Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC releases “Primer on Rainwater Management in an Urban Watershed Context”

Integrating the Site with the Watershed and the Stream 
ln 2002, the Province released Stormwater Planning: A Guidebookfor British Columbia. Looking at rainfall differently led to a new approach to rainwater management. The Guidebook provided a science-based framework to guide development of the 'stormwater' component of Liquid Waste Management Plans.

“When the Province released the Guidebook in 2002, we thought we would be doing well if we could just hold the line and protect what we had. We hoped we might have enough successes after 20 years that maybe, just maybe, we would then improve conditions in the decades that followed,” states Peter Law, Chair of the Guidebook Steering Committee (2000-2002). Formerly with the Ministry of Environment, Peter Law is a founding Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

“Well, it is 2011 and we have exceeded our own expectations. What was a dream in 2002 may now in fact be achievable. We have the tools and experience to ‘design with nature’ in order to soften the ‘water footprint’ of development. Watershed restoration is within our grasp.”

“Building on the Guidebook foundation, the Partnership has released the Primer on Rainwater Management in an Urban Watershed Context. The purpose of the Primer is to provide engineers and non-engineers with a common understanding of how a science-based approach to rainwater management has evolved since the mid-1990s.”

"The goal of protecting stream health has become a driver for action in BC. By 2002, as an implementation action resulting from enactment of the Fish Protection Act (1997), the Province had developed the Guidebook. It was a joint effort of two Ministries – Environment and Municipal Affairs. The process produced a science-based framework to guide development of the stormwater component of Liquid Waste Management Plans," continues Kim Stephens, Partnership Executive Director.

"We unveiled the Primer  when the Partnership and City of Surrey co-hosted the pilot Course on the ISMP Course Correction on November 9-10, 2011 in the Metro Vancouver region," adds Ted van der Gulik (BC Ministry of Agriculture), also a founding Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability. "The course provided the opportunity to teach water resource practitioners about the fundamentals of rainwater management. Otherwise this understanding could potentially be lost."


TO LEARN MORE: To download a copy of the Primer, click here. To read the complete story posted on the Water Bucket website, click on Primer on Rainwater Management in an Urban Watershed Context.

E-Blast #2011-63
November 29, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

'Green Infrastructure': from Rooftops to Rivers


 Bring Nature into City Environments
The report, Rooftops to Rivers II, outlines challenges and solutions facing US cities in restoring and maintaining the quality of rivers, lakes, and other waterways. Produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the report strongly supports the use of green infrastructure – vegetation and other water collection and filtration systems that absorb rainfall before it becomes polluted runoff – to protect watersheds.

"Although land use strategies were beyond the scope of Rooftops to Rivers II, and are not discussed in it, smart growth too can play a very important role in protecting watersheds from stormwater runoff.  The authors observe that, under current trends, the US could have 68 million more acres of developed land, with accompanying roads, parking lots and rooftops that promote runoff, by 2025.  But that need not be the case:  more efficient land use can bring that number down," writes Kaid Benfield, NRDC Director of Sustainable Communities, in an article posted on his blog.

In his article, Kaid Benfield also writes that: "....we also need to bring nature into our city environments, both to maintain ecological health and to enrich the health and well-being of city residents and visitors.  Green infrastructure makes urban density better and more inviting by doing exactly that with trees, green roofs, gardens, natural landscaping, and more."

TO LEARN MORE: To read the complete article by Kaid Benfield, click on Report highlights exemplary clean water practices in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, other cities. Kaid Benfield is co-founder, LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system; and co-founder, Smart Growth America coalition.

'Green Infrastructure': US report highlights exemplary clean water practices in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, other cities



Creativity in a Highly Regulated Framework
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released a new report called Rooftops to Rivers II: Green Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows. The report describes ways that cities are using green infrastructure practices to clean up their waters, literally greening their cityscapes in the process. 

"The NRDC report is not the greatest example of non-regulatory creativity since ALL of the winners were CSO cities which have been under EPA and court orders for decades.  They would be examples of creativity in a highly regulated framework; including great marketing to showcase green infrastructure rather than their egregious pollution of waterways," observes Colorado-based engineer Paul Crabtree, leader of the Rainwater-in-Context Initiative. 
 
Formed in 2010, the Rainwater-in-Context Initiative is a sub-committee of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). In the United States, the CNU is the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions.

