Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative

Inter-Regional Collaboration: From Proof-of-Approach in 2012 to Full-Scale Implementation in 2013

“Communities have been struggling with the question of how best to move forward on the Watershed Health issue, particularly in light of a changing climate and financial drivers to provide higher levels-of-service at reduced levels-of-cost. Inter-regional collaboration will help each region understand what the other regions are doing, what works and what does not. The mantra for inter-regional collaboration is framed in these terms: Through sharing and learning, ensure that where we are going in indeed the right way,” stated Jody Watson.

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Inter-Regional Education Initiative: A Road Map for Integrated Watershed Management

“If the goal is protection of aquatic resources, a water quality driven program would not achieve the goal. Two key messages flowed from the research: salmon would already be gone by the time pollutant loading is a factor in salmon survivability; if we get the hydrology right, water quality typically takes care of itself. The stream health findings by Horner and May gave us a springboard to ‘reinvent urban hydrology’. This early research established that 10% impervious cover is a threshold level at which fisheries biodiversity and abundance are initially and significantly impacted,” stated Peter Law.

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IREI: Vision for inter-regional collaboration introduced to Metro Vancouver Regional Planning Advisory Committee in July 2012

“The presentation informed RPAC members regarding the responsibility of individual municipality’s responsibility to mimic the water balance to protect stream health. We learned about inter-regional collaboration opportunities regarding aligned workloads, shared tools and experiences, and leveraged resources. RPAC members supported the initiative,” summarized Susan Haid.

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Regulatory Framework for Protecting Watershed Health in the Metro Vancouver Region

“In 2012, an inter-governmental working group with staff from municipalities, Metro Vancouver, and Ministry of Environment was tasked with developing a weight-of-evidence performance measurement approach that would be available to all member municipalities The Adaptive Management Framework is meant to be a ‘living document’, adaptively managed itself, and updated as required to reflect advances in stormwater/rainwater management, monitoring techniques, and to build on the accumulated experience of stakeholders in the Integrated Stormwater Management Plan process,” stated Andjela Knezevic-Stevanovic.

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Inter-Regional Collaboration for Watershed Sustainability: Kim Stephens connects the dots for Metro Vancouver’s Utilities Committee

In October 2013, Kim Stephens was invited by Metro Vancouver’s Utilities Committee to provide the members with a progress update on implementation on inter-regional collaboration as it pertains to watershed-based planning.  “A core group of local government champions representing five geographic regions affirmed that it will function as an inter-regional leadership team; and has framed the ultimate outcome of an inter-regional series of working sessions in these terms: ‘Through sharing and learning, ensure that where we are going is indeed the right way’,” stated Kim Stephens.

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Towards Watershed Sustainability: City of Surrey experience is informing the ’Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative’

In April 2013, a Partnership presentation to Surrey Council provided the opportunity to reflect on the historical and provincial significance of successive transformational events hosted by the City over the previous decade. “Once we know what we want our watersheds and neighbourhoods to look like, the next step is to decide what the tools are that will get us there. All of us – regulators, developers or designers – need to understand and care about the goal if we are to create the future that we all want,” states Vincent Lalonde.

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