Monday, January 31, 2011

Water Sustainability Action Plan releases "Summary Report for ISMP Course Correction Series"



Green Infrastructure: Linkage to Infrastructure Asset Management is a Way to Re-Focus ISMPs on Outcomes and 'Achieve More With Less'

A decade ago, local governments were venturing into uncharted waters when undertaking ISMPs, the acronym for Integrated Stormwater Management Plans. Now, the collective experience of the City of Surrey, the Bowker Creek Initiative (in the Capital Region) and other pioneer leaders such as the District of North Vancouver serves as a guide for an approach that connects with the community and gets the watershed vision right.

During the period November-December 2010, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia released the 5-part ISMP Course Correction Series. To help those about to embark upon an ISMP process, the Action Plan has today released a Summary Report for the series.

“Through a watershed-based plan, local governments can strategically connect the dots between land use planning, development, watershed health AND infrastructure asset management. And by ‘designing with nature’, local governments could make a very strong case for a ‘sustainable drainage system’, at a lower life-cycle cost,” states Ray Fung, Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership.

To learn more, and download a copy of the Summary Report, click on Water Sustainability Action Plan releases "Summary Report for ISMP Course Correction Series".

News Release #2011-04
February 1, 2011

The Most Efficient Infrastructure is 'Design with Nature' - Start With Water Sustainability



President's Perspective:
"Vancouver Island communities enjoy many natural amenities that are in the resources bank and producing returns. Lakes, streams, sea coast, forests, topography, flora and fauna comprise   Island ecology which endows human settlements and the quality of the natural environment," writes Tim Pringle, President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability, in the first issue of his President's Perspective. 

"These assets enable communities to draw on nature for infrastructure services needed for the built environment.  By designing with nature, as it were, communities lessen and sometimes avoid the expense of engineering and building various kinds of infrastructure."  

To read the complete article, click on President's Perspective: 'Design with Nature' Starts With Water Sustainability

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Don’t Build a Liability: Connect the Dots between Watershed-Based Planning and Infrastructure Management


 
Move to a Levels-of-Service Approach to Sustainable Drainage Infrastructure 

The term Sustainable Service Delivery describes a life-cycle way of thinking about infrastructure needs and how to pay for those needs over time. The link between infrastructure asset management and the protection of a community’s natural resources is emerging as an important piece in Sustainable Drainage Infrastructure.

“Asset management usually commences after something is built. The challenge is to think about what infrastructure asset management entails BEFORE the asset is built. This paradigm-shift starts with land use planning and determining what services can be provided sustainably, both fiscally and ecologically. Don’t build a liability!”, states Stan Westby, Chair of the Local Government Asset Management Working Group and Chief Administrative Officer with the City of Powell River.

The current issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter has an article that connects the dots between watershed-based planning and infrastructure management. To learn more, click on Integrated Rainwater Management: Move to a Levels-of-Service Approach to Sustainable Drainage Infrastructure.

News Release #2011-03
January 25, 2011

Water Sustainability Act would help lighten British Columbia's 'Water Footprint'




Province releases Policy Proposal on British Columbia’s new Water Sustainability Act

The Ministry of Environment has released its Policy Proposal on British Columbia’s new Water Sustainability Act and has initiated a second round of public engagement.  The Policy Proposal summarizes the overall framework of a modernized Water Act.

"The proposed Water Sustainability Act recognizes the relationship between land and water. This represents a quantum leap forward in moving BC along a pathway that leads to integration of land and water management practices," observes Tim Pringle, President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

“The Water Sustainability Act is a valuable legislative tool. We believe it will help communities lighten BC’s water footprint and transition the province to a 'design with nature' way of developing land and managing water.”


News Release #2011-02
January 18, 2011

Climate Change: British Columbia’s Green Communities Amendment Act is a driver for doing business differently


A well-planned front-end process is the secret to a successful project outcome,
says the City of Courtenay's Derek Richmond

Comox Valley local governments initiate dialogue with development community about aligning efforts at a watershed scale

In 2008, the four local governments in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island agreed to embark on a journey as a regional team. As a result, the Comox Valley is the provincial demonstration region for showcasing the benefits of a 'regional team approach' to establish expectations and achieve consistency at the front counter.

