British Columbia Partnership announces that rebuilt “Water Balance Model” is now LIVE!
Integrate Performance Targets at Three Scales to Protect Stream Health
The Water Balance Model for British Columbia is a scenario comparison tool. In December 2011, the Water Balance Model Partnership completed a year-long program to rebuild both the website front-end and the user interface that connects to the QUALHYMO calculation engine.
Launched in 2003, it can help local governments create a future watershed vision by informing their decisions about the impacts, or not, of their ‘water footprint’ on watershed health. The Water Balance Model enables the user to establish performance targets for rainfall capture and runoff control at the site, neighbourhood and watershed scales.
To learn about the context for the tool, also read the set of six stories about “Integrated Rainwater Management in the 21st Century” that follow immediately below this one: Beyond MAR; Overcoming Fear and Doubt; Team Effort; Create a Vision; What Drives a Successful Model; and Focus on Solutions.
About the New Platform
“Rebuilt on a Linux platform, the Water Balance Model (WBM) is now quicker and cleaner to use. Also, it incorporates new modules that provide expanded capabilities. Early responses from users exceed expectations. Feedback from those involved in land development and infrastructure servicing confirms that the rebuild is timely. It is filling an on-the-ground need,” reports Richard Boase, Co-Chair, WBM Partnership.
“The rebuilt Water Balance Model is tailored to multiple levels of users who have a wide range of technical backgrounds, from hydrology experts to stewardship groups. To provide users with more flexibility, the model now has launch buttons at three scales of investigation: SITE, NEIGHBOURHOOD and WATERSHED.”
“New modules encompass stream erosion, rainwater harvesting and climate change. More modules are coming in 2012, including the Drainage Infrastructure Screening Tool and a tree canopy module. These will open doors to an array of educational opportunities.”
“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,” concludes Richard Boase.
TO LEARN MORE:
To access the WBM website and learn about the model capabilities, click on http://www.waterbalance.ca/.
To read a background article posted on the WaterBucket website, click on Partnership announces that rebuilt “Water Balance Model for British Columbia” is now LIVE!.
To download an explanatory document about the Stream Health Methodology, click on Beyond the Guidebook: Methodology for Establishing Science-Based Performance Targets.
January 25, 2012