"Good report but PLEASE NOTE every case study in the report is a case of Combined Sewer Overflows," wrote Paul Crabtree on the NRDC blog. "These cities are advanced in ALL forms of tools, because they've been under extreme pressure from the EPA and the courts for decades.  There are great lessons to be learned and applied to other regions or situations, but not ROTELY COPIED. Cities without CSOs are in a whole different general category."

"The report honors these cities as exemplary, but they are not exemplary, except in the fact that they are the nation’s worst polluters - and are doing more about it than the other worst polluters."

"The report would be more useful if it were balanced with case studies of the cities with the cleanest rivers," concludes Paul Crabtree.
 
TO LEARN MORE: To read an earlier story about the NRDC report, click on Green Infrastructure is Spreading to all Corners of the North American Continent
 
Also, click on Report highlights exemplary clean water practices in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, other cities to read an aricle by Kaid Benfield. He is Director, Sustainable Communities, NRDC; co-founder, LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system; and co-founder, Smart Growth America coalition.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

'Green infrastructure' -- a toolbox for reducing runoff and beautifying American cityscapes, too


  Preventing Bad versus Creating Good
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released a new report called Rooftops to Rivers II: Green Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows. The report describes ways that cities are using green infrastructure practices to clean up their waters, literally greening their cityscapes in the process.

"....one observation kept coming back to me as I read the NRDC report. We’ve learned from experience that regulation is a good tool for stopping a bad situation from getting worse, by forcing people to give up their old/bad ways. But it isn’t such a good tool for making things better, because that requires persuading people to adopt new/better ways," wrote Ron Meador in a post on his Earth Journal blog.

"The most stirring aspect of 'Rooftops to Rivers' is how much better these example cities have become — in ways that go far beyond simply reducing runoff — through creation of beautiful streetscapes, rooftop oases, public gardens, greenbelts and more."

"A close runner-up is the intriguing variety of tools and strategies that produced these results. Regulation is always present in some role, to be sure. But not always, and not necessarily, in the lead."

TO LEARN MORE:  To read the complete article on Earth Journal by award-winning Minnesota journalist Ron Meador, click on 'Green infrastructure' -- a toolbox for reducing runoff and beautifying American cityscapes, too

In Earth Journal, Ron Meador clarifies environmental issues in the news, lends proportion and perspective to competing claims, and engages readers in exploring subjects that lie beyond the headlines — with a special emphasis on the people, businesses and organizations that are finding solutions to environmental problems. To download a PDF copy, click here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Philadelphia Ranks Tops in the United States for Green Infrastructure


Green City, Clean Waters
Philadelphia ranks tops in the United States and is a national model for its long-term efforts to reduce stormwater pollution and sewage runoff through eco-friendly and cost-effective measures, according to  new report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

Philadelphia led a list of 14 municipalities for its commitment to infrastructure and design changes to capture rainfall and reduce runoff pollution by slowing the flow of rainwater and stormwater into the city's antiquated sewer system. 

"Philadelphia recognizes that green infrastructure, which stops rain where it falls, is the smartest way to reduce water pollution from storms," said Karen Hobbs of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which released the "Rooftops to Rivers" report  and is one of several environmental advocacy groups that helped the city develop its water management plan. "It often only takes a fraction of an inch to trigger this kind of pollution." 

The study looked at six key elements for developing green infrastructure plans and Philadelphia was the only city that met all six criteria. The report said five other municipalities met five criteria on its "Emerald City" six-point scale: Milwaukee; New York; Portland, Oregon; Syracuse, New York; and Washington, D.C. Meeting four of six criteria were Aurora, Illinois, and Toronto, Ontario.

Philadelphia's initiative is called Green City, Clean Waters. "This is a 180-degree reverse of how water has been managed in urban environments for hundreds of years, at least," said Howard Neukrug, commissioner of the Philadelphia Water Department.

"The entire structure of a city like Philadelphia, or any modern city or even a third world city, is to take rainwater and move it away from the population base as quickly as possible. And now we’re saying 'No, let’s conserve the rainwater, reuse it, recycle it, let it infiltrate into the ground where it lands.' So it’s beyond innovative: it’s mind-altering, it’s moving totally against the tradition of the engineering process of how a city is designed and constructed."

"We're looking under every rock to do whatever we can to provide incentives and make it easy on folks, whether they're developers or homeowners."

