WBM Express: Prototype showcased at Capital Region Water Balance Workshop in November 2012


Note to Reader:

In early 2012, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia brought together four regional districts on Vancouver Island to align their efforts and implement a ‘proof of approach’ for an Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI). These four regions represent 90% of the Vancouver Island population.

To demonstrate how to make inter-regional collaboration tangible, each region undertook to host a “sharing and learning” event. Thus, the Capital Regional District (CRD) hosted the third in the 2012-2013 Series of “Water Balance Model Training Workshops” on November 29, 2012.

The CRD workshop provided a timely opportunity for the Partnership to showcase the work-in-progress prototype for the Water Balance Model Express for LandownersTo download the Workshop Agenda, click here

IREI - CRD Workshop_Nov2012_title slide

Development of the WBM Express

The Water Balance Model Express is the result of a team effort. First, the District of Central Saanich provided the initial inspiration in 2010. Then in 2011-2012 Jim Dumont (the Partnership’s Engineering Applications Authority) evolved the Water Balance Methodology to generate three performance targets that are used to populate the Express. At the same time, Dr. Charles Rowney (the Partnership’s Scientific Applications Authority) created the calculator engine that drives the Express. Also, the District of North Vancouver provided the first demonstration application in conjunction with its planning for Lynn Valley Town Centre redevelopment.

Charles-Rowney_2011_120p“The Water Balance Model Express for Landowners represents a bold leap forward in the way it strips the problem to its essence.  It is an accessible, affordable and effective tool. The Express solves the vast majority of common problems faced by a homeowner exploring ways to implement rainfall capture in accordance with a watershed plan, without requiring use of tools designed for more complex situations,” explains Dr. Charles Rowney.

Focus Group Sessions

In June 2012, the Water Balance Workshop hosted the Regional District of Nanaimo provided the first opportunity to preview the “proof-of-concept” in local government focus group setting. By November 2012, the “prototype” was ready for showcasing. Thus, the Water Balance Workshop hosted by the Capital Regional District also served as a focus group session.

The CRD workshop was structured in two parts, with the focus of the morning session on the District of North Vancouver’s approach to development of the Hastings Creek Watershed Blueprint; and with the afternoon session being built around an online demonstration of the WBM Express.

Demonstration Application of WBM Express for North Vancouver

At the CRD workshop, Richard Boase (District of North Vancouver) and Jim Dumont explained how the WBM Express is being applied to the Lynn Valley Town Centre in particular, and to the surrounding Hastings Creek watershed in general.

“When different developers started approaching District staff to ask about requirements for managing rainwater on sites that were already 85 to 90 percent impervious, we told Richard-Boase_Jan-2013_v4_120pthem that the context for design of on-site facilities is to improve the hydrology of flow in Hastings Creek,” stated Richard Boase.

“We have been telling developers that we want their developments to be directly linked to the stream, which means that it is not just a matter of adding a green roof or a cistern to their buildings. Rather, it is about how they will meet the combination of all three performance targets that we know are required for a healthier stream.”

“How are you releasing water? And are you releasing water in a more natural way year-round, not just during the heavy flow periods in the winter months, because we know we have baseflow issues in Hastings Creek. Integrate it all together, and then come up with a plan.”

Focus on Single Family Residential Properties

“What we are really wanting to do is to work with the owners of single family residential properties. We would like them to embrace change that will lighten the Water Footprint of their single family homes. That is what the Water Balance Methodology is seeking to do,” continued Richard Boase.

“The Water Balance Model Express takes the science and applies it in a way that we anticipate will really guide change in terms of the way small-scale watershed decisions are made.”

“Using the Lot Builder tool, homeowners define what is on their property – how big is it, add a building, etc. When they start configuring their properties to include rainwater management, all they need to know is that when their choices move the dials into the green area, they have succeeded in making choices that will meet the pre-set performance targets for protecting watershed health.”

To Learn More:

To download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint storyline presented by Richard Boase, click on Application of the Water Balance Model Express in the District of North Vancouver

To download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint storyline presented by Jim Dumont, click on How to Develop Watershed-Specific Performance Targets to Populate the WBM Express

 WBM_Victoria-Workshop_Nov2012_screen shot