"In the City of Surrey, an absorbent landscape that slows, sinks and spreads rainwater is becoming a requirement for new development," states David Hislop, Upland Drainage Engineer


Note to Reader:

Water defines communities. On December 9 in Victoria, the Partnership for Water Sustainability and the Irrigation Industry Association are co-hosting “Convening for Action on Vancouver Island: How Managing Water Now…..Will Shape the Future”. The workshop comprises four cascading modules, and is an opportunity to share and learn about VI2065: The Vision for Vancouver Island in 50 Years. Water will be the governing factor when envisioning a sustainable future on Vancouver Island. In Module B, the spotlight is on water in the urban environment.  

Soil Depth & IN-OUT_Aug-2014_changing climate

WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT (Dec 9): Water and the Urban Environment – Adapting to a Changing Climate

“The Managing Water Workshop is designed to spark a conversation and ultimately inform a shared vision for Vancouver Island. The workshop will showcase tools and solutions that  are designed to help communities move towards an equilibrium condition where settlement, economy and ecology are in Derek-Richmond_Oct-2011_120pbalance,” reports Derek Richmond, Chair of CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island.

“The theme for Module B is adapting to a changing climate in the urban environment. To get to the big picture, start with the smallest pieces. Thus, a 3-person team will elaborate on how tools and practices applied at the site scale enable local governments to protect and ultimately restore watershed health. Understanding how water flows through soil is the common thread for the three presentations.”

Role of an Absorbent Landscape in Managing Rainwater 

“Soil depth is a primary water management tool for use by local government to adapt to a changing climate. A well-designed landscape with healthy topsoil helps communities through both wet and dry times. Soil is a sponge. It holds and slowly releases rainwater. This can limit runoff during rainy weather; and reduce irrigation water need during dry weather,” states David Hislop, Upland David Hislop_DSC_0514_trimmed_120pDrainage Engineer with the City of Surrey.

“In the City of Surrey, an absorbent landscape that slows, sinks and spreads rainwater is becoming a requirement for new development. We specify a minimum soil depth of 300mm. The City’s implementation experience informed development of the Topsoil Bylaws Toolkit, funded by the Province and released in 2012. This is a guide for B.C. local governments who want to conserve water and protect the quality of stream habitat.”

Educating Homeowners and Improving Stream Health

“An increasing building footprint on properties is short-circuiting the WATER BALANCE. This creates risks for local government, both financial and environmental. If we want to make change, then we have to influence landowners to look at their properties differently,” says Richard Boase, Environmental Protection Officer with the District of North Vancouver, and Co-Chair of the Water Richard-Boase_Jan-2013_v3_120pBalance Model inter-governmental program.

“Addition of the web-based Water Balance Model Express for Landowners to the local government toolkit mean front counter staff can show landowners HOW to reduce their ‘water footprint’ through the use of soil and landscape features. The Express allows the user to integrate and balance three watershed-based performance targets established by a local government to ‘mimic the Water Balance’. The interface is no more complex than the dash board of a car.”

Summer Water Use – Irrigation Planning, Implementation and Scheduling

David Pfortmuellar_120pA complete picture of the benefits of an absorbent landscape requires an understanding  of summertime water use for irrigation, the need for good planning and some of the tools that can be used to help schedule irrigation properly,” adds David Pfortmueller.

To Learn More:

For a preview of what you can expect on December 9, click on Convening for Action on Vancouver Island: How Managing Water Now…..Will Shape the Future to download a copy of the Program Overview.

The workshop is complete with a mini-tradeshow. TO REGISTER via the Irrigation Industry Association website, click on https://www.irrigationbc.com/irrigation/courses/view_scheduled/149.

Members of the Partnership for Water Sustainability are eligible for a discount rate. To receive the coupon code, please email your request via outreach@waterbucket.ca. Then add the coupon code during registration checkout.


Leave a Reply