Apr 2017

Sustainable Watershed Systems in British Columbia: IREI program goal is to embed ‘state-of-the-art’ hydrology in engineering ‘standard practice’

“Use of the Water Balance family of methods and tools will help local governments bring state-of-the-art hydrology into engineering standard practice,” stated Ted van der Gulik. “Our objective is to make it easy for local governments to establish, require and implement Water Balance performance targets. The methods and tools exist. It is a matter of enhancing them to support EAP (Ecological Accounting Protocol) plus expand their use. For example, the Online Watershed Assessment Tool is a means to an end: restore watershed hydrology and re-set the ecological baseline. To influence standards of practice, however, we must first open minds. The Online Watershed Assessment Tool will help us open the minds of technically advanced modellers.”

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WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT: Protecting Urban Watersheds and Stream Health (on May 2 at 11am PDT / 2pm EDT)

The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia is partnering with Forester University to share, via webinar, the innovation and experience that has resulted in the whole-system, water balance approach that is the hydrologic modelling foundation for ‘Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management’. “Collaboration with Forester University means the Partnership will have created an online teaching resource that will keep on giving,” states Richard Boase. “As a teaching tool, the webcast is intended to help these professionals ask the right questions. We would like them to focus on how they and others can apply science-based understanding, properly and effectively.”

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Cross-border collaboration would enhance water resources research and practice in North America

Under an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Center for Infrastructure Modeling and Management ( has been created to provide sustainable research, development and outreach for water infrastructure modeling, initially focusing on two foremost modelling tools – known around the world by the acronyms EPA SWMM and EPANET. Dr. Charles Rowney is the Director of Operations. “It is the combination of diverse needs, ideas and solutions that will make the vision for the Center work,” stated Dr. Rowney. “That is one of the reasons we’re so pleased with the agreement just reached with the British Columbia Partnership for Water Sustainability. We have many needs in common, and many ideas to share.”

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FREE WEBINAR: Canadian Attitudes About Water – 10 Years of Research Tells a Story of Contradictions (April 11, 2017)

Join Bob Sandford and friends, on April 11th, for a deep dive into RBC’s 10th annual Canadian Water Attitudes Study—an in-depth examination of how Canadians think, feel, and act in regard to our fresh water. The story that has emerged from this research is both complex and enlightening. On one hand, it confirms how much Canadians value our water and how integral our lakes and rivers are to our national identity; on the other, it reveals a troubling carelessness with a resource Canadians still consider unlimited in its abundance. “We don’t pay the real costs of the water we use—neither the costs necessary to transport and treat it, nor the environmental costs of wasting it. As a result, we’ve come to believe that water is cheap. There’s no incentive to use less of it,” Sandford concludes.

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Governments of Canada and British Columbia fund Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative

Collaborating under the umbrella of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI), the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) is one of five regional districts sharing and learning from each other about how to implement ‘Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management’. In March 2017 , the Federal and Provincial governments announced program funding for Sustainable Watershed Systems. The CVRD acted on behalf of the partners to receive the capacity-building grant from the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF). “Local government collaboration under the umbrella of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative (IREI) is producing tools and resources that will help communities integrate watershed systems thinking into land use and infrastructure decisions,” stated Jon Lefebure.

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