Cowichan Valley 'rainwater brochure' informs and educates property owners about building blocks to healthy watersheds



Water Balance Model Express for Landowners in the Cowichan Valley

CVRD-EI-Brochure-WaterBalance_FINAL_Page_1_trimmedThe Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) is a charter member of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, and a demonstration region for development of the Water Balance Model Express for Landowners (“WBM Express). This web-based tool is an initiative of the Partnership.

In April 2014, Kate Miller (Manager of Environmental Initiatives Division) presented a status report to the CVRD Regional Services Committee. This provided a public platform to announce the launch of the WBM Express for the Cowichan Region. Her presentation included a live demonstration of this decision support tool. To download a copy of her report, click on Staff Report on WBM Express.

To support implementation of the Water Balance Model Express, the CVRD has developed a ‘rainwater brochure’.

To download a copy of the brochure, click on Act Like a Watershed and Protect Stream Health.

The Goal: Protect Watershed Health

“Our community is deeply committed to watershed management and stewardship. However, often they are missing the specific tools and information to transform that commitment to concrete actions they can take in their own lives. This often means simple changes to how they develop or care for their properties,” states Kate Miller.

Kate Miller_June-2013_v2_120p“Our continued work with Kim Stephens and the Partnership for Water Sustainability and other local governments has allowed us to develop a suite of tools that help our community do their part in long term water stewardship.  The Water Balance Model Express for homeowners is a first step towards a fully enabled GIS platform to play with the effects of small changes to homeowners property on the watershed stream health.”

Manage Rainwater Properly & Protect Stream Health

“The purpose of the rainwater brochure is to inform and educate property owners as to how their properties can act like a watershed – that is, managing rainwater properly by first capturing runoff and then slowly releasing it back into the ground and to streams,” notes Kate Miller.

“What we have done with the Water Balance Model Express is develop a clear tool that our communities will be able to use as they develop or redevelop over time. We want folks to understand that stormwater and stormwater management and infrastructure are just a derivative of rain. Stormwater starts as rain. And if we can deal with it at that level on each site, our infrastructure will last longer and it will cost our communities less in terms of direct infrastructure. Also, there will be potentially less damage.”


To read the complete story about the presentation by Kate Miller, click on WBM Express for Landowners: Implementation Recommendation Approved by Cowichan Valley Regional Board in May 2014