To Learn More: For more information about the NRDC report, click on Green Infrastructure is Spreading to all Corners of the North American Continent to read an article posted on the Water Bucket website.

To read more about Philadelphia's bold plan for green infrastructure, click on these links to access stories previously posted on the Water Bucket website:
And click here to access the homepage for the Philadelphia Water Department's Office of Watersheds.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rainwater Management in a Watershed Context – What’s the Goal?


US-based Stormwater magazine showcases "Convening for Action in BC" 
“ln 2010, several presentations at the StormCon Conference and Exposition dealt with stormwater management in a larger community  context. Several of the speakers expressed interest in writing articles on the topic for Stormwater magazine. This initiated the idea that became our Green Infrastructure & Community Design Series,” recalls Janice Kasperson, Editor

“Colorado-based engineer Paul Crabtree coordinated the effort. Martin Dreiling kicked off the series with an article in Stormwater’s November/December 2010 issue. We’ve also run articles this past year authored by Tom Low, Paul Crabtree, John Jacob, Lisa Nisenson, and several others – all of whom who are prominent and active in the Rainwater-in-Context Initiative; as well, we’ve run guest editorials by John Norquist (Congress for the New Urbanism) and Lynn Richards (of EPA).” 

“This latest article by Kim Stephens and Jim Dumont makes important comparisons between stormwater management in the US and Canada. Although both are moving toward greater use of green infrastructure, the differences in approach are significant. I believe it's important to consider the context in which decisions about water quality are made, and practitioners in the US can learn a great deal from BC's approach,” concludes Janice Kasperson.

Green Infrastructure & Community Design Series: The Stormwater magazine series seek to shed light on the project of building community and the relationship between that task and rainwater/stormwater management. The first article in the series offered a general framework for the issues that the Rainwater-in-Context Initiative finds relevant to that task.

The latest article in the series, by Canadians Kim Stephens and Jim Dumont is described as a thoughtful review of the divergent goals of rainwater management in the US and Canada written from a British Columbia perspective. "This is a bountiful article with a number of provocative statements," comments Laurence Aurbach, a founding member of the Rainwater-in-Context Initiative. He is an independent editor and researcher specializing in urban planning and design, new urbanism, and smart growth topics.

TO LEARN MORE: To read the article as published in Stormwater magazine, click on Rainwater Management in a Watershed Context - What's the Goal? For background on the article, click here to read a story posted on the Water Bucket website.

To download all the articles in the Green Infrastructure & Community Design Series, click here to access a second story posted on the Water Bucket website. 

E-Blast #2011-62

November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stormwater Magazine publishes "Green Infrastructure and Community Design Series"


Rainwater-in-Context Initiative
Commencing in November 2010, Stormwater magazine has published a series of articles written by members of the Rainwater-in-Context Initiative. The series seek to shed light on the project of building community and the relationship between that task and rainwater/stormwater management. Colorado-based engineer Paul Crabtree is a driving force behind the series, and has provided leadership in developing and coordinating the storyline for the series:

  1. Principles of Smart Growth and their Corresponding Rainwater Dos and Donts - by Paul Crabtree in March-April 2010
  2. Taking a Stance on Sprawl - by Martin Dreiling in Nov/Dec 2010
  3. EPA Stormwater Rules Should Acknowledge Benefits of Urbanism - by John Norquist in January/February 2011
  4. Watersheds, Walkability, and Stormwater: The Role of Density - by John S. Jacob in January/February 2011
  5. Choosing a Green Infrastructure Framework? Consider Light Imprint - by Thomas Low, Guy Pearlman, Monica Carney Holmes, Nora Black, and Paul Crabtree in March/April 2011
  6. A Perfect Storm for a Regional Watershed Management Plan: An Alternative to site-based LID - by Paul Crabtree with Joe Deluca and Tracy Vandaveer in May 2011
  7. Aligning Stormwater Goals and Community Goals - by Lynn Richards in September 2011
  8. Ahead of the Learning Curve: Building skill sets for sustainable economic and environmental practice - by Lisa Nisenson in September 2011
  9. Rainwater Management in a Watershed Context - What's the goal? by Kim Stephens and Jim Dumont in November-December 2011
Formed in 2010, the Rainwater-in-Context Initiative is a sub-committee of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). In the United States, the CNU is the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions.

