Sustainable Rainwater Management: ‘Water Balance Model Express for Landowners’ ready for prime time on November 29 in Victoria!




Note to Reader:

Rollout of the Water Balance Model Express for Landowners will commence on November 29 in Victoria when the Capital Regional District will host a training workshop that features the District of North Vancouver’s Hasting Creek case study experience. To download the Agenda, click here. To register, visit the Civic Info website: Registration


Integrate the Site with the Watershed and the Stream

Integrate the Site with the Watershed and the Stream. Protect stream health. In British Columbia, the Ministry of Environment’s renewed emphasis on rainwater management is a driver for local governments to implement the Water Balance Model Express for Landowners. This new web-based tool represents a bold leap forward in the way it strips the challenge of setting and implementing performance targets to its essence.


Express Integrates Three Performance Targets

“The patterns of development and growth in BC stress fresh and coastal waters in ways that, in sum total, are particular to this region.  It is crucial that we look clearly at this picture, understand what is needed, and develop technologies that fit those circumstances,”explains Dr. Charles Rowney, the internationally recognized Scientific Authority for BC’s Water Balance Model Partnership.


“The Water Balance Model Express for Landowners is an example of this kind of thinking.  It solves the vast majority of common problems faced by a homeowner exploring ways to implement rainfall capture in accordance with a watershed plan, without requiring use of tools designed for more complex situations.”

“The Express integrates three pre-set performance targets using a methodology developed by Jim Dumont, Engineering Applications Authority for the Express. These are watershed-specific and link rainfall to stream health. This frees users to focus solely on selecting rainfall capture measures that will achieve their specific pre-set targets for storage, infiltration and stream baseflow sustenance. The underlying technical approach is precedent-setting.”

“The interface is also innovative.  It uses modern web technologies to guide the landowner through a simple and visually oriented set of sizing options, with outcomes displayed in real time.  It is colourful, effective, fast and no more complex than the dash board of a typical car, stripping the problem down to a few sliders and gauges.  We think both homeowners and professionals will find this interactive tool to be an efficient and enjoyable way to rapidly test alternative rainwater control types and sizes,” concludes Dr. Rowney.


Influence Choices to Protect Stream Health

“An increasing building footprint on properties is short-circuiting the WATER BALANCE. This creates risks for local government, both financial and environmental. If we want to make change, then we have to find a way to influence landowners to look at their properties differently,” stated Richard Boase (District of North Vancouver), Co-Chair of the Water Balance Model Partnership.

“HOW the members of the Water Balance Model Partnership plan on doing this is through the Water Balance Model Express for Landowners. As part of the approval process, this tool will allow a landowner to look at what is on the property now; and quantify the kind of footprint change they intend to make. Then they will be able to examine the water impacts associated with that change in footprint; and determine how they can make different decisions about how to manage that change.” 

“In the coming months, six local government partners will be demonstration applications for Express rollout, commencing with the District of North Vancouver,” concluded Richard Boase.


To Learn More:

To read an article posted in June 2012, click on ‘Water Balance Model Express for Landowners’ previewed at workshop hosted by Regional District of Nanaimo. The article is complete with links to video clips posted on YouTube. In the clips, Richard Boase explains the Express.