10 Years Ago: Don Moore organized the "Let It Rain Conference"
Note to Reader:
The late Don Moore was a commonsense practitioner; he was not captive to terminology. Part of his legacy is being the catalyst for looking at drainage differently in 2004. Don Moore was also responsible for constructing the first ‘engineered rain garden’ in British Columbia.
In March 2005, and in collaboration with Dr. Val Schaefer of the Douglas College Institute of Urban Ecology, Don Moore organized the “Let It Rain Conference”. At the time, he was Manager of Environment with Wesbild Holdings Ltd, developer of the Westwood Plateau in the City of Coquitlam, BC.
To learn more about the life and times of Don Moore, click here to read the tribute published in 2008 by Watermark Magazine, the journal of the British Columbia Water & Waste Association.
Let It Rain: A Conference on Managing Rainwater Runoff with Low Impact Development Methods
Organized by Don Moore and co-funded by Wesbild and the Vancouver Foundation, the Let It Rain Conference was held in New Westminster, BC at Douglas College. The conference theme was: how to keep rainwater out of the pipes and get it back into the ground where it falls.
The conference featured case study presentations by rainwater management agencies and practitioners on source control measures such as terraced landscaping, rain gardens, exfiltration trenches and pits, roof downspout disconnection, runoff dispersal and permeable pavements.
Don Moore explained the background on Wesbild corporate sponsorship as follows: “We are working towards building a community on Burke Mountain that has an innovative and leading edge approach to rainwater management. The ‘Let it Rain’ conference is an opportunity for all of us to learn from our peers to help us better complement nature and not replace it.”
“Our goal was to fill the room, and we did. The room capacity at Douglas Collegewas 125 and almost every seat was filled. The turnout was a direct demonstration of the interest in this emerging area of practice. The registrants included many municipal staff, GVRD, provincial government, and DFO staff, landscape architects, planners, contractors, and members of several NGOs.”
from Stormwater to Rainwater
Paul Cipywynk summarized the day nicely in his blog when he wrote: “Oh, one neat idea that popped up was no longer talking about ‘stormwater management’ but shifting to ‘rainwater management.’ Presenter Don Moore said that MS Word always flagged ‘stormwater’ as incorrect, while ‘rainwater’ was OK, and that led him to think about changing all uses of ‘stormwater’ to ‘rainwater.’ It is rain after all, not just storms, and ‘stormwater’ has developed negative connotations, such as flooding. So from now on, no more ‘stormwater management’, its ‘rainwater management’.”
The First ‘Engineered’ Rain Garden
“Don Moore was also responsible for constructing the first ‘engineered rain garden’ in British Columbia. This was built at the Wesbild offices on the Westwood Plateau at the end of 2004,” recalls Kim Stephens, Executive Director for the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.
“We describe it as ‘the first engineered’ because it was constructed in accordance with design guidelines developed for Metro Vancouver. Don came up with a practical way to monitor the performance of the rain garden, thereby providing some of the earliest data on the effectiveness of landscape-based measures for rainfall capture. He presented his findings at the Let It Rain Conference.” (Note to reader: one of his graphs is included below)
The Complete Set of Presentations
To download PDF copies of the 10 individual presentations that comprised the conference program, click on the links below:
Don Moore (Wesbild): A Natural Systems Approach to Rainwater Management at Burke Mountain
Kim Stephens (Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC): The Water Balance Model: A Tool for ‘Designing with Nature’
Dana Soong (City of Coquitlam): Hyde Creek Integrated Watershed Management Plan
Don Moore: Rain Gardens – A Source Control Method
David Yurkovich & Dave Desrochers (City of Vancouver): Country Lanes Project – Asphalt Alternative
David Hislop (City of Surrey): East Clayton Sustainable Development – Performance Update Year 2
Julia Brydon (University of BC): Protecting Water Resources with Low Impact Development
Craig Shishido (Metro Vancouver): Understanding and Applying LEED
Chris Johnston (KWL): Lot and Roadside Stormwater Source Controls – Silver Ridge Development in Maple Ridge
Ed von Euw (Metro Vancouver): Rainwater Management – Regional Overview and Initiatives
To Learn More:
Click on Well, What is Rainwater Management, Really? to read a comprehensive story posted elsewhere on the Rainwater Management community-of-interest about Don Moore and the relevance of his contributions to rainwater management in British Columbia.
“Don’s hallmark at this stage in his career were his ‘green infrastructure’ initiatives, which he enthusiastically promoted at each of his development sites,” recalls David Desrochers, his longtime friend and former colleague at the City of Vancouver.
To download a copy of the conference brochure, click on Let It Rain: A Conference on Managing Rainwater Runoff with Low Impact Development Methods