor for Water Sustainability, click on Course on the ISMP Course Correction – A Synopsis.

Fiscal constraints provide a powerful impetus for doing business differently. Green infrastructure is part of a holistic approach to ‘achieve more with less’. To download a PDF copy of an article published by Construction Business Magazine, click on Green Infrastructure: Achieve More With Less.

For additional context, click on on “ISMP Course Correction” will help Metro Vancouver municipalities fulfil regulatory commitments to read a story published on the Water Bucket after the Partnership  made an announcement at the 2011 Water Balance Model Partners Forum hosted by Metro Vancouver.

Course on the ismp course correction: what it will do

Alignment with Ecological Health Plan

Metro Vancouver’s ongoing commitment to a sustainable future for the region and its residents is embodied in the board-established Sustainability Framework. The framework articulates the values, principles and core areas of focus that guide decision making within the region’s three key roles:

  • Political forum
  • Policy maker
  • Service provider

With the majority of the region’s management plans complete, the emphasis in 2011 shifts from plan development to implementation. A strategic priority in the 2011 Action Plan is Ecological Health.

Design with Nature

“The region has committed to protect and restore an interconnected network of habitat and green space, account for ecosystem services, and enhance the connection between people and nature,” quoted Kim Stephens.

“A truly integrated ISMP is a potentially powerful tool. It can influence other municipal processes for the better. It can generate the blueprint for integrated and coordinated action at a watershed scale. Over time, the outcome of a landscape-based approach is a new watershed.

To Learn More:

To download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation slides used by Kim Stephens to inform REAC, click on ISMP Course Correction – Achieve More With Less (8.0MB)

To download a PDF document version of the foregoing article, click on “ISMP Course Correction” aligns with Metro Vancouver’s proposed Ecological Health Plan. This serves as a consolidated reference document because it is complete with a copy of the magazine article referenced above; as well as the PowerPoint slides.

Connect dots: ismp course correction & metro vancouver ecological health plan

Posted May 2011