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Sustainable Rainwater Management: Capital Regional District hosted third in 2012-2013 series of “Water Balance Model Training Workshops

“CRD hosted the workshop because it informs and supports the goals of the region’s Integrated Watershed Management Implementation Strategy. Local governments have many competing priorities and everyone is challenged to achieve more with the same resources in order to reduce risk, improve watershed health and comply with regulatory requirements,” stated Dale Green.

‘Water Balance Model Express for Landowners’ previewed at workshop hosted by Regional District of Nanaimo

“An increasing building footprint on properties is short-circuiting the WATER BALANCE. This creates risks for local government, both financial and environmental. If we want to make change, then we have to find a way to influence landowners to look at their properties differently,” stated Richard Boase. ““Stream health depends on ALL properties in a watershed. If everyone reduces their ‘water footprint’, and if we ensure the integrity of groundwater flow, we can then protect stream health.”

How Does Water Get to a Stream?

“The lesson in the study of soil formation is that water does not move continuously downward as a result of saturated conditions. Generally the hydrologically active soil layers are limited to the upper 600 mm or so with a majority of situations the groundwater levels are deeper. In these cases the water will move sideways until one of two things occurs: 1) it reaches a stream, or 2) it finds a discontinuity in the soil that would allow it to move downward,” stated Jim Dumont. “There is a need to understand the soils that are present on a site so as to be able to describe how the water moves through the soil.”

Drainage Infrastructure Screening Tool implemented in 2012

“By applying the Drainage Infrastructure Screening Tool, it is now quite easy for local governments to check and verify the relative impact of a changing climate on conveyance capacity. The resilience of a system depends on the capacity a system has now and how drastic future climate change might be. The tool also makes it is easy to assess the relative significance of changes in land use, in particular densification,” stated Jim Dumont.

Rebuilt “Water Balance Model” incorporates Tree Canopy Module (2012)

“Given the huge knowledge bases that the sciences have built up around the hydrology of urban watersheds, it can come as a surprise when we realize how little is known about some of the basics. The urban tree canopy is an example. This is a technical area where the fundamentals are well understood, but the empirical basis, the availability of actual observations, is still in its infancy. When it comes to the urban canopy, we just don’t have a lot to go on,” stated Dr. Charles Rowney.

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