Metro Vancouver contributes $50,000 towards enhancement of the “Water Balance Model for British Columbia”
Integrate the Site with the Watershed and Stream to Protect Stream Health
The Water Balance Model for British Columbia is a scenario comparison tool. It can help local governments create a future watershed vision by informing their decisions about the impacts, or not, of their ‘water footprint’ on watershed health. The majority of Metro Vancouver municipalities are Water Balance Model Partners.
Originally developed to meet the stormwater management planning needs of Metro Vancouver municipalities, it has become “British Columbia’s tool”. In 2009, the Water Balance Model team received a Premier’s Award for Innovation and Excellence.
In mid-September 2011, Kim Stephens (Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability) met with Metro Vancouver’s Waste Management Committee and presented the vision for rebuilding the Water Balance Model on a Linux platform. Five weeks later on October 19, the Metro Vancouver Board amended its 2012 Budget to incorporate a line item for the Water Balance Model.
“Metro Vancouver has contributed $50,000 to fund further enhancement of the Water Balance Model because widespread use of this decision tool will help Metro Vancouver and members fulfil our regulatory commitments, in particular those related to integrated rainwater management,” states Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Board.
“Actions required of local government are spelled out in the region’s Integrated Liquid Waste & Resource Management Plan, approved by the Minister of Environment in May 2011. Conditions in the Minister’s approval highlight the importance of land use planning in protecting stream health. The conditions focus attention on how the degree, type and location of land development can affect the long-term health of the watershed.”
“The region and members have committed to protecting stream and watershed health. This will be accomplished by managing rain where it falls. Use of the Water Balance Model can help municipalities to define achievable and affordable performance targets at the watershed, neighbourhood and site scales,” concludes Chair Greg Moore.
About the Water Balance Model
“A decade ago, the Water Balance Model was developed by an inter-governmental partnership. The genesis for the partnership was a Metro Vancouver technical working group. The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia is the legal entity for the Water Balance Model. The majority of Metro Vancouver municipalities are charter members of the Partnership,” states Richard Boase, Co-Chair of the Water Balance Model Partnership.
“This scenario comparison tool is unique because it is web-based; bridges planning and engineering; links development sites to the stream and watershed; and most importantly, it helps define science-based performance targets for protecting stream health. The water balance methodology links rainfall to flows in the stream, and hence, protection of stream health,” explains Jim Dumont, Engineering Applications Authority for the Water Balance Model Partnership.
“The Water Balance Model incorporates modules for land use, source controls, climate change, rainwater harvesting and stream erosion. More modules are being added in 2012. These will open the door to an array of educational opportunities to help local government staff, builders, developers, consultants, real estate agents and others understand the effect of their choices and decisions on the natural environment,” concludes Ted van der Gulik, Chair of the Water Balance Model Partnership.
To Learn More:
Click on www.waterbalance.ca and also read the following stories that are posted on the Water Bucket website:
Posted February 2012