Archive:

2016

Moving Towards Healthy Watersheds: Do you wonder how to visually depict "Watershed Health" for a public audience?


“For the Bowker Creek watershed, we realized that the community, especially the youth, had no memory of Bowker Creek in a natural state because almost 70% of the creek was in pipes,” recalls Jody Watson. “When developing the Bowker Blueprint, we used stylized graphics to represent an open and above-ground creek and to depict many of the design with nature concepts that the Blueprint contemplates for the watershed. We did this to help the community visualize what is possible.”

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BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2015: To download a copy of "Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management"……


Five Regional Districts representing 75% of BC’s population are partners in the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI). A program deliverable is the Beyond the Guidebook 2015. It is a progress report on how local governments are ‘learning by doing’ to implement affordable and effective science-based practices. It is the third in a series that builds on Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia.

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BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK 2015: Moving Towards "Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management"


“Beyond the Guidebook 2015 introduces Dr. Daniel Pauly’s Shifting Baseline Syndrome to explain why communities unwittingly accept incremental and cumulative environmental degradation. It then adapts this thinking to focus on how communities can turn the clock back to replicate desired conditions. This outcome would be achievable through an approach that is being branded as Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management,” explains Kim Stephens.

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Beyond the Guidebook 2015: “This is a true gift to everyone, individually and writ large,” says Erik Karlsen


“This is superlative work. It records so much in visual and conversational ways that everyone who reads it will see how changes are informed and guided towards collaborative action to achieve real results. You have connected the dots enabling those who were part of the stories to see how they have contributed in so many meaningful ways for themselves and their communities of place and practice,” stated Erik Karlsen.

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Beyond the Guidebook 2015: The Shifting Baseline Syndrome is….


Shifting Baseline Syndrome refers to a gradual change in the accepted norm for ecological conditions. “Every generation will use the images that they got at the beginning of their conscious lives as a standard and will extrapolate forward. And the difference then, they perceive as a loss. But they don’t perceive what happened before as a loss. You can have a succession of changes. At the end you want to sustain miserable leftovers. And the question is, why do people accept this?,” stated Daniel Pauly.

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Why 'Beyond the Guidebook 2015'?


In BC, a ‘learn-by-doing’ process is opening minds and building confidence that communities can re-set the ecological baseline and can replicate a desired watershed condition. According to Kim Stephens: “The Guidebook vision is that community development activities and further alteration of the Built Environment will result in cumulative benefits, not impacts. In 2002, the Guidebook identified a path forward for local governments.”

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Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Look at a Watershed as a Whole System.…


The pioneer work of Richard Horner and Chris May provided a reason and a starting point for revisiting urban hydrology in BC.“So many studies manipulate a single variable out of context with the whole and its many additional variables,” states Horner, an adjunct professor at the University of Washington. “We, on the other hand, investigated whole systems in place, tying together measures of the landscape, stream habitat and aquatic life.”

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Voodoo Hydrology Annual Webinar Series (January 2016): “The rise of Green Infrastructure and Resilience Planning opens the door for newer Voodoo like never before,” observes Andy Reese, water resources engineer and author


“All uses of rainfall instead of flow data make the ‘Big Assumption’,” states Andy Reese. “This is a problem, because there are an infinite number of combinations of all the variables within the watershed we have to estimate to try to arrive at that one peak flow. So we must make simplifying assumptions about everything that affects stormwater volume and that moderates its flow rate.”

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Looking at Rainfall Differently: "Stormwater management is at a crossroad," wrote Jim Dumont in a magazine article published in 2006


“The Stormwater Guidebook for British Columbia, published in 2002, offers direction and guidance on how to do stormwater management planning, design principles, and objectives,” wrote Jim Dumont. “We must be driven to investigate the problems and issues that stimulated preparation of the Guidebook. In doing so, we will be able to advance the science and engineering practice in a manner intended by the Guidebook.”

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