May 2017

The Green Infrastructure Guide: Issues, Implementation Strategies and Success Stories

Published in May 2007, The Green Infrastructure Guide is an invaluable reference document for those who embrace a ‘design with nature’ philosophy. The Guide led directly to development of the Shared Responsibility Matrix which embodies a way-of-thinking that is timeless. “The Guide’s purpose is to encourage successful designs, by reporting on what the legal and policy strategies are, what some of the implementation hurdles (and solutions) have been, and how they have been effective in achieving sustainability goals,” wrote Susan Rutherford. “All of us have an impact on the land, on the water, and on the way things look. Each party in the process has a responsibility. There are solutions to be found if all parties in the development process simply talk to each other about how they could all work together more effectively, using law reform or other process changes as tools.”

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Can Money Really Grow On Trees?

A report, released by infrastructure firm AECOM in April 2017, compiled urban data analytics across three different suburbs in Sydney, Australia, and found that for every 10 per cent increase in the canopy coverage within the street corridor, the value of properties increased by an average of $50,000 Australian. The value a city derives from its urban trees is difficult to measure due to the disconnect between the beneficiaries and the direct costs borne by the councils, utilities and road authorities who manage them. “Our report found that without sufficient ‘green infrastructure’ Sydney would be hotter, more polluted and could be worth $50 billion less,” stated James Rosenwax, report co-author.

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What the “Whole-System, Water Balance Approach” means for Lowland Drainage in BC

The ARDA program (Agriculture Rural Development Agreement) of the 1960’s and early 1970’s was a Federal and Provincial capital projects program that funded rural agriculture development. This program was followed by ARDSA (Agriculture Rural Development Subsidiary Agreement) in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. “The province established a set of criteria which determined the level of drainage improvements that were deemed to be acceptable in terms of cost-benefit, and the ability to pay. These have come to be known as ARDSA criteria,” stated Ted van der Gulik. “The ARDSA criteria were used to determine the capacity of drainage ditches and pump stations for all ARDA and ARDSA projects that were approved for funding.

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Collaboration to Action — Leadership and Investment in Canada's Blue Economy

The 8th annual Canadian Water Summit is in Toronto on June 22. As Canadians celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary since Confederation, delegates will explore opportunities to collaborate on water technology and infrastructure finance, “blue economy” growth and climate change resilience through progressive policies, smart business and bold investment leadership. Dan Krause will be speaking at the Canadian Water Summit as part of the panel session titled ‘From Zero to Hero: The Journey of Sustainable Resource Management’. “Conserving our freshwaters can only happen with the support of businesses and corporations. It is their leadership that can shift market forces from loss and overuse, to conservation and sustainability,” stated Dan Krause.

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Inter-regional collaboration: Vancouver Island regional districts share successes and challenges in protecting water resources

In April, staff from the three mid-Vancouver Island regional districts met in Duncan. Their primary purpose in meeting was to inform and educate the Cowichan Valley Regional Board about a range of approaches to watershed management functions and watershed protection plans on Vancouver Island. “The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) and Comox Valley presentations to our Regional Board were of high quality and relevant. Board members were fully engaged. A common thread was collaboration and bringing all parties to the table. Learning from each other is motivating and powerful,” stated Brian Carruthers. “Those regions provide a range of experience that we can learn from: the RDN has a true region-wide service function; and Comox Valley has a watershed-based service.”

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WEBINAR OPPORTUNITY / "Whole-System, Water Balance Approach" / are you curious? / then register today for the webcast!

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’. “We will explore how application of the Water Balance Methodology provides an effective way to assess potential impacts resulting from urban development, by allowing a modeller to accurately mimic streamflow and duration in urban infrastructure design,” states Jim Dumont. Over the next 3 years, the May 2nd webinar will be readily accessible as a webcast. The net effect will be to expand the reach of the Partnership to inform and educate land and water practitioners about the benefits of a whole-system, water balance approach.

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