Category:

Contextual Resources

Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Program for the Regional District of Nanaimo: 10 Year Action Plan Implementation Review identified key accomplishments in Decade #1 and opportunities for Decade #2 (Sept 2018)


A 3rd party review determined that “the work of the program to date has been nothing less than remarkable and highly successful”. That is attributed in large part to the vital partnerships with other agencies, industry and not-for-profit sector, the sustainable funding model in place for the program and the unique and integrated nature of the program. “Looking forward, the Action Plan update in 2019 will serve to build on the foundational work completed and initiated to-date, and chart the course for the next decade of innovative and collaborative watershed protection activities in the region,” states Julie Pisani.

Read Article

CROSS-BORDER COLLABORATION WITH CENTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE MODELING AND MANAGEMENT: “British Columbia experience in whole-system, water balance based approaches in the Pacific Northwest adds a critical combination of tools and understanding to the water resources toolbox,” stated Dr. Charles Rowney, Director of Operations


“It is the combination of diverse needs, ideas and solutions that will make the vision for the Center work,” stated Dr. Rowney. “That is one of the reasons we’re so pleased with the agreement just reached with the British Columbia Partnership for Water Sustainability. We have many needs in common, and many ideas to share. The leadership shown by the Partnership has led to a body of knowledge from which others can learn. BC’s Water Balance Model is an outstanding initiative, and I think it is clearly unique in the way it has delivered technology on-line dating back to 2003.”

Read Article

BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK PRIMER SERIES: “Released in 2002, the Stormwater Planning Guidebook was the catalyst that resulted in British Columbia being recognized internationally as a leader in implementing a natural systems approach to rainwater management,” stated Kim Stephens, principal author of the Guidebook


“Since 2007, the Beyond the Guidebook initiative has been building on the technical foundation created a decade ago when the Province and Environment Canada jointly released Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia,” stated Kim Stephens. “Beyond the Guidebook provides local governments and practitioners with tools, resources and understanding to integrate the Site with the Watershed and the Stream.”

Read Article

Surface Water Quality Trend Analysis in the Regional District of Nanaimo: “The research confirmed the importance of intact riparian corridors and undisturbed forested lands to stream health in the Nanaimo region,” stated the report authors


“Started in 2011, the long-term goal of the Community Watershed Monitoring Network is to identify trends in water quality to assist in regional land use planning and restoration decisions. The sampling is done by trained volunteers from 13 stewardship groups,” stated Julie Pisani. “For the years 2011-2017, statistical modelling of water quality in the summer and fall sampling periods indicated that land use types associated with human disturbance were important predictors of dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity and specific conductivity.”

Read Article

WHAT HAPPENS ON THE LAND DOES MATTER! – hosted by Forester University (May 2017), the Water Balance Webinar from British Columbia introduced a North American audience to the methodology that underpins vision for “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management” – the Whole-System, Water Balance approach simplifies things down to an understanding of the consequences of changes in duration of flow!


The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia partnered with Forester University to share, via webcast, the BC innovation and experience that has resulted in the whole-system, water balance approach. “We are delighted to have Kim Stephens and Jim Dumont share British Columbia’s cutting-edge continuous simulation model, known as the Water Balance Methodology,” stated Emily Shine. “At Forester University, we aim to position ourselves at the forefront of innovation in rainwater management and green infrastructure, and that is why we are calling Water Balance Methodology a webinar that cannot be missed.”

Read Article

RESTORE CREEKSHED HYDROLOGY, PREVENT STREAM EROSION, ENSURE FISH SURVIVAL: “By sharing the story of Shelly Creek, we want readers to recognize that erosion is a common issue impacting salmon and trout habitats in small streams, draining into the Salish Sea,” stated Peter Law, President of the Mid Vancouver Habitat Enhancement Society


“The challenge is to move from stop-gap remediation of in-stream problems to long-term restoration of a properly functioning watershed,” stated Peter Law. “Through their involvement in MVIHES, community stewardship volunteers are demonstrating what it means to embrace ‘shared responsibility’ and take the initiative to lead by example. A paramount goal is to ‘get it right’ in the stream channel,” stated Peter Law. “The survival of Coho salmon in the Englishman River depends on a healthy Shelly Creek.”

Read Article

Green, Heal and Restore the Earth: Ian McHarg’s “Design with Nature” vision influences implementation of green infrastructure strategies in British Columbia


In his 1969 book, Design With Nature, Ian McHarg pioneered the concept of environmental planning. “So, I commend Design with Nature to your sympathetic consideration. The title contains a gradient of meaning. It can be interpreted as simply descriptive of a planning method, deferential to places and peoples, it can invoke the Grand Design, it can emphasize the conjunction with and, finally it can be read as an imperative. DESIGN WITH NATURE!,” wrote Ian McHarg.

Read Article

RECONNECT HYDROLOGY & ECOLOGY TO MOVE TOWARDS RESTORATIVE DEVELOPMENT: An understanding of Daniel Pauly’s “Shifting Baseline Syndrome” is a foundation piece for turning the clock back to replicate desired creekshed conditions


A shifting baseline (also known as sliding baseline) is a type of change to how a system is measured, usually against previous reference points (baselines), which themselves may represent significant changes from an even earlier state of the system. “Every generation will use the images that they got at the beginning of their conscious lives as a standard and will extrapolate forward. And the difference then, they perceive as a loss. But they don’t perceive what happened before as a loss,” stated Daniel Pauly. “And the question is, why do people accept this? Well because they don’t know that it was different.”

Read Article

BRITISH COLUMBIA IS AT A TIPPING POINT: The time has come to transition drainage engineering practice from “voodoo hydrology” to a water balance approach branded as “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”


Drainage engineering practice for servicing of land still relies on very simple formulae and methodologies to calculate peak rates of flow. Such analyses are empirical, not science-based. Andy Reese coined the term Voodoo Hydrology in 2006 to describe drainage engineering and stormwater management practice. “We have for years relied upon common design methodologies and trusted their results. But, should we? It is an inexact science at best. We rely on judgment and guesswork,” states Andy Reese.

Read Article

CHARTING A NEW COURSE TO A SUSTAINABLE WATER FUTURE: “The Regional District of Nanaimo’s long-term innovative regional program to protect water resources recognizes watersheds as the best management unit and enables collaborative initiatives, including community participation in water monitoring and water conservation,” wrote Julie Pisani (Innovation Magazine, 2018)


“Science and data collection are key focuses of the program,” reports Julie Pisani. “The DWWP program’s success is based on staying on course with reliable ongoing funding, collaborative fact-finding and project implementation, and recognition-in-action that watersheds don’t conform to jurisdictional boundaries. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to adapt to a changing climate. The program is well positioned, with a model of innovative collaboration, to tackle the issues and chart a new course to a sustainable water future.”

Read Article