A decade later, British Columbia’s Stormwater Planning Guidebook stands the test of time
In 2002, looking at rainfall differently initiated a paradigm-shift to protect stream health
Released in June 2002, Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia was a catalyst for action to ‘design with nature’ to create liveable communities and protect stream health. Also, it set the stage for defining water sustainability as an outcome of green infrastructure policies and practices.
“The Guidebook is standing the test of time because the foundation material is science-based,” states Peter Law, Chair of the Guidebook Steering Committee (2000-2002). Formerly with the Ministry of Environment, Peter Law is a founding Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.
“A decade ago, looking at rainfall differently led the Province to develop the Guidebook and initiate a paradigm-shift in the way rainwater is managed. The Guidebook formalized the Water Balance Methodology in order to establish performance targets. The Guidebook did not go on the shelf. Ten years later, we are still here, and we are still moving the initiative forward. We are providing tools and training to protect stream health.”
“A key goal is to improve the technical basis for local government decisions. Hence, the Partnership is working with local government planning and engineering staff to help them “use” the tools, rather than wait for “expert” reports. We strive to make these materials easy to use in answering some basic land use questions concerning how water influences the site and watershed.”
“At the core of the Guidebook is a ‘learn by doing’ philosophy. The Water Balance Methodology is dynamic; and it is being enhanced over time to incorporate fresh insights resulting from science-based understanding,” concludes Peter Law.
June 26, 2012