Watershed Case Profile Series: Hastings Creek Watershed Blueprint is Provincially Significant and Precedent-Setting


Note to Reader:

In the Metro Vancouver region, the spotlight is on a “course correction” in the way Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (i.e. “ISMPs”) are developed and implemented. The Hastings Creek Watershed Blueprint, a work-in-progress by the District of North Vancouver, is a demonstration application of what was envisioned when the need for the “ISMP Course Correction” was identified in July 2009 by the advisory Metro Vancouver Reference Panel in its report to Metro Vancouver elected representatives.

Released in May 2013, the “Story of Hastings Creek” is the first in a series of Watershed Blueprint Case Profiles that forms part of the inter-regional curriculum for cross-fertilizing local government experience within the Georgia Basin. North Vancouver is showing how to leverage more with the same resources.

To download a copy of the Watershed Case Profile, click on A Watershed Blueprint for Hastings Creek: Creating the Future in the District of North Vancouver.

Georgia Basin_five regions

Moving Towards Watershed Sustainability in the Georgia Basin

The Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC embraces shared responsibility and is helping the Province deliver elements of the Living Water Smart and Green Communities Initiatives. The vehicle for this collaboration is the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. In turn, the Action Plan is the umbrella for the Inter-Regional Education Initiative for ‘Rainwater Management in a Watershed Sustainability Context’ (i.e. “the IREI”), initiated in 2012.

“Collaboration among Vancouver Island local governments, Metro Vancouver, and member municipalities has grown steadily since 2007. The IREI provides a framework for consistent application of tools and understanding on both sides of the Georgia Basin. Everyone benefits fro sharing information and experiences,” observes Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director.

Hastings Creek Demonstration Application

“The IREI program showcases and builds upon the experience of those who are leading by example.  Through the IREI, the Partnership encourages and facilitates cross-fertilization of approaches andexperience,” continues Kim Stephens.

“The Hastings Creek Watershed Blueprint is provincially significant and precedent-setting. The District of North Vancouver is demonstrating HOW local governments can accomplish more with the same investment.”

“The Hastings Creek approach has benefitted from the experience of other Georgia Basin leaders, and is outcome-oriented. Similarly, the Hastings Blueprint is already informing and influencing how other jurisdictions are likely to apply lessons learned by the District.”

The Story of Hastings Creek

Tim-Pringle_2008_120p“The Hastings Creek story is the first in a series of Watershed Blueprint Case Profiles that the Partnership is releasing. These will inform inter-regional collaboration among local governments in British Columbia. We anticipate that sharing experiences will accelerate effective watershed restoration and/or protection within participating regions,” states Tim Pringle, Partnership President.

“The Hastings Creek Watershed Blueprint is important to the Partnership because the District of North Vancouver has demonstrated the value of two new web-based tools, namely: the Drainage Infrastructure Screening Tool; andWater Balance Model Express for Landowners. Use of these tools can help all local governments go farther, more efficiently and effectively, to achieve watershed goals,” adds Ted van der Gulik, Chair of the Water Balance Model Partnership that developed these two tools.

Unfunded Infrastructure Liability: An Incentive to Do Business Differently

“Local governments are faced with a financial challenge: the initial capital cost of infrastructure is about 20% of the life-cycle cost; the other 80% largely represents a future unfunded liability. Each year, the funding shortfall grows as infrastructure ages. This fiscal reality creates the incentive to prevent additional financial impacts,” states Gavin Joyce, the District’s General Manager for Engineering, Parks and Facilities.

“While developers and new home purchasers pay the initial capital cost of municipal infrastructure, it is local government that assumes responsibility for the long-term cost associated with operation, maintenance and replacement of infrastructure assets. In addition, local governments bear the entire financial burden to stabilize and restore watercourses impacted by increased rainwater runoff volume AFTER land is developed or redeveloped.”

Tell the Story of the Hastings Creek Blueprint

“It is important that we seize opportunities to tell the Hastings Creek story. It is also essential that we communicate why and how we are being successful. If we all tell the story, then people will become energized in the re-telling,” adds Gavin Joyce.

2Susan Haid_120p“In telling the Hastings Creek story, a key message is that redevelopment of the watershed represents an opportunity to make things better and restore hydrological and ecological functions,” stated Susan Haid, the District’s former Manager of Sustainable Community Development.

To Learn More:

To download a copy of the “Story of Hastings Creek” by clicking on A Watershed Blueprint for Hastings Creek: Creating the Future in the District of North Vancouver.

To read an article posted in 2010 about the recommendation by the Metro Vancouver Reference Panel, click on From Stormwater Management to RAINwater Management: Implementing a Course Correction in Metro Vancouver