“In December 2010, the CAVI-Comox Valley Regional Team hosted a 'Developers Dialogue'. This initiated a conversation with the Comox Valley development community about local government policies and strategies to achieve ‘design with nature’ outcomes. The requirements of the Green Communities Act provided the backdrop for the dialogue,” reports Derek Richmond, Manager of Engineering with the City of Courtenay.

“The event was conducted as a townhall sharing session. We invited the development community to talk about how local government can make the development application process more transparent and faster. We also invited participants to share their ideas on green infrastructure innovations.”

To learn more about what transpired at this event, and to access the ‘homepage’, click on Comox Valley Developers Dialogue.

News Release #2011-01
January 11, 2011

Story #5 in the ISMP Course Correction Series: Apply Inexpensive Screening Tools and 'Do More with Less'



Shared Responsibility is a Foundation Piece for Integrated Rainwater Management Planning

This article is the fifth and last instalment in a series that is designed to inform local governments and others about the paradigm-shift to landscape-based ‘RAINwater’ from pipe-and-convey ‘STORMwater’, and what this means for Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMPs).

This instalment is built around City of Surrey case study experience.  Now in its fifth decade of continuous implementation experience, the City continues to evolve and adapt a watershed-based approach that incorporates lessons learned in getting green infrastructure right.

The notion of ‘shared responsibility’ is a foundation piece for collaboration, alignment and integration. When these are in place, innovation will follow.


News Release #2010-49
December 16, 2010

Partnership for Water Sustainability champions "Convening for Action in British Columbia"



 Water Balance Model and Water Bucket Website now reside within the Partnership

The 2010 Land Awards Gala, an event hosted by the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia on November 18, provided a platform for announcing incorporation of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia as an autonomous society. Tim Pringle is the first President.

“The Partnership is the evolution of many initiatives around water sustainability in British Columbia. The Partnership is building on and continuing the work that has gone on before under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia,” states Tim Pringle.

“The Action Plan has led to growing collaboration regarding the role of water sustainability in shaping our communities. Water sustainability is a metaphor for managing the built environment sustainably. Incorporating the Partnership as a legal entity is a natural outcome. This demonstrated record of collaboration is our strength going forward.”

The Water Balance Model and the Water Bucket Website now reside within the Partnership. To learn more, click on Partnership for Water Sustainability champions “Convening for Action in British Columbia”.

News Release #2010-48
December 14, 2010

Story #4 in the ISMP Course Correction Series: Move to a Levels-of-Protection Approach to Sustainable Service Delivery



Need for  Local Governments to be Nimble, Collaborative and Integrated

The first three installments in the 5-part series established the context for embracing a ‘regional team approach’ and making the change to IRMP (Integrated Rainwater Management Plan) from ISMP. Now, the spotlight shifts to Asset Management as a pathway to re-focus on stream health and desired watershed outcomes.

The 4th instalment introduces the ‘infrastructure deficit’ as a driver for the ‘ISMP course correction’, connects the dots to the Green Communities Initiative, views the Levels-of-Service concept through the land use planning and environmental lenses, and provides three examples to illustrate how local government leaders are moving forward with Sustainable Service Delivery.  


News Release #2010-47
December 7, 2010

Story #3 in the ISMP Course Correction Series: Apply a Knowledge-Based Approach to Focus on Solutions and Outcomes



Re-Focus on Stream Health Outcomes, Utilize Land Use Regulatory Tools, and Build-In Resilience to Adapt to Climate Change

The Bowker Creek Initiative in the Capital Region, the City of Surrey’s watershed objectives approach, and the District of North Vancouver’s vision for watershed landscape restoration are showcased in the third in the ISMP Course Correction Series.

All three demonstrate leadership; all three are pioneering outcome-oriented approaches to enhance community liveability and protect watershed health. The common vision: start with effective green infrastructure and truly restore the urban fabric.


News Release #2010-46
November 30, 2010

Story #2 in the ISMP Course Correction Series: Capitalize on Green Infrastructure Opportunities to ‘Design with Nature’



“If Climate Change Mitigation is about CARBON, Climate Change Adaptation is about WATER”

Green infrastructure enables local governments to prepare for and adapt to climate change. This “new business as usual” in British Columbia is driven by a ‘design with nature’ guiding philosophy, an outcome-oriented approach to watershed and stream health protection, and success on the ground.
The case study experience introduced in Beyond the Guidebook 2010 shows that a new land ethic is taking root. Local governments now have the tools and case study experience to ‘design with nature’. Lessons learned by those who are doing it can help those who want to do it.

