WATERSHED-BASED RAINWATER MANAGEMENT IN RURAL AREAS: “The regional district does have responsibility to ensure proper stormwater and drainage management when land alteration occurs as a result of development that was enabled by the regional district,” wrote Debra Oakman, former CAO, Comox Valley Regional District, in her 2011 report to the Regional Board which laid the groundwork for an Electoral Areas Rainwater Management Strategy
Regional districts are a unique feature of the British Columbia local government system which date back to the early 1960’s. In the absence of municipalities, regional districts are the “local” government for rural areas. While municipalities have extensive and very specific regulatory tools to achieve watershed-based goals and objectives, regional districts do not. Regional districts do have enabling powers, however, to establish a drainage function within a service area boundary. Residents in electoral areas affected by drainage problems look to regional districts to take the lead with a watershed-based approach to rainwater management.