Coquitlam on Track for Completion of Integrated Watershed Management Plans in 2014 for All Urban Areas
Implementing Rainwater Management in the City of Coquitlam
“The City of Coquitlam is on schedule to complete watershed plans for all urban areas by the end of 2014 in order to meet the regulatory commitment required of municipalities in the Metro Vancouver region. At present, six plans are completed and being implemented and six others are in development,” reports Melony Burton, the City’s Watersheds & Drainage Coordinator.
Watershed-Based Community Planning
“Coquitlam’s Official Community Plan requires that a Watershed Plan be completed before a Neighbourhood Plan can be developed. This important direction guides appropriate land use in response to a watershed’s unique conditions and needs. Using this strategy has brought our Planning, Environmental, Engineering, and Parks departments to the table. Both the process and the plan are integrated to achieve practical, cost-effective objectives which balance land use, drainage and the environment.”
“Changing the way we do things means taking on new challenges and not always getting it right the first time. Securing political support for a watershed-based approach to community planning paved the way for development and implementation of rainwater management applications that mimic the Water Balance.”
“Over time, our Integrated Watershed Management Plans will be guided by a Monitoring and Adaptive Management Framework which will allow us to evaluate which strategies are yielding the most positive results and which need modification,” concludes Melony Burton.
Integrated Watershed Management Plans
For all urban watersheds, Coquitlam is developing integrated watershed management plans (IWMP) to preserve watershed health, while also meeting community needs and facilitating growth and development. IWMPs use a Net Environmental Benefit approach that strives to improve fish and fish habitat.
“One of the key elements of making a watershed work is addressing rainwater,” says Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart. “Allowing it to filter through the soils, allowing the proper biological processes rather than simply large catch basins and taking the water out by storm sewer.”
“We strive to make sure that our watersheds work properly. We have a number of committees that are aimed at improving the health of the watershed and the health of the river – everything from sand and gravel operations to the way in which stormwater management takes place adjacent to city streets, the kinds of initiatives we have undertaken and continue to undertake.”
To Learn More:
Click on Integrated Watershed Management for the complete story on the City’s website.
Click on Coquitlam Watershed Boundaries Map to download a PDF copy of the map below.
To download a copy of the Watershed Case Profile released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in January 2014, click on Watershed Planning & Rainwater Management: Creating the Future in the City of Coquitlam.