AT THE BOWKER CREEK FORUM: ‘We looked at all the players and all the different tools. To organize everything, we took an approach which we called the Shared Responsibility Matrix,” stated Susan Rutherford at the launch of the Topsoil Primer Set (February 2010)
Note to Reader:
An absorbent topsoil layer has emerged as a fundamental building block for achieving water sustainability outcomes through implementation of green infrastructure practices.
The Bowker Creek Forum was the venue for the provincial launch of the Topsoil Primer Set. Susan Rutherford presented the Law & Policy Primer; and then Rémi Dubé presented the Technical Primer. Susan and Rémi represented the Green Infrastructure Partnership.
The ‘Topsoil Primer Set’ synthesized the pioneering experience of the City of Courtenay, City of Surrey and District of North Vancouver. This was the foundation piece for the Topsoil Bylaws Toolkit, a joint effort of the Partnership for Water Sustainability and the Okanagan Basin Water Board, and released in 2012.
Topsoil Primer Set
The Topsoil Primer Set is an important first step in developing a suite of practical ‘green’ tools that will help advance a new culture for watershed protection and landscape restoration.
To Learn More:
Download the Topsoil Primer Set:
- A Law and Policy Primer for Municipal Staff and Designers; and
- Technical Primer for Municipal Staff and Designers.
Then, download a copy of the PowerPoint presentation titled Just How Do You Obtain a Performing Topsoil Layer for Rainwater Infiltration – Law & Policy Primer (0.4MB PDF), by Susan Rutherford, Staff Counsel with West Coast Environmental Law.
As well, download a copy of the PowerPoint presentation titled Just How Do You Obtain a Performing Topsoil Layer for Rainwater Infiltration – Technical Primer (3.4MB PDF), by Rémi Dubé, Drainage Planning Manager at the City of Surrey.
“In March 2009, the focus of the Surrey Water Balance Model Forum was on the implementation challenges of green infrastructure, and how you overcome them. We looked at law, policy, process and technical tools; and how people have most successfully brought those tools together to implement the objectives of green infrastructure,” stated Susan Rutherford.
“In doing our debriefing, we had this idea of building on the experience of three municipalities. We chose topsoil. We looked at all the players and all the different tools. To organize everything, we took an approach which we called the Shared Responsibility Matrix.
“The matrix is intended to get you thinking about the role that you can play; and get you talking to others about to determine the most appropriate tool and how you will all work together.
Watch Susan Rutherford on YouTube
“A key element in terms of implementing a green infrastructure project, in particular a performing topsoil layer, is the regulations. The real backdrop for local government is achieving compliance without having to enforce it. The key to that is education and outreach. The most important thing to do when launching a program is to ensure that people understand what you are trying to do.”
“The topsoil primer is one iteratiion of a green infrastructure objective. There is a whole world of things you might do for low impact development, or water-centric development. Understanding that what you are doing is in a larger context is important. Often the policy context will reflect senior government and regional objectives.”