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Vancouver Island Water

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Living Water Smart: Summary Report on 2008 Cowichan Valley Water Balance Model Forum

The Province and local government are collaborating to develop a suite of user-friendly tools and approaches for assessment purposes and to provide consistency when reviewing development applications. “The Water Balance Model is a great way to do this. It provides local government reviewers with a measurable way of determining what is a good solution for a particular site,” states Rob Conway.

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2008 Cowichan Water Balance Forum: “The success of the Forum is demonstrated by a number of results,” wrote Jay Bradley, Chair, Vancouver Island Coordinating Team


“In the larger context, the forum is indicative of how far along our community of Vancouver Island practitioners has come,” concludes Jay Bradley. “We are fostering a growing understanding of the fact that what goes on at a site, in terms of how rainwater is treated, is linked not only to stream and watershed health, but also to our social well-being and aesthetics of our communities.”

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Cowichan Water Balance Model Forum introduces "Living Water Smart" application to development community


“The Forum was an outcome of the Cowichan Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, also a provincial pilot,” explained Kate Miller. “We described the Forum as a hybrid-training workshop because the day was built around case study applications of the Water Balance Model. These provided the technical foundation for roundtable sharing, exploration and cross-fertilization of ideas on how to implement green infrastructure effectively.”

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Cowichan Water Balance Model Forum features case study applications at three scales: watershed, neighbourhood and site


“Too often technical people jump prematurely into the details, make technical analyses unnecessarily complex, and solve the wrong problem. Thus, an over-arching message is: pause, step back and define the problem first,” observes Kim Stephens. “The Water Balance Model helps us solve the right problem. The desired outcome is to create liveable communities and protect stream health.”

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Cowichan Valley Forum is provincial pilot for building developer and local government capacity to apply the Water Balance Model (2008)


“The provincial and regional water regulations are changing, and by 2012 provincial water laws will substantially change how development occurs. The purpose of the workshop is to review progressive rainwater/stormwater management techniques and how they can be incorporated into the planning and development process,” wrote Jack Peake, Chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional Board.

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Nature Knows No Boundaries in the Comox Valley: Learning Lunch Seminar Series provides springboard for regional team approach

High-level endorsement for a ‘regional team approach’ was provided when Mayors and Chief Administrative Officers representing the four Comox Valley local governments dropped in to show their support for the Learning Lunch Seminar Series. “We are thrilled by the work of CAVI. It is a tremendous initiative. The cooperation that is taking place around a consistent approach to development is very critical to all of Vancouver Island,” stated Sandy Gray.

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Summary Report on 2008 Cowichan Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series

“Vancouver Island is the demonstration region for building a regional team approach so that there will be a common understanding and consistent messaging regarding on-the-ground expectations for rainwater management and green infrastructure. The Cowichan Valley Regional District hosted the first Learning Lunch Series during the period June-July 2008,” stated Kim Stephens.

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2008 Cowichan Valley Learning Lunch Series: List of Water Bucket Stories

“Throughout the series, our theme and our challenge has been to ask participants what will everyone do better or differently to achieve a shared vision for the Cowichan Valley. This is why it was so important to get everyone thinking in terms of the What – So What – Now What mind-map. The goal is to implement the New Business As Usual,” stated David Hewetson.

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Pilot program for “Learning Lunch Seminar Series” launched in the Cowichan Valley: Seminar #1 held on June 6, 2008

“A message that we are hearing from local government is the increased expectation for rainwater management. For that reason, we have brought together this inter-governmental group to develop a policy framework for our region. We are hoping to foster a dialogue that will result in adoption of a set of tools for implementing green infrastructure that is based on a rainwater management way-of-thinking,” stated Kate Miller.

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Cowichan Valley Learning Lunch Seminar #2 – focus on legal and policy strategies


The Develop with Care guidance document is intended to assist people who are involved in planning, implementing, reviewing and/or approving land developments in British Columbia’s urban and rural areas. ts primary purpose is to provide province-wide guidelines for the maintenance of environmental values during the development of urban and rural lands,” stated Marlene Caskey.

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