Watershed Planning and Rainwater Management: Creating the Future in the City of Coquitlam


Note to Reader:

The Coquitlam story is important because the City has been evolving an effective and adaptable approach to development and implementation of Integrated Watershed Management Plans (IWMP) over the past decade. By telling the stories of those who are spearheading changes in practice, this helps other local governments eliminate the “disconnect between information and implementation” that may otherwise hold them back.

Coquitlam Watershed Planning and Rainwater Management Article (Jan 2014)_cover

“Develop approaches which balance idealism with pragmatism,” says Peter Steblin, Coquitlam City Manager

“We have arrived at a good place, but the journey has not been easy. In fact, we had to work our way through some pretty contentious periods. We persevered, we adapted and we progressed,” reflects Peter Steblin, City Manager.

Peter-Steblin_Coquitlam CAO_120p“We want other local governments to know about the good, the bad and the ugly of the Coquitlam story so that they may learn from our experience and know that it is okay to stumble.”

“A decade ago, the City’s approach to watershed-based community planning and rainwater management was quite idealistic. It was also prescriptive and impractical. As a result, the City could not implement what was proposed. This resulted in significant complaints from the development community which, in turn, culminated in Council-Staff conflict.”

“With the advantage of hindsight, we now have an appreciation of the extent to which this conflict has defined the journey. There was a dark period yet that is what makes the Coquitlam story authentic and helped us to develop approaches which balance idealism with pragmatism.”

To Learn More:

The Coquitlam story is the second in a series of Watershed Blueprint Case Profiles published by the Partnership for Water Sustainability. To download a copy from the waterbucket.ca website, click on Watershed Planning & Rainwater Management: Creating the Future in the City of Coquitlam.



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