Beyond the Guidebook 2015: "Cowichan region is an incubator for 'watershed systems thinking' and application of Water Balance tools," Kim Stephens informed regional elected representatives

Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management

Five Regional Districts representing 75% of BC’s population are partners in the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI).  A program deliverable is Beyond the Guidebook 2015, released in November 2015. This is the third in a series, celebrates work by local government champions, and previews the program for integrating the water balance services provided by soil, water and trees into asset management.

Initial rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2015 included introductory presentations by Kim Stephens (editor and principal author) to regional elected representatives in four regional districts, concluding with the Cowichan Valley Regional District, throughout the month of November 2015. Kim Stephens is the Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

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Watersheds as Infrastructure Assets

“The reason I am here is to provide you with a progress report on inter-regional collaboration. The Cowichan Valley is a partner in a team approach to the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative. In conjunction with the rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2015, I am meeting with all the regional districts,” stated Kim Stephens in his opening remarks to the Cowichan Valley Regional Services Committee, the membership of which comprises the entire Regional Board.

Kim Stephens_IMG_1554_120p“Inter-regional collaboration has resulted in Beyond the Guidebook 2015. There is the Cowichan Valley chapter in it, and this captures the story of the past decade. Why do we call it Beyond the Guidebook? The reason is that it is building on Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released in 2002. We continue to build, continue to add depth, continue to evolve our made in British Columbia approach to watershed health and watershed management.”

“The new paradigm is to think of watersheds as infrastructure assets. I emphasize those words infrastructure assets. As local government, that is your primary function to think about those meat and potato services such as water systems, sewage systems and road systems. Where we are at now is to also think of watersheds as assets. As an asset, this means being managed, being protected. And so, the key thought is that a watershed is an integrated system.”


Water Balance Services

“A key message is that there are three pathways by which rainwater makes its way to a stream. Once you think in terms of those three pathways, the next step is to think of each pathway as an infrastructure asset. And if each pathway is an asset, then each provides a Water Balance service. That ties it back to hydrology. And what are the services? It is water supply, it is drainage. That is a very important thought to come out of my presentation.”

To Learn More:

To download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint storyline for the presentation by Kim Stephens, click on Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Moving Towards “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”.

Beyond-Guidebook-2015_final_cover_bold border_700pThe 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:

Cowichan is an incubator_Nov2015