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FLASHBACK TO 2011: Watch Philadelphia's "Green City, Clean Waters" Video – "Changing the world, or even one small piece of, requires a lot of trial and error," stated Howard Neukrug, the visionary behind Philadelphia's bold plan to peel back the concrete and asphalt and replace it with green infrastructure


Philadelphia has developed a US$1.6 bllion plan to transform the city over the next 20 years. The plan reimagines the city as an oasis of rain gardens, green roofs, permeable pavements, thousands of additional trees, and more. According to Howard Neukrug, the Philadelphia Water Department’s Director of the Office of Watersheds, “We are taking that (old, grey infrastructure) barrier down, and are stopping the water from ever hitting the system.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2010: "Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation is providing financial support for the Rainwater Harvesting Module to add to the capabilities of the Water Balance Model," stated Cate Soroczan, CMHC Senior Researcher


“The early success of the Water Balance Model in British Columbia generated interest in expanding the focus of the tool to reach a national audience. This culminated in the decision by CMHC in 2004 to fund development of the national portal,” stated Cate Soroczan. “The rainwater harvesting and storage component with variable sizing and demand will allow the user to optimize both the demand for potable water and the size of the physical storage.”

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KEYNOTE AT REGIONAL WORKSHOP ORGANIZED BY NORTH SHORE STREAMKEEPERS (March 2017): "Redevelopment of neighbourhoods creates opportunities to ‘get it right’ the second time and restore watershed health," stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia


“Our region is hemmed in by the mountains, the sea, the US border and the Agricultural Land Reserve. This means population growth will be accommodated through redevelopment, and this involves redevelopment of watersheds. This is what gives us the second chance to get it right,” stated Kim Stephens. “As the housing stock turns over, there is a window of opportunity. We get one window every 50 years. Will local government take action in time?”

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FLASHBACK TO 2010: "Publication of the Technical Manual for the Water Balance Model allows users to follow the numbers," stated Richard Boase, Co-Chair of the Inter-Governmental Partnership, at the time of its release


“The community of Water Balance Model users had been asking for a technical manual that documents the intelligent WBM interface that translates user information into data used by the QUALHYMO engine. The lens for manual development was the engineering user who wants to follow the numbers from the WBM interface keystroke to the QUALHYMO file. In a nutshell, it is all about data mapping,” stated Richard Boase in 2010.

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FLASHBACK TO 2009: “Our goal in constantly improving the Water Balance Model is to serve an ever widening range of user sophistication and problem-solving capabilities," stated Ted van der Gulik when he announced the plan for implementing a $500,000 program over 3 years


“Among the many enhancements that will be implemented over the next three years are capabilities not currently available in commercial software,” stated Ted van der Gulik. “The rapid growth and success of the present second generation model has made it clear that the time has come for the next bold leap forward in the evolution of our web-based tool.”

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KEYNOTE AT ‘RISING TO THE CHALLENGE’ CONFERENCE IN AUSTRALIA (August 2016): “Two keynote presentations in Australia over a 15-year period have allowed me to view our evolving British Columbia situation in a comparative context,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC


“The Rising to the Challenge conference was a milestone event. Because Australian practitioners are at a fork in their journey, they are looking to learn from BC experience. They are curious about our “whole systems” approach to water balance management,” observed Kim Stephens. “BC is moving from asset management to ‘sustainable service delivery’, with a focus on protecting the ‘water balance services’ that a watershed system provides.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2008: “We are using the slogan ‘The New Business As Usual’ to convey the message that practices that until now have been viewed as the exception must become the norm," stated Dale Wall, Deputy Minister, when he announced that Vancouver Island would be the demonstration region for green infrastructure capacity building


“Vancouver Island is the pilot for the Learning Lunch Seminar Series, a continuing education program for local government practitioners. This program will build capacity to apply ‘the new Water Balance Model’, and it will help make the transition to The New Business As Usual,” announced Dale Wall. “The Cowichan Valley Regional District and the City of Courtenay are the host local governments for series in the Spring and Fall, respectively.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2007: “Funding provided by the Canadian Water Network enabled us to bring together a pan-Canadian team of academics and practitioners”, stated Dr. Hans Schreier when introducing the vision for a National Knowledge Translation Strategy led by the University of BC


“The Vancouver get-together is the first of three cross-Canada working sessions, and will be followed by an event in Calgary later in 2007, with the third event to be held in Toronto in early 2008”, stated Dr. Hans Schreier. Three universities are involved in the project: UBC, Guelph and Waterloo. Three local government organizations are also involved in order to provide a practitioner perspective for each of three participating provinces.

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FLASHBACK TO 2006: Cochrane Innovations in Urban Development Conference introduced Alberta audience to the Water Balance Model


The conference resulted from concerns about protecting escarpments, riparian areas, groundwater supplies and the Bow River watersheds during development. According to Bert van Duin, the pre-conference workshop provided an opportunity for the British Columbia team to inform Albertans about the benefits of the water balance way-of-thinking. “We received excellent feed-back on the format and contents of the conference, in general, and the workshop in particular,” he said.

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FLASHBACK TO 2005: "The Watershed and Stormwater Management Webconference was precedent-setting in laying the groundwork for future inter-provincial collaboration for a water balance approach," observed Cate Soroczan, CMHC Senior Researcher, and driving force behind the forum


“The event was an information exchange amongst agencies from across the country,” stated Cate Soroczan. “I would like to see this as the first step toward national and international collaboration on watershed and stormwater management issues. Clearly there are opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences in source protection, BMPs, land use planning approaches, etc.”

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