According to Paul Crabtree, the Initiative has a record of substantial accomplishments since its formation in 2010. The Initiative has worked with state, local, and federal EPA officials to improve existing and proposed regulations. Initiative members have presented at professional conferences and engaged in public debates with leading practitioners.

United States EPA Stormwater Rules should Acknowledge Benefits of Urbanism


Connecting the Dots to Watershed Health
In 2010, the announcement of the United States federal interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities was well received by the new urbanism and smart growth movements, which have been eager to assist with taking a more holistic view on how funding patterns and regulations shape our built environment.

As part of this effort, the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) and its partners contacted the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to discuss the Office of Water’s revision of the current National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). They urged the EPA to revise the stormwater regulations to make them complement broader environmental objectives.

"We believe that changing NPDES to allow and encourage more compact, walkable neighborhoods can help the USA become more resource efficient, economically productive, and improve the qualities of our rivers, streams, and watersheds," wrote John Norquist, CNU President and CEO, in a Guest Editorial published in the January-February issue of Stormwater Magazine.

"We know that it is the redevelopment of previously developed land that can lead to the net improvements in watershed health that we need. Redevelopment triggers restoration activities of our existing built environment."

"Watershed and sub-watershed analysis, integrated with regional planning and local regulations, should be at the heart of new stormwater regulations."

TO LEARN MORE: To access the editorial by John Norquist and read the complete story posted on the Water Bucket website, click on United States EPA Stormwater Rules should Acknowledge Benefits of Urbanism.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thinking Outside the Pipe: 2005 Rainwater Harvesting Workshop Series resonated with British Columbians


Flashback to 2005
Drawing on the experience of two international experts, workshops held in Vancouver in May 2005 and in Victoria in June 2005 connected the dots between WHY harvest rainwater and HOW to cost-effectively implement rainwater collection, storage, treatment and delivery systems. 

The two events were organized under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, which has enabled the Province to collaborate with local government and others to advance a shared vision for water stewardship and sustainable communities. 
 
Although the Vancouver and Victoria workshops followed the same format, the content and emphasis of each event was different.  The workshops explored rainwater harvesting from both the Green Building and Water Management perspectives.

Speaking to a Vancouver audience dominated by green building professionals, Australian engineer, microbiologist and water management expert Dr. Peter Coombes described his long uphill battles to convince water utility managers and public health officials that rainwater harvesting is both cost-effective and safe.  The same myths that he has largely overcome in Australia are widely held in North America: rainwater is dirty, rainwater harvesting systems are too expensive, and it’s cheaper to expand municipal supplies. 

In Victoria, Klaus König shared his globetrotting experience as an architect, engineer and sustainable urban design expert with a diverse audience that included public health professionals, politicians, biologists, journalists, builders and planners in addition to architects and engineers interested in green building.  From a substantially different perspective, König reached ostensibly the same conclusions as Coombes.

TO LEARN MORE: To read the complete article that was published in the Fall 2005 issue of the Watermark magazine, click on Thinking Outside the Pipe: Rainwater Harvesting Workshop Series resonates with British Columbians. And to read a set of articles posted on the Water Bucket website, click here.


Celebrating Green Infastructure Innovation program was launched in Metro Vancouver in 2006


Flashback to 2006
The 2006 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series in the Metro Vancouver region was an outcome of a Consultation Workshop hosted by the City of Surrey in May 2005. The program was launched in May 2006, and was organized as a workshop in the morning followed by field tour in the afternoon. 

This format created opportunities for practitioners to network and share "how to do it" experiences on the ground. The host municipalities set the scene for the field tour by providing comprehensive and in-depth presentations. 
 
“The goal of the Celebrating Green Infrastructure Program was to build regional capacity through sharing of green infrastructure approaches, experiences and lessons learned as an outcome of ‘designing with nature'. The program was launched in May 2006 as a provincial pilot when the first event in the Showcasing Innovation Series was hosted by the District of North Vancouver," stated Paul Ham, Past-Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership (and former General Manager of Engineering with the City of Surrey) when explaining the origin of the series.

To Learn More: To download a report about program development, click on Celebrating Green Infrastructure: Summary Report on 2006 Showcasing Innovation Series. To access the homepage established on the Water Bucket website for the series, click here.


