Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Cowichan Region is an incubator for "Water Balance approaches"
Hosting of Water Balance Forums
Over the past decade, the Cowichan Region has experienced a number of floods and droughts. These teachable moments have heightened local awareness of the need to look at rainfall differently and ‘design with nature’ – that is, if communities are to adapt to a changing climate (wetter, warmer winters; longer, drier summers).
The Cowichan Region has been an incubator for approaches that are being replicated elsewhere in the Georgia Basin. The CVRD has hosted three Water Balance Forums – in 2008, 2012 and 2014.
To Learn More:
The Cowichan Valley chapter in Beyond the Guidebook 2015 is 14 pages and is organized in six sections. To download a PDF copy and read the complete story, click on Convening for Action in Cowichan Region.
To download a copy of the entire 158-page Beyond the Guidebook 2015, click on this link: https://waterbucket.ca/viw/files/2015/11/Beyond-Guidebook-2015_final_Nov.pdf
2008 Forum – Manage Rain Where It Falls
The first forum (October 2008) was an outcome of the Living Water Smart Learning Lunch Seminar Series. Willing development proponents and their consultants (planning & design) collaborated with the Water Balance Model team to develop three case study applications at three different scales.
Results, lessons learned and insights were shared at the Forum; and provided the technical foundation for roundtable exploration about how to implement green infrastructure effectively.
The 2008 Forum provided the template for the first Metro Vancouver Water Balance Forum, hosted by the City of Surrey in March 2009.
Quotable Quote: At the conclusion of the 2008 Forum, Rob Conway (Manager, Development Services) stated that: “We are increasingly advising development applicants that they need to manage rainwater runoff where it falls. Until now we have not had an appropriate way to assess their proposed solutions. The Water Balance Model is a great way to do this.”
To Learn More:
The Forum was conducted as a hybrid-training workshop to inform, educate and enable those who wish to apply the Water Balance Model to support a Design with Nature approach to land development. Click on 2008 Cowichan Valley Water Balance Model Forum
2012 Forum – Alignment of Efforts
The second forum (March 2012) was the launch event for the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative. The members of the Cowichan Valley regional team reported out on how each has progressed since 2008 (Figure 34).
The 2012 Forum emphasis was on ‘targets and criteria’, lessons learned, and practices necessary to protect stream health.
Quotable Quote: Nagi Rizk, Municipal Engineer with the Town of Cowichan Lake, delivered the closing remarks: “It is a great honor for me to be part of the Cowichan Valley team. Our goal is to ensure a consistent approach to rainwater management on Vancouver Island, one that mimics the water balance. By working together we can make a difference. I am excited to think about the future and the great progress we can achieve together in the coming years.”
To Learn More:
The Forum was the kick-off for the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative. The five local governments comprising the Cowichan Valley Regional Team reported out on how each has progressed since 2008. Emphasis was on “targets and criteria”, lessons learned, and practices necessary to protect stream health. Click on 2012 Cowichan Valley Water Balance Model Forum
2014 Forum – Introducing the WBM Express
The third forum (February 2014) was the venue for release of the Primer on the Water Balance Methodology for Protecting Watershed Health and unveiling of the Water Balance Model Express.
The WBM Express is an online and interactive tool that quantifies how well properties capture, sink and spread rainwater runoff.
Quotable Quote: At the April 2014 Board Meeting, Ladysmith Mayor Rob Hutchins moved the motion that: “the Water Balance Web Tool and supporting documents be shared with the CVRD and partner municipal planning staff; and further, that planning staff consider integrating the tool into the planning framework to support watershed management objectives at the Official Community Plan level and Development Permit level.”
To Learn More:
To read the complete story posted on the Rainwater Management community-of-interest, click on WBM Express for Landowners: Implementation Recommendation Approved by Cowichan Valley Regional Board in May 2014.