“Local governments across B.C. have a strong foundation in planning, and this component of the Gas Tax Fund provides the opportunity to advance sustainability as it pertains to environmental, cultural, social and economic dimensions,” said Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
“Embedded in the Water Balance Model is a Stream Health Methodology. It addresses the interaction of runoff (volume and duration) with the physical aspects considered important to the aquatic environment. We can now correlate green infrastructure effectiveness with protection of stream health. The Partnership vision is that local governments will utilize the Water Balance Model to establish watershed-specific targets; and then translate those targets into action at the site scale,” states Richard Boase
Rainwater Management in the 21st Century: "We have moved beyond MAR in British Columbia," says Kim Stephens
“Our original rationale for introducing MAR in 2002 was to provide consistency with the Land Development Guidelines. When they were released in 1992, the regulatory focus was on managing storms with a 2-year period. Statistically speaking, this is approximately equivalent to the MAR. Because the concept of the Rainfall Spectrum was new territory for drainage engineers, the MAR established a point of departure that was familiar to them so that they would readily make the transition to a new way of thinking – and that is, how to manage all 180 ‘rainfall-days’ in a year, not just one or two extreme storm events.”
“By early 2001, we were literally hanging on by our fingernails. At the time, it was Patrick Condon of UBC who said: ‘If we fail, it will be a generation before anyone will even have the opportunity to try again; so we must not fail’. Well, we did not fail. And because we succeeded with East Clayton and UniverCity, those hard-fought successes have ultimately made it possible to change land development practices to capture rain where it falls.”
“The ‘Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYMO’ is the shared legacy of a team of senior practitioners. The tool is the outcome of a building block process that has depended on the commitment of a number of organizations, and especially the efforts of the champions within those organizations, to produce a series of deliverables that successively advanced the practice of rainwater management within British Columbia,” states Ted van der Gulik.
Rainwater Management in the 21st Century: Water Balance Model can help create a vision of the future watershed
“A key message is that the WBM is a unique ‘scenario comparison tool’. Because there is no restriction on the scenarios, this allows users to create an understanding of the past and present and compare it to many possible futures. This capability allows communities to assess how watersheds can be altered, for good or bad. Then they can create a vision of where they would like to go, and how the watersheds can meet their vision,” states Jim Dumont.
Rainwater Management in the 21st Century: "Focus Drainage Modelling on Solutions", says Dr. Charles Rowney
“What we have learned is that we really need to take a look at this from the point of view of the solution. As we have been working on the WBM, we only go as complicated as is necessary. We strive to make the tool as simple as possible, but no simpler. It has to be consistent, cheap and workable with limited data. It has to fit the local context; and it has to evolve because we are not at the end point today. The WBM will continue to grow and adapt over time,” concluded Dr. Charles Rowney.
Rainwater Management in the 21st Century: "What Drives a Successful Model?" is explained by Dr. Charles Rowney
“If we take what we as a community know is required, the data needs to get to the end-point within the WBM are just minimal. They are no less than is needed; but they are no more than is needed. When you think about what is happening with this Water Balance tool in terms of consistency, and in terms of what you might call a consensus standard and agreed approach, it is formulating the problem in a way that is technically defendable…and that is workable,” stated Dr. Charles Rowney.
“The guide offers a primer on 10 different types of water and watershed planning processes that are available in BC to manage water supply and demand; protect drinking water quality; and better integrate water, land and watersheds. The guide provides an overview of the water-related impacts of a changing climate in BC and it offers suggestions on how these impacts can be addressed through planning. The guide also shares experiences, lessons learned and information resources from water leaders, champions and practitioners from across British Columbia,” states Steve Litke.
“While we are very good at measuring settlement, mainly in financial terms, we have not been that effective in quantifying the ecological impacts. This disconnect in measuring what matters has historically resulted in an unbalanced approach when making development and infrastructure decisions,” states Tim Pringle.