FLASHBACK TO 2007: At Water Balance Model Partners Forum, Environment Canada's Laura Maclean provided perspective on how relationships underpin changes in land development practices

IGP vision_2007

Importance of Relationship-Building

In March 2007, the Inter-Governmental Partnership (IGP) held a Water Balance Model Partners Forum so that Partners could share success stories and lessons learned in implementing green infrastructure. Hosted by the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the Partners Forum also provided a timely opportunity to roll out ‘Beyond the Guidebook’, a runoff-based approach to drainage modeling that connects the dots between source control evaluation and stream health assessment.

Genesis of inter-Governmental Partnership

Ted van der Gulik, IGP Chair,  noted that the Inter-Governmental Partnership draws its strength from local government in British Columbia and is a consortium of local governments and regional, provincial and federal agencies.Ted_120p

“Formed in July 2002, the IGP began as a subgroup of an inter-agency technical committee of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD). The IGP quickly expanded to become a provincial group with municipal representation from four regions of British Columbia: Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan Valley.”

“To sustain the early success of the Water Balance Model, and to advance ‘sustainable drainage’ initiatives across Canada, the Ministry of Agriculture & Lands provided the IGP with $160,000 to expand the capabilities of the Water Balance Model by integrating it with QUALHYMO, a rainfall-runoff model developed by Dr. Charles Rowney in the early 1980s. This means engineers will be able to model the storage and routing of outflows from a subdivision and/or neighbourhood through a detention pond or down a stream channel”, added Ted van der Gulik.


Creating and Leading Change

Laura Maclean (Environment Canada), Co-Chair of the IGP, provided this context when she reflected on the factors that contributed to the early success of the WBM initiative:

Laura-MacLean_120p“The experience of the Greater Vancouver region shows how important it is to have a way to bring the right people together at the right time, and in so doing build a network that can make things happen. Looking back, much of what we have collectively accomplished in recent years in the field of rainwater management can be traced back to relationships that were formed through the GVRD’s Stormwater Interagency Liaison Group (SILG).  In fact, development of the first spreadsheet version of the Water Balance Model was funded by SILG in 2001.”

“We now see a comparable relationship-building process taking shape on Vancouver Island with the formation of the inter-agency Water Balance Coordinating Team co-chaired by Jay Bradley, Ministry of Agriculture & Lands, and Chris Jensen, Ministry of Community Services. Looking ahead, the IGP anticipates that this may be the template for other regional initiatives.”

To Learn More:

To read the complete and comprehensive story about the 2007 Forum, click on Inter-Governmental Partnership Rolls Out ‘Beyond the Guidebook’ at Water Balance Model Forum