Ecosystem Understanding Series

Think and Act like a Watershed (Part 4): Water Balance Pathway to a Water-Resilient Future

“The Water Balance Methodology now synthesizes fundamentals of hydrology, flood protection, aquatic ecology, geomorphology and hydrogeology,” stated Jim Dumont. “The flow-duration relationship is the cornerstone of the Water Balance Methodology. By maintaining flow-duration, stream erosion is not increased during wet weather and ‘environmental flows’ are sustained during dry weather.”

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Think and Act Like a Watershed (Part 3): A journey to a water-resilient future starts with the first rain garden

“We chose to work with road runoff because roads are the common denominator across all urban land uses,” states Jennifer McIntyre. “We don’t need to know everything about how toxic runoff is, or how it causes toxicity, to be able to do something about the problem. To date, the experimental results are pretty impressive – for example, 100% fish dead in polluted runoff compared with 100% fish survival in the same water after it had been filtered.”

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Think and Act like a Watershed (Part 2): Get the hydrology right and residential water quality typically follows along

“Unless and until land development practices mimic the natural water balance, communities cannot expect to restore the biological communities within streams. Simply put, hydrology hits first and hardest – one could pour an equivalent volume of distilled water into a stream, and the consequences for stream health would be the same as if it was urban runoff,” stated Richard Horner.

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Think and Act like a Watershed (Part 1): 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. “The research by Julia Berry provides rainwater and adaptation planners with an overview of EbA from principles to practice in British Columbia. The evaluation framework can be used to assess and score the extent to which provincial, regional or municipal documents incorporate EbA principles,” concludes Kim Stephens.

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