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Look At Rainfall Differently

FLASHBACK TO 2011: From Stormwater to Rainwater – POLIS Project and University of Victoria Environmental Law Clinic released "Peeling Back the Pavement"


The inspiration for “Peeling Back the Pavement” was a report titled Re-Inventing Rainwater Management: A Strategy to Protect Health and Restore Resources in the Capital Region. “Environmental and stream health problems in the Capital Region are the legacy of an obsolete 19th century stormwater management system—a system that fails to respect natural systems and water cycles,” states Calvin Sandborn.

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LEADING CHANGE: British Columbia's Water Balance Methodology – Coming to Terms with "Voodoo Hydrology"! (Forester University Webinar on May 2, 2017)


The Water Balance Methodology has its genesis in the whole-system approach that Dr. Ray Linsley (1917-1990) championed more than 60 years ago. As a professor at Stanford University, he pioneered the development of continuous hydrologic simulation as the foundation for water balance management. In the 1960s, Linsley championed the paradigm-shift from empirical relationships to computer simulation of hydrologic processes.

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FLASHBACK TO 2011: "Summary Report for ISMP Course Correction Series" released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia to focus local governments on watershed health outcomes


“Local governments bear the entire financial burden to stabilize watercourses impacted by increased runoff volume after land is developed. The challenge is to think about what infrastructure asset management entails BEFORE an asset is proposed and incorporated in a municipality’s capital plan,” states Ray Fung.

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United States EPA funds creation of Center for Infrastructure Modeling & Management: “British Columbia experience in whole-system, water balance based approaches in the Pacific Northwest adds a critical combination of tools and understanding to the water resources toolbox,” states Dr. Charles Rowney, Director of Operations


“It is the combination of diverse needs, ideas and solutions that will make the vision for the Center work,” stated Dr. Rowney. “That is one of the reasons we’re so pleased with the agreement just reached with the British Columbia Partnership for Water Sustainability. We have many needs in common, and many ideas to share. The leadership shown by the Partnership has led to a body of knowledge from which others can learn.”

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SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: “We have a drainage standard-of-practice that is generally accepted as not achieving what is best for the environment,” stated Jim Dumont at the Comox Valley Eco-Asset Symposium (March 2017)


“So what is the nub of the issue? In standard practice, only surface runoff is considered, and this has led to degraded streams. If communities are to truly benefit from use of nature’s assets to provide vital community infrastructure services, then two issues must first be recognized as being impediment to changes in practice,” stated Jim Dumont. “Issue #1 is widespread lack of understanding of the relationship between flow-duration and stream (watershed) health. Issue #2 is widespread application of a standard of practice that has little connection to real-world hydrology.”

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LOOK AT DRAINAGE DIFFERENTLY: "We have a standard-of-practice that is generally accepted as not achieving what is best for the environment," stated Jim Dumont at the 2017 Comox Valley Eco-Asset Symposium


“So what is the nub of the issue? In standard practice, only surface runoff is considered, and this has led to degraded streams. The other pathways by which rainfall reaches streams are ignored,” explained Jim Dumont. “If communities are to truly benefit from use of nature’s assets to provide vital community infrastructure services, then we must change the engineering standard-of practice to one that is state-of-the-art and reflects real-world hydrology.”

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FEATURE ISSUE OF SITELINES MAGAZINE (Oct 2016): Green+Blue Infrastructure: Global Issues, Local Initiatives (and Some Rebranding!)


A Blue-Green City aims to recreate a naturally oriented water cycle “When I started, I believed the articles would focus on the technical and environmental aspects of green infrastructure as it relates to water quantity and quality,” wrote Julie Schooling, co-editor, October 2016 issue. “And yet every author has emphasized how intertwined the social and economic dimensions of our ‘watershed assets’ are with their ecological benefits.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2008: Water Balance Model Case study applications at three scales were showcased at capacity-building forum hosted by Cowichan Valley Regional District (Oct 2008)


“The case study applications built a common understanding of how to achieve runoff-based performance targets for rainwater management and green infrastructure,” stated Rob Conway. “What is unique about our approach is the educational context. Willing owners/developers and their planning/design consultants volunteered to develop and share the case studies. It truly is a collaborative effort.”

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New stormwater utility bills flood Victoria homes, businesses


“Every single cent that is flowing into the stormwater utility bill is taken out of property taxes. It’s fair, it’s rational, and it’s very forward-looking,” Mayor Lisa Helps said. “We are working together to create a liveable and vibrant City, and part of that is building more resilience in our communities. Only by boosting the performance of our infrastructure, will we be able to adequately plan for future risk from a changing climate.”

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