To learn more, click on Capitalize on Green Infrastructure Opportunities to ‘Design with Nature’ and download the second in the ‘ISMP Course Correction Series’.

News Release #2010-45
November 23, 2010

Story #1 in the ISMP Course Correction Series: Re-Focus on Stream Health and Watershed Outcomes


‘Beyond the Guidebook 2010’ provides guidance for developing outcome-oriented plans

Released in June 2010, Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia is aligned with Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan. The latter articulates provincial policy to achieve a vision for ‘green’ development, one that protects stream health, fish habitat and fish. 

Beyond the Guidebook 2010 tells the stories of the champions who are implementing change on the ground. Equally important, this guidance document also presents a framework for establishing watershed-specific performance targets and implementing green infrastructure.

Getting there may require a course correction in the way some Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMPs) are being developed. Commencing today, Water Bucket is publishing a series of five weekly articles that will elaborate on what is an ISMP, how we can do more with less, and how to be outcome-oriented.

“Outcome-oriented planning is a problem-solving PROCESS. It is not a procedure. It is not a matter of applying a regulation or a checklist,” states Tim Pringle President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, the newly created society where the Water Balance Model now resides.

“Going through a process becomes talent development. Participants have to be committed to the outcome. To get there, they have to function as a team. It is the talent development process that enables development of outcome-oriented plans. It is very definitely a grounded approach.”


News Release #20101-44
November 16, 2010

Friday, January 28, 2011

Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities; Water is at the Heart of Design Strategies for the Post-Carbon World


New book by Patrick Condon explains why residents of BC's Lower Mainland lead by example in showing how to save the planet! 

"Right now the Lower Mainland of British Columbia leads any other region in both Canada and the United States in reversing the rush to global climate collapse," writes Patrick Condon in an article about his new book Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities; Design Strategies for the Post-Carbon World.

Using the Vancouver Region as his case study, Patrick Condon compares and contrasts the problems and progress of this region with those of other North American urban areas.

He explains this relationship in an accessible way, and goes on to show how conforming to seven simple rules for community design could literally do a world of good. Each chapter in the book explains one rule in depth, adding a wealth of research to support each claim.

"Of the seven rules, two of them are about water: Create a linked system of natural areas and parks, and lighter greener cheaper smarter infrastructure. This book is my attempt to 'put it all together' with 'water at the heart of community design'," states Patrick Condon.


News Release #2010-43
November 9, 2010

Water Balance Model supports ’designing with nature’ to protect stream health



DFO Urban Stormwater Guidelines have evolved into Beyond the Guidebook 2010 
The rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2010 commenced in September at the 2010 annual convention of local governments. This ‘water-centric’ guidance document tells the stories of how change is being implemented on the ground in BC. In the last week of October 2010, there were presentations at major regional events in Metro Vancouver, Nanaimo and Kelowna.

LOOKING BACK: In November 2000, DFO produced the “Urban Stormwater Guidelines and Best Management Practices for Protection of Fish and Fish Habitat, Draft Discussion Document"; and set a direction for the development industry. By 2007, the Guidelines had evolved into "Beyond the Guidebook". The goal: encourage ‘green’ development that is in balance with ecology. The desired outcome: protect stream health, fish habitat, and fish.

LOOKING FORWARD: Drawing on case study experience, Beyond the Guidebook 2010 provides local governments with guidance for developing urban watershed plans and implementing green infrastructure. By ‘designing with nature’ at the site scale, the desired outcome is an improvement in watershed and stream health.

The Water Balance Model is a tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness. The user can correlate runoff volume management strategies with stream erosion and water quality outcomes. This process allows the delivery of watershed-specific and outcome-oriented plans that are specifically applicable to the municipality, watershed and stream.


News Release #2010-42
November 2, 2010

From Rain to Resource: Managing Stormwater in a Changing Climate


Rollout of 'Beyond the Guidebook' continues at Kelowna Workshop


The rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2010 commenced on September 2010 at the annual convention of local governments. In the last week of October, there were presentations at three regional events, including the From Rain to Resource Workshop and Tradeshow in Kelowna.

