Drainage Infrastructure Screening Tool provides local governments with enhanced capability to make informed decisions


The “paradigm-shift” starts with how we look at drainage systems

“Many drainage collection and conveyance systems operate without serious problems for many years. Furthermore, the vast majority of the time, the system capacity is only partially utilized for conveyance. Yet many engineering studies recommend plans for pipe replacement and upsizing that would cost tens of millions of dollars, money that local governments do not have; while providing no offsetting stream health benefits,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership forWater Sustainability in British Columbia.

“Why is this happening? Is an apt analogy that modellers are missing the forest for the trees? When unimplementable plans go on a shelf to gather dust, what has been accomplished? Is it time to hit the re-set button vis-à-vis the way we evaluate drainage infrastructure?”

Drainage Infrastructure Screening Tool

Federal funding support provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Regional Adaptation Collaborative Program has made it possible for the Partnership to develop the Drainage Infrastructure Screening Tool as an add-on to the Water Balance Model (WBM) decision support tool.

Although housed on the same site, the web-based Screening Tool is actually stand-alone from the WBM because it addresses a different evaluation need on the part of local governments. The WBM is used for green infrastructure evaluation whereas the Screening Tool is applied to drainage conveyance systems.

“Now, local governments can focus on what is most important AND achieve more at less cost. They can quickly and inexpensively assess drainage system performance to pinpoint any problem areas. This will help them establish capital budget priorities for detailed analysis during the design process,” reports Ted van der Gulik, Chair of the Water Balance Model initiative.

“The key finding is that a ’90-10 Rule’ applies to most drainage systems. By this, we mean that 90% of the system typically requires no further consideration because the conveyance capacity is adequate under all potential operating conditions. For the remaining 10%, it is a matter of investigating the ‘weak links’ identified by the screening tool to determine whether and what remedial action imay be  necessary,” adds Jim Dumont, Engineering Applications Authority for the Water Balance Model.

To Learn More:

To read the complete story posted elsewhere on the Rainwater Management coomunity-of-interest, click on Achieve More At Less Cost: Local Governments Can Rate Drainage System Capacity Without Need for Expensive Modelling of Every Pipe

Also, click on British Columbia Partnership announces that Drainage Infrastructure Screening Tool is now LIVE! to access the Water Balance Model website.