'Convening for Action on Vancouver Island' Launched at Water in the City Conference in 2006


Flashback to 2006
Commencing with a workshop event in the cross-Canada Rainwater Harvesting Workshop Series in June 2005, a series of partnership-building events was organized on Vancouver Island over a 16-month period. The last event in the series was the September 2006 consultation workshop that was held as an adjunct to the Water in the City Conference in Victoria. 

Titled Towards Water Sustainability on Vancouver Island, this event provided a timely opportunity to test and validate an approach that can bridge the gap between talk (interest) and action (practice) in advancing a water-centric approach to community development. Participation was by invitation. The consultation workshop generated early momentum and resulted in the launching of Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) as a regional partnership.

“CAVI will integrate with other groups on Vancouver Island, and will encourage the introduction of a ‘design with nature’ way of thinking into local government decision processes. Further, CAVI will play a leadership role in evolving a framework for water-centric planning that is keyed to managing risk and learning by doing. The emphasis will be on bringing together local government and the development community," foreshadowed John Finnie, the first CAVI Chair.

CAVI evolved from the Meeting of the Minds initiative. Building on the overwhelmingly positive response to the Rainwater Harvesting Workshop in Victoria, two Meeting of the Minds workshops were held in September 2005 and May 2006, both times in Parksville. 
 
"Both events were by invitation because we were proactively seeking the participation of individuals who are committed to action. The goal in convening was to build an effective long-term communications network," stated Eric Bonham at the CAVI launch. He was the driving force behind the Meeting of the Minds initiative when he was a Director in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

TO LEARN MORE: To read the complete story posted on the Water Bucket website, click on 'Convening for Action on Vancouver Island' Launched at Water in the City Conference.


VIDEO: Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter presents "Green City, Clean Waters"




Re-Imaging the Urban Landscape
Philadelphia has developed a US$1.6 bllion plan to transform the city over the next 20 years. The plan envisions 'peeling back' a lot of the city’s concrete and asphalt and replace them with plants — rain gardens, green roofs, landscaped swales in parking lots, heavily planted boulevards, and small wetlands.

The City's vision is to protect and enhance its watersheds by managing rainwater runoff with innovative green stormwater infrastructure throughout the City. Click here to view Philadelphia's Mayor Michael Nutter's "Charting New Waters" speech at the "Charting New Waters: A call to action to address US Freshwater Challenges" event held in Washington DC on September 10, 2010.

TO LEARN MORE: To read the complete story posted on the Water Bucket website, click on VIDEO: Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter presents "Green City, Clean Waters"

Green Infrastructure is Spreading to all Corners of the North American Continent


Report identifies actions that cities can take to become "Emerald Cities" 
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released a new report called Rooftops to Rivers II: Green Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows. The report discusses the considerable problem that stormwater runoff poses for communities, and describes ways that cities are using green infrastructure practices to clean up their waters, literally greening their cityscapes in the process. 

"Rooftops to Rivers II profiles the approaches taken by 14 cities in the U.S. and Canada (as well as provides examples from several others), revealing just how far the use of green infrastructure has spread and just how adaptable it is to different regions and climates, to changes in geography and geology, and to the various issues faced by each city.  Green infrastructure works everywhere," writes project attorney Noah Garrison  on the NRDC Staff Blog.

The report identifies six key actions that cities should take to maximize green infrastructure investment and to become "Emerald Cities":

  • Develop a long-term green infrastructure plan to lay out the city's vision, as well as prioritize infrastructure investment.
  • Develop and enforce a strong retention standard for stormwater to minimize the impact from development and protect water resources.
  • Require the use of green infrastructure to reduce, or otherwise manage runoff from, some portion of impervious surfaces as a complement to comprehensive planning.
  • Provide incentives for residential and commercial property owners to install green infrastructure, spurring private owners to take action.
  • Provide guidance or other affirmative assistance to accomplish green infrastructure through demonstration projects, workshops and "how-to" materials and guides.
  • Ensure a long-term, dedicated funding source is available to support green infrastructure investment.
To Learn More: To download a copy of the report, click here. For information about the first NRDC report published in 2006, click on this link to Rooftops to Rivers: Green Infrastructure Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows to read a story posted previously on the Water Bucket website.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Building Bridges through Collaboration in the Okanagan



Rocks, computer models and other tools for distributed networks
Collaborative processes grow and thrive through clear, open communication. The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) is the hub for people to convene around when the topic is Okanagan water.