Beyond the Guidebook 2010 draws on case study experience in three regions to provide local governments with guidance for developing outcome-oriented urban watershed plans. By ‘designing with nature’ at the site scale, the desired outcome is an improvement in watershed and stream health. The goal is ‘green’ development that is in balance with ecology.

Are you interested in the scope of From Rain to Resource: Managing Stormwater in a Changing Climate? If yes, then click on program-at-a-glance.

Are you interested to learn about the case studies presented in Beyond the Guidebook 2010? If yes, then click here to download a copy of this provincial guidance document. Are you wondering what to expect in Kelowna? If yes, then click on Rollout of 'Beyond the Guidebook 2010' will continue at the 'From Rain to Resource Workshop' in Kelowna

News Release #2010-41
October 26, 2010

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2010 BC Hydro PowerSmart Forum: 'Building the Green Economy'


'Beyond the Guidebook 2010' featured in breakout session with 'convening for action' team
  
The rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2010 commenced in September 2010 at the annual convention of local governments. Next week, there will be presentations at three regional events, including the 2010 BC Hydro Power Smart Forum: Building the Green Economy. This leading conference is expected to attract about 1000 delegates.

Beyond the Guidebook 2010 draws on case study experience in three regions to provide local governments with guidance for developing outcome-oriented urban watershed plans. By ‘designing with nature’ at the site scale, the desired outcome is an improvement in watershed and stream health. The goal is ‘green’ development that is in balance with ecology.

Are you interested in the scope of Building the Green Economy? If yes, then click on program-at-a-glance?

Are you interested to learn about the case studies presented in Beyond the Guidebook 2010? If yes, then click here to download a copy of this provincial guidance document. Are you wondering what to expect at the Beyond Guidebook 2010 session? If yes, then click on Building the Green Economy: ‘Beyond the Guidebook 2010’ featured at BC Hydro Power Smart Forum on October 25.

News Release #2010-40
October 19, 2010


Beyond the Guidebook 2010 provides local government with 'how to' guidance for establishing watershed-specific performance targets



 RAINwater Management is about protecting streams, not how much one volume can infiltrate

The rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2010 commenced on September 27th at the 2010 annual convention of local governments. The rollout will continue in October in conjunction with a number of regional events.

Beyond the Guidebook 2010 provides local governments with guidance for developing outcome-oriented urban watershed plans. The outcome intended is an improvement in watershed and stream health while allowing a municipality to continue to build for the future.

The goal is protect stream health and enhance the future for all municipal residents. Achieving that goal requires a runoff-based approach that specifically addresses how the urban fabric influences the streams. The key is that performance targets for rainfall capture result in flow mitigation that would accomplish the most benefit for the stream.

A framework for meeting watershed-specific targets at the site scale is consolidated as ‘Table 2’ in Beyond the Guidebook 2010. This table was developed in conjunction with the consultation process for Metro Vancouver’s Integrated Liquid Waste & Resource Management Plan.

To download a copy of this provincial guidance document, click here. To learn more about the application of Table 2, click on Beyond the Guidebook 2010 Advances Runoff-Based Approach to Setting Watershed Performance Targets.

News Release #39
October 12, 2010

Beyond the Guidebook 2010 provides local government with 'how to' guidance for developing outcome-oriented urban watershed plans


Province's policy framework provides clear direction for aligning local actions with provincial and regional goals

Beyond the Guidebook 2010 provides local governments with ‘how to’ guidance for developing outcome-oriented urban watershed plans. The formal rollout commenced on September 27th at the 2010 annual convention of local governments, held in Whistler. Glen Brown and Ray Fung represented the provincial and local government perspectives, respectively, when delivering an integrated presentation to a packed study session (180 attendees).

“We will use this coming together of BC’s local leaders to share and learn from each other’s experiences, and gain ideas to move our communities forward,” stated Harry Nice, President of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM). He described the 2010 convention as offering “an opportunity to take our goals, and forge them into tangible outcomes”.

The next venue in the rollout is on October 5th at the Green Link 2010 Conference. Then, in the last week of October, three regional events provide high-profile platforms for continuing the rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2010.

To download a copy of this provincial guidance document, click here. To learn more about what was presented at the UBCM rollout, click on Forging Gold Medal Standards for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia.

News Release #2010-38
October 5, 2010