The genesis for ISMPs (Integrated Stormwater Management Plans) was a desire to integrate the community, engineering, planning and environmental perspectives. In 2001, Metro Vancouver's member municipalities recognized the benefits of this approach and made a legal commitment to the Province to have ISMPs in place by 2014 for their watersheds.
Unintended Consequences: Within a few years, however, it was evident to many in local government that the way ISMPs were being developed was resulting in unintended consequences, that is:
- ISMPs were identifying extensive and costly drainage system upgrades;
- proposed multi-million dollar capital plans were not affordable; and
- municipalities were faced with an unfunded ‘infrastructure liability’.
In February 2011, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia released Integrated Rainwater Management Planning: Summary Report for ISMP Course Correction Series. This guidance document is intended to help municipalities do business differently so that they can protect and/or restore watershed health.
Achieve More With Less: The Partnership's vision is that an ISMP Course Correction will help municipalities achieve more with less, and reduce their infrastructure liability. During the period March through June, the Partnership released a series of articles that build on this theme:
- Water Balance Model Partners Forum will showcase vision for ‘WBM Express for Homeowners’
- Water Balance Model Partners are charter members of the ‘Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia’
- Community of Users Inform Platform Conversion for Water Balance Model
- Integrated Rainwater Management: Municipalities Can Achieve More With Less
- “ISMP Course Correction” will help Metro Vancouver municipalities fulfil regulatory commitments and “achieve more with less”
- Partnership announces that Water Balance Model “Version 2.1” will go live in Fall 2011
- "ISMP Course Correction" aligns with Metro Vancouver's proposed Ecological Health Plan
- Partnership Releases Rollout Plan for Re-Built Water Balance Model
- BC Environment Minister Strengthens Metro Vancouver's Visionary Plan for Managing Rainwater Resources
An ISMP that is truly integrated would provide a clear picture of how local governments can apply land use planning tools to create a future watershed condition desired by all.