Anna Warwick Sears, OBWB Executive Director, is leading the collaborative water management initiative, water quality improvement programs and aquatic weed management. She recently began writing a blog. She calls it Building Bridges. The views in her blog represent a personal effort, sharing the unfolding process of work at the OBWB.

“I once read about a farmer in Africa whose land was bare, eroded and cracked by drought.  Without many alternatives, he tried an ancient practice of piling small rows of rock along the contour of the slope. The rocks slowed overland flow from short cloudbursts, and captured dust and seeds from the wind. Within a season he could see the land begin to recover. It is a simple, effective technique now being used around the world. For a while after reading this, I walked around saying ‘we need more stone-age solutions!’ Really, it’s about appropriate technology: sometimes you need a rock, sometimes a satellite,” writes Anna Warwick Sears.

"As information and communication become more integrated (What was life like before the internet?), distributed networks are emerging as powerful components of our social system. Rather than Big Brother gathering data and taking top-down action, responsibility is shared."

TO LEARN MORE: To read the complete article and learn more from the Building Bridges blog, click here.

E-Blast #2011-61
November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere....Does British Columbia Really Need a Water Conservation Strategy?


Flashback to 1992
The more things change, the more it seems that they stay the same. When British Columbia experienced province-wide drought conditions in 2009, this provided an opportunity to reflect on insights gained and/or lessons learned from previous droughts.

In 1992, three founding members of the BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee collaborated to present two papers on "the British Columbia drought management experience" at the Annual AWWA Conference that was held in Vancouver. Their presentations were then adapted and published as an integrated magazine article by the former BC Professional Engineer, forerunner of today's Innovation Magazine.

WHAT THEY WROTE IN 1992: "The summer of 1992 has once again heightened awareness throughout British Columbia of the limited capabilities of many existing water supply sources. Although there is a perception that BC is water-rich, the reality is that we are often seasonally water-short (mainly because of storage limitations) during the period when water demand is heaviest due to lawn and garden irrigation," state the authors in their opening paragraph.

"For the third time in six years, drought conditions have been experienced in the southern part of BC, and in particular the Greater Vancouver region. The 1987drought is one of the most extreme on record, with a return period rating in the order of 100 years. It followed a relatively benign period of almost half a century."

"The extended duration of this benign period may have lulled water supply managers into a false sense of security, especially with respect to the reliable watershed yields of surface water sources during a "dry" summer following a low snowpack winter. The last six years may possibly be reminiscent of conditions i

TO LEARN MORE: To read the complete article by Ted van der Gulik, Tom Heath and Kim Stephens, click on Water, Water Everywhere...Does British Columbia Really Need A Water Conservation Strategy?

Convening for Action on Vancouver Island: Creating our future, one conversation at a time


It Starts with a Conversation
CAVI, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island, is a demonstration program at a regional scale that is being implemented under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. CAVI was formally launched in September 2006 by means of a consultation workshop held in Victoria as an adjunct to the Water in the City Conference.

The Fall 2007 issue of Watermark Magazine, published by the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, provided a progress report on program implementation to date. To download a copy of the article, please click on this link to Convening for Action on Vancouver Island: Creating our future, one conversation at a time 

According to Eric Bonham, a founding member of the CAVI Leadership Team, "The strength of the CAVI approach on Vancouver Island is the engagement of its partners on a one on one basis who “buy in” to the vision of water-centric planning. The process is accumulative, as others from diverse backgrounds are drawn to the common goal of achieving water sustainability."

"Each progressive step builds upon the previous success story, with the recognition that eventually all the players must be at the table including government, business, developers, consultants, First Nations, academics and citizens," concludes Eric Bonham in the article, "Only through such an inclusive partnership will the fundamental shift towards integrated ‘design with nature’ water-centric land use planning on Vancouver Island become firmly established and practiced."



Water Sustainability: from awareness to action in British Columbia



Water - Choosing Sustainability for Life and Livelihoods
Partnerships, partnerships, partnerships! This was the key message at a half-day reporting out session on ‘Water Sustainability – Convening for Action in British Columbia’, held as part of the 2007 Annual Conference of the British Columbia Water & Waste Association (BCWWA). Held in Penticton, the conference theme was “Working Towards Sustainable Communities”.  

