Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sustainable Rainwater Management: Mimic the Water Balance and Adapt to a Changing Climate!

From Science to Approaches, Tools and Guides
The 2012 annual conference of the Planning Institute of BC was held in Harrison Hot Springs. The program theme, Planning on the Edge of Change, was inspired by the world becoming a global community. The challenge is making the changes with a clear vision of the way "it" should be. A pre-conference training workshop provided an opportunity to showcase the Water Balance Model for BC, a unique web-based scenario comparison tool.

The training workshop was titled From Science to Approaches, Tools and Guides - 14 Climate Adaptation Experts/Leaders. Facilitated by Cathy Leblance (Province of BC), the workshop was a day of applied science, an adaptive ecological systems approach, websites, guides and tools (i.e. sea level rise/national primer, water and watershed planning, urban forests, implementation guide for local governments, BC Regional Adaptation Collaboratives projects, forest communities).

For the past three years, the federal-provincial Regional Adaptation Collaboratives program has funded enhancement of the Water Balance Model. The purpose of the program is to support coordinated action towards advancing regional climate change adaptation decision-making.

"The workshop provided a timely opportunity to preview several new modules, in particular the Climate Change Module. In doing so, the audience reaction served as a good litmus test of how others are likely to respond in the coming weeks and months as we ramp up our rollout. The response to the Express version of the Water Balance Model was especially encouraging," states Ted van der Gulik, Chair of the Water Balance Model Partnership. He is the Senior Engineer in the BC Ministry of Agriculture.

“In talking about the Climate Change Module, I explained that the team of Chris Jensen, Dr. Charles Rowney and Jim Dumont have taken the complex science of global climate modeling and have incorporated it in a way that we believe makes it easy for engineers, planners and others to understand and apply.”

"The highlight of the day for me was the enthusiastic reaction when I presented some images that illustrate our vision for the Water Balance Model Express for Landowners. To be rolled out later in 2012, this tool will have pre-set performance targets that are watershed-specific. This means that landowners will then be able to focus on the geometrics of fitting rainfall capture measures onto their properties."

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