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Look At Rainfall Differently

Restoring the Water Balance: What happens on the land matters!


“In 2002, the Guidebook transformed conventional wisdom with the premise that land development and watershed protection can be compatible. This breakthrough resulted from application of science-based understanding to mitigate seasonal changes in the Water Balance. A decade and a half later, Beyond the Guidebook 2015 is similarly transformational with its premise that protecting Water Balance Services saves communities money and restores aquatic habitats!”, wrote Peter Law.

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LEADING CHANGE: Tufts University hosted conference on "Restoring Water Cycles to Reverse Global Warming" (Oct 2015, Massachusetts)


Even with elevated greenhouse gases, water can cool the biosphere and address destructive feedback loops in the climate system. “Water and soils are deeply connected, and many water problems are a result of land desiccated and bare due to human mismanagement. The good news is that we can turn droughts and floods around by restoring soils to health and bringing back ecosystem biodiversity. And it can happen remarkably quickly – nature celebrates life!”, states Adam D. Sacks.

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What Happens on the Land Matters: Partnership for Water Sustainability’s “Feast AND Famine Workshop” showcased solutions and tools for building water-resilient communities (Dec 2015)


“We face a number of cumulative and compounding human effects that at present make sustainability a moving target. We need to stabilize these effects if we don’t want adaptation and resilience to constantly be beyond reach,” said Bob Sandford. “The problem is that that we have begun to undermine the planetary conditions upon which we depend for the stability of environment and economy that are the foundation of our prosperity.”

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Think and Act like a Watershed: Harness Nature to Adapt to a Changing Climate


Ecosystem-based Adaptation, EbA, is a combination of two other significant concepts: EBM (ecosystem-based management) and climate change adaptation. “Research demonstrates how changing climate effects such as increases in the frequency and volume of rainfall in the winter or drier hotter, summers are significant influencing factors which should be considered along with land use, engineered drainage systems and the environment when developing Integrated Stormwater Management Plans,” stated Melony Burton.

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Water Balance Methodology: "Watershed objectives start with the stream and end with the stream," says Jim Dumont, the Partnership’s Engineering Applications Authority


“The Water Balance Methodology is based upon watershed and stream function and operation. Understanding how precipitation makes its way to the stream allow us to assess how a watershed and stream operates and to analytically demonstrate impacts of development and the effectiveness of any mitigation works,” states Jim Dumont. “The Methodology provides solutions with verifiable results and where mitigation systems optimized for cost and function.”

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United States EPA: Modelling study demonstrates that "green infrastructure = flood resilience"


“Research has demonstrated the water quality and channel protection benefits of GI; however, the effect of reducing the severity of flood events has not been investigated at a watershed level,” said Dr. Dan Medina. “The EPA posed this question – would the combined effect of thousands of rain gardens designed to capture relatively small volumes of runoff lead to a significant reduction in flood risk? The answer to this question is YES.”

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Guide to Water-Wise Land Development in the Comox Valley


“It does not matter how far away you live or build from a creek, lake, bog or the ocean – you are in a watershed. The Comox Valley consists of 26 watersheds. Each of us has a role to play to ensure these watersheds remain healthy for generations to come,” stated Judith Walker, Village of Cumberland planner. “The four local governments in the Comox Valley are striving for consistent application of outcome-oriented actions.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2012: "Partnership for Water Sustainability is doing what government views as good work," stated Cairine MacDonald, former Deputy Environment Minister, when commenting on British Columbia's 'Beyond the Guidebook Initiative'


“The Ministry celebrates the Partnership’s latest success in bringing together four regional districts through an Inter-Regional Education Initiative,” stated Cairine MacDonald. “The Ministry looks forward to aligning efforts with the Partnership to further advance implementation of the ‘Beyond the Guidebook’ initiative. Collaboration across regional districts is the pathway to a consistent approach to water sustainability and green infrastructure policies and practices.”

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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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