Apr 2016

“Slow, Sink and Spread Rainwater Runoff” – online video tutorial guides homeowners in use of Water Balance Express

“The Water Balance Express tool is an example of how science can be translated into a meaningful form to help inform non-scientists on how to contribute to positive change. The video tutorial is helpful in demonstrating how the addition of the ‘Lego blocks’ can improve the stream health score,” states Julie Wilson. “The tool allows people to think about water in a different way, by conceptualizing how it behaves as it moves on and around their property. They can see how the built environment (roofs, driveway) and natural features (soil type, depth, vegetation) change the movement or storage of that water. There is immediate gratification in seeing the Stream Health gauge move into the ‘green’ zone, indicating you are below your runoff target and reducing the theoretical impact on the stream. It is fun to use!”

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Environment Deputy Minister lauds work of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

Released in November 2015 by the Partnership for Water Sustainability,
‘Beyond the Guidebook 2015: Moving Towards Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management’ is the third in a series that builds on Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia. “This is a milestone accomplishment, and was made possible with provincial funding assistance,” wrote Wes Shoemaker, Deputy Environment Minister. “The ministry acknowledges that the Partnership is also adding depth to the Guidebook through the Beyond the Guidebook Report Series and the Beyond the Guidebook Primer Series. The work of the Partnership is supporting the Province’s Living Water Smart vision and Green Communities initiative.”

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British Columbia’s new Water Sustainability Act is already influencing Water Management

Western North America may be crossing an invisible threshold into a different hydro-meteorological regime. Last year, the public chose the drought as British Columbia’s “Top Story of 2015”. On April 21, EMA of BC is hosting a session about the 2015 Drought. According to Stephanie Voysey, “The three speakers will present on different aspects of water scarcity and connect the dots to the Water Sustainability Act. Oliver Brandes from the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria will describe his vision of what a world-class regulatory system can look like in B.C. Steve Conrad from Pacific Water Research Centre at Simon Fraser University will elaborate on climate change science. Kim Stephens of the Partnership for Water Sustainability will explain what needs to be done to restore the water balance in urban areas.”

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Climate Change Adaptation is now given the same priority as Climate Change Mitigation

In September 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This follows a universal approach and will apply to developing, emerging and developed countries alike. Transforming Our World is constructed around five themes and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Goal 6 pertains specifically to water: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. Goal 6 encompasses water-related ecosystems. “The vital importance of water and water-related trade-offs with climate policy has largely been ignored to date. At first glance, water plays no role in the Paris agreement. Upon closer examination, however, we see that climate policy will have far-reaching implications for the availability of water and vice versa,” wrote Ines Dombrowsky.

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