Archive:

2016

Interview offers insight into 'watershed / stream' approach: Watershed objectives start with the stream and end with the stream, say Jim Dumont & Kim Stephens


James Careless had an assignment to look into stormwater modelling tools (for projecting flow and other patterns); both to determine the most common tools used, and some of the most innovative approaches that are coming into use. His research into BC’s water balance approach led him to switch gears from an examination of modelling tools to learning what ‘establishing watershed objectives for stormwater management’ means in practice.

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YOUTUBE VIDEO: The Well-Tempered City – use nature instead of the brute force of steel and concrete to mitigate flooding and harmful runoff, advocates visionary Jonathan Rose


Drawing from the musical concept of “temperament” as a way to achieve harmony, Jonathan Rose argues that well-tempered cities can be infused with systems that bend the arc of their development toward equality, resilience, adaptability, well-being, and the ever-unfolding harmony between civilization and nature. He advocates using green infrastructure to mitigate damage from destructive storms. “What’s so compelling about natural systems solutions is that they not only save costs but also improve the quality of life,” he contends.

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"Benefits provided by nature are being recognized and incorporated into the delivery of local government services," states CAO David Allen, City of Courtenay


“Unlike the built environment, healthy ecological services are self-sustaining, and don’t require expensive operations and maintenance costs. The ecological services provided by wetlands, aquifers, and community forests support stormwater management, drinking water protection, and climate change mitigation, all key issues for municipalities in BC,” wrote David Allen.

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ARTICLE: "Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management" introduced to BC professional engineers (Oct 2016)


Communities are starting to recognize the value of natural assets and their role in local government service delivery, and include natural assets in their asset management programs. “The BC Framework links local government services, the infrastructure that supports service delivery, and watershed health,” states Brian Bedford. “It is a powerful tool for local governments to focus community planning and infrastructure decision-making.”

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Hydrology Rules! – protect the integrity of water balance pathways


In the 1990s, Bill Derry (photo left), the founding chair of the Washington State stormwater managers committee, and Kim Stephens led a workshop program for B.C. municipalities and provided cross-border sharing of stormwater research. They created what became known as the “fish pictures.” These graphics translated science and and set the stage for British Columbia to move towards sustainable watershed asset management.

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YOUTUBE VIDEO: Green Infrastructure Takes Stormwater Management ‘Back to the Future’ – Andy Reese, engineer and writer


Andrew Reese sees stormwater management going “back to the future” faster than a 1982 DeLorean with a “flux capacitor.” Even if you don’t get his clever reference to the Steven Spielberg movie, it suffices to say: Big changes are coming out when it comes to regulating pollutants in stormwater. And, it turns out, mimicking nature with green infrastructure can provide a reliable means of meeting new standards.

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DEBUNKING VOODOO HYDROLOGY: “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


Andy Reese coined the term Voodoo Hydrology in 2006 to describe the misapplication of science that characterizes stormwater management practice. “Perhaps, if we make enough estimates of enough factors, the errors in estimation, high and low, will average out to the right answer. This is where voodoo really comes in handy. The good news is that, as Dr. Tom Debo says, ‘Who can prove you are wrong?’ Well, the Omniscient Being can, but is probably busy elsewhere,” says Andy Reese.

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Leading Change in Australia: "Why best practice is destroying our waterways," explains Rod Wiese


“This study explores the genuine desire to protect and enhance urban waterways through whole of water cycle measures having wide ranging benefits to community health and climate change resilience,” wrote Rod Wiese. “It is evident that ‘best practice’ falls dramatic short of effective waterway protection. Clearly, we need to manage volume and restore water balance pathways where rain falls.”

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NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER: Australia in need of fresh approaches toward urban drainage and urban design


City of Melbourne Councillor Aaron Wood nominated water sensitive urban design as a means by which to manage flood and other risks as a critical part of the city’s push to become more sustainable. Melbourne and other Australian cities had in the past been excessively reliant upon large scale engineering solutions to flood risk management, taking an approach that required the construction of large drainage systems beneath city streets, said Wood.

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PRESS RELEASE: Partnership for Water Sustainability publishes guidance document on how to achieve "Sustainable Watershed Systems" (Sept 2016)


“Local governments are starting to recognize that watersheds are natural assets that have value, ecosystem services have a role in municipal service delivery, and so they need to be integrated into their asset management programs. Watershed systems are infrastructure assets. They need to be managed and protected as such,” states Kim Stephens.

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