May 2016

“Ecosystem-based Adaptation” (EbA) – influence land use & infrastructure practices in urban watersheds

The core concept of the research project, EbA, is a combination of two other significant concepts: EBM (ecosystem-based management) and climate change adaptation. “Adapting to climate change will require a combination of approaches, from man-made infrastructure to holistic approaches. British Columbia’s Stormwater Planning Guidebook promotes a holistic approach to rainwater management, which views rain as a resource and aims to mimic the natural hydrological cycle by allowing rainwater to return directly to the ecosystem,” notes Julia Berry. “Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) is a novel approach to planning and adaptation.”

Read Article

Licensing Groundwater Use under British Columbia’s new Water Sustainability Act

Passed by the British Columbia Legislature in Spring 2014, the Water Sustainability Act and new regulations were brought into effect on February 29, 2016. The Act is a game-changer because it recognizes the connection between land use actions and the implications for the both the water cycle and watershed sustainability. “In British Columbia, surface and groundwater are now managed under the same regulatory system,” states Greg Tyson, Water Policy Advisor with the BC Ministry of Environment. “Effective February 29, 2016 all non-domestic users of groundwater are required to obtain a licence to withdraw and use water from wells. This means that about 20,000 existing non-domestic well owners, including those in the agriculture sector, must now apply for a licence.”

Read Article

Cathedral Thinking = Soaring Aspiration + Grounded Structure + Time

In 2005, Eric Bonham championed a vision for building a communications network to address issues facing the water and wastewater industry on Vancouver Island. In May 2006, the embryo “Meeting of the Minds” initiative morphed into CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island. The CAVI vision is economy, ecology and settlement in balance. The future of Vancouver Island calls for Cathedral like thinking to create a vision that is inspirational, pragmatic, and based on a strong foundation. Individuals, communities and local governments must commit to a future that ensures both water security and the sustainability of our watersheds. The VI2065 initiative will create a legacy to support settlement change on Vancouver Island in balance with ecology and economy,” stated Eric Bonham.

Read Article

Is there a connection between Pacific Ocean warming and BC’s changing climate?

“Changes in Pacific Ocean conditions have major impacts on precipitation and temperature in the province,” states Faron Anslow. His work focuses on the assimilation of historical climate records from six provincial ministries, BC Hydro and Rio Tinto/Alcan into a homogeneous climate dataset. His sphere of interest encompasses the effects of the Pacific Ocean on the climate of British Columbia. “During a normal winter, the North Pacific Ocean loses heat. The weather from 2013 through 2015 prevented the cooling from happening as fast. As a result, the ocean became warmer than normal. Much of this was caused by the high pressure system and the relatively calm conditions that came with it.”

Read Article

NEW REPORT: Green infrastructure significantly reduces flood damages

In December 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report titled Flood Loss Avoidance Benefits of Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management. The premise of the study for EPA is that GI (Green Infrastructure) reduces the volume of runoff that reaches streams, and less runoff leads to smaller peak flows, lower water surface elevations, smaller floodplains and therefore fewer flood losses. “GI is necessary for water quality and stream health, and enhances community resiliency and environmental protection. In addition to these benefits, GI reduces government expenditures and protects existing investments in flood control. However, to be effective, GI must be implemented at the watershed level and communities must realize that they will all benefit from each other’s investments,” explains Dan Medina.

Read Article