LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “I had an epiphany. What if we capture the rainwater and put it in a cavity under the green roof, and then feed the green roof?” stated Harvy Takhar, Utilities Engineer with the City of Delta

Note to Reader:

Waterbucket eNews celebrates the leadership of individuals and organizations who are guided by the Living Water Smart vision. The edition published on April 11, 2023 featured Harvy Takhar, an enthusiastic young professional who is the Utilities Engineer with the City of Delta. Harvy is following his passion in unexpected ways because it was happenstance that led him down the green roof pathway to international recognition.

Looking at green roofs through a water balance lens: “How much better does a ‘blue-green connected’ roof perform?”

“When I first met Harvy Takhar in late 2021, my takeaway impression was his enthusiasm. This guy is going places, I thought. At the time, he was working full-time for Delta while completing his master’s degree on green roofs in his spare time. Clearly, he is highly motivated,” stated Kim Stephens, Waterbucket eNews Editor and Partnership Executive Director.

“What I like and appreciate about Harvy is the context he provides for his green roof research. “Buildings are designed with little connection to the actual site and their surroundings, and vice versa, urban environments are environmentally disconnected from buildings,” he says.”

“The connected blue-green roof research,” Harvy continues, “aims to create a platform to train students and investigate about how to support the design of more comfortable and healthier outdoor environments, as well as how to design stronger environmental connections between buildings and their surroundings.”

“Harvy approached his research with a water balance lens. That is what caught my attention. Twenty years ago we had quantified the potential rainwater capture benefits of green roofs in Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia. What I learned from Harvy, however, is that neither the science nor practice of green roofs in BC had progressed since then.”

“The good news is that Harvy Takhar came along and re-energized an aspect of green roof research that had lain dormant for two decades. The takeaway is that it takes a champion, someone with passion and inspiration, to open minds to the possibilities of what could be. Well done, Harvy Takar!”

“Given how our climate is changing – with longer, drier summers being BC’s new reality – communities must adapt to a changing seasonal water balance. Harvy Takhar’s connected blue-green roof (BGR) may well prove to be an important piece in a long-term strategy for water balance management.”

“To quote Harvy, BGR systems are a novel nature-based solution for climate change adaptation and mitigation that provides multiple benefits to the urban environment.”


To read the complete story, download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Looking at green roofs through a water balance lens.