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Look At Rainfall Differently

Leading Change in Metro Vancouver: A focus on Green Infrastructure Services embeds ‘green culture’, spurs innovation, in the Township of Langley


“The Township of Langley is a community of 113,000 of which 75% of the land area is within the Agricultural Land Reserve. This presents a delicate balance between the preservation of agricultural land and the continued pressure for urban development,” stated Councillor Charlie Fox. “It is within this context that the staff and Council champion the theme of harmony and integration as we endeavour to focus on ‘green’ initiatives and programs.”

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Leadership & Innovation in Victoria: "Creation of the Stormwater Utility and Rainwater Rewards Program is a significant milestone in a journey that leads to a water-resilient future," wrote Kim Stephens in an Op-Ed for Victoria Times-Colonist


“It took generations to short-circuit the water balance in Victoria. Similarly, it would take generations of landowners incorporating rain gardens in redeveloped properties in order to mimic the function of natural systems, and restore the water balance while meeting their drainage needs,” observed Kim Stephens. “The phrase ‘cathedral thinking’ aptly describes the long-term commitment that would be required to achieve the City’s design with nature vision for sustainable rainwater management.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2011: Partnership for Water Sustainability and City of Surrey co-hosted pilot 2-day “Course on the ISMP Course Correction”


“The genesis for ISMPs (Integrated Stormwater Management Plans) was a desire to integrate the community, engineering, planning and environmental perspectives. In 2001, Metro Vancouver’s member municipalities recognized the benefits of this approach and made a legal commitment to the Province to have ISMPs in place by 2014 for their watersheds,” reported Robert Hicks.

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YOUTUBE VIDEO: Flashback to a Watershed Moment — “Beyond the Guidebook Initiative” was subject of inter-ministerial announcement at 2008 Gaining Ground Summit

“We are using the slogan The New Business As Usual to convey the message that, for change to really occur, practices that until now have been viewed as the exception must become the norm moving forward. We have to build regulatory models and develop models of practice and expertise,” stated Dale Wall, Deputy Minister.

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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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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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FLASHBACK TO 2005: Handbook for Water-Sensitive Urban Design in Australia, edited by John Argue


WSUD is a term used in Australia to describe sustainable water cycle management in the urban landscape. To assist practitioners in designing rainwater source control measures, A Handbook for Australian Practice was published in 2005. Edited by Professor John Argue, the Handbook is a compilation of proven approaches that are aimed at solving everyday problems of small-scale rainwater management.

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Solution for stream stability and restoration is found in the duration of flow in the stream: “The objectives of the Water Balance Methodology start with the stream and end with the stream, providing a true measure of success in achieving environmental protection,” emphasized Jim Dumont in an interview conducted by James Careless


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. What makes BC’s stormwater approach different than other jurisdictions; particularly the U.S., he wondered?

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LEADING CHANGE: Water Balance Pathway to a Water-Resilient Future (Sitelines Magazine, June 2016)


“In this special issue on a Water Balance approach to community development we explain that the natural pathways by which rainfall reaches streams are nature’s ‘infrastructure assets’. They provide Water Balance Services that blend with services provided by engineered assets (infrastructure). We start out at a high level, present tools developed by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, and conclude with a watershed focus,” wrote Kim Stephens.

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