According to Jim Levin, BCWWA President, “This phrase captures a common element in our day-to-day work regardless of the kind of work we are engaged in. Fundamentally, most of what we do is tied to trying to overcome the challenges presented by our communities whether as a municipal employee, consultant or supplier. Events like this conference are opportunities to learn through the exhibits, technical presentations, demonstrations, tours and discussions with delegates. It is this sharing of experience that moves us toward creating better and more sustainable communities.

CONVENING FOR ACTION IN BC: The Convening for Action session at the BCWWA Conference provided implementation updates on how a water-centric approach to community planning and development is being advanced under the partnership umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.

According to Lynn Kriwoken, Director of the Ministry of Environment's Water Stewardship Division, "Water is the piece that integrates everything that we care about. You will note that we are using the phrase water stewardship, not water management. Stewardship is about replacing self interest, dependency and control with service, responsibility and partnership."

TO LEARN MORE: To download a copy of an article published in September 2007 by Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine, please click on this link to Water Sustainability: from awareness to action in British Columbia. The half-day program comprised a set of cascading presentations, with each presentation addressing an element of the Action Plan.




Convening for Action: Communication and collaboration key on Vancouver Island



Creating Our Future
Addressing the question “What do we want Vancouver Island to look like in 50 years” calls for partnerships and multi-disciplinary involvement that draws a wide range of players to the common task of working towards a collective vision. 

“What we want Vancouver Island to look like in 50 years will be a result of collaboration of local communities and regional districts reaching beyond their own jurisdictional boundaries and responsibilities to embrace the 'bigger picture' of designing human settlement in harmony with nature throughout Vancouver Island," states Eric Bonham, Vancouver Island Liaison for the British Columbia Water & Waste Association (BCWWA).

The Summer 2009 issue of Watermark Magazine, published by BCWWA, provided a progress report on the Convening for Action on Vancouver Island program, with emphasis on 2008 successes. 

To download a copy of the article by Eric Bonham, click on Communication and collaboration key on Vancouver Island.

Watermark magazine article describes what was achieved at the 2009 Penticton Forum



The Mission is to Create A Legacy
The Summer 2009 issue of Watermark Magazine, published by the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, included an article about the Penticton Forum. Held in conjunction with the Annual BCWWA Conference, the Forum showcased three regions where communities are ‘convening for action’ and embracing a ‘regional team approach’ to make a difference.

The Penticton Forum also showcased web-based provincial tools that have been developed to help communities achieve water sustainability through truly green development. 
 
“The Province’s Living Water Smart and  Green Communities initiatives provide a framework and direction for convening for action in the Okanagan, on Vancouver Island and in Metro Vancouver,” states Gl\en Brown. He is an Executive Director with the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development; and a Past-Chair of the BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee. “Each regional initiative is developing a vision and road map for achieving settlement in balance with ecology.” 

“The forum program comprised four modules built around the creating our future and doing business differently themes," adds Anna Sears, Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board. "The Forum was an exciting day because regional leaders elaborated on new approaches and tools for 'living water smart', and changing the way land is developed and water is used."

TO LEARN MORE: To download a copy of the Watermark article, please click on this link to The 2009 Penticton Forum: Showcasing partnerships, collaboration, innovation and integration. Leading up to the Forum, a series of downloadable documents were published on Water Bucket. These stories progressively describe the elements of the Forum program in order to establish participant expectations. The downloadable documents are complemented by online versions that are complete with embedded links to other resources on the Water Bucket Website. 




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Climate Change Adaptation Tools Workshop on November 22-23 in Kelowna and Penticton

Workshop Offers Hands-On Training!
“In these times of fiscal restraint and changing climate, risk management through careful planning – and avoiding expensive fixes - makes sense.   This upcoming workshop will provide cutting edge policy information and hands-on training with the latest web-based water management tools, helping address emerging water issues facing local governments, in particular those in the Okanagan,” states Anna Warwick Sears, Executive Director, Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB).

“This workshop will be of great value to engineers, planners, and local government consultants and was created in response to requests for such an event. We anticipate the workshop will sell-out quickly since space is limited.”

We are bringing together a number of experts (who normally present as individuals at various events around B.C.) in one location, presenting as part of this workshop, providing a fantastic deal to attendees!  OBWB, and our partner Natural Resources Canada, are able to subsidize the workshop and provide the event at a discounted rate,” concludes Anna Warwick Sears.

TOP LEARN MORE: Click on www.obwb.ca/toolsworkshop

 E-Blast #2011-60
November 8, 2011