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Watershed Management, Climate Change and Sustainable Communities: Are they linked

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Title: Watershed Management, Climate Change and Sustainable Communities: Are they linked


1
Watershed Management, Climate Change and
Sustainable Communities Are they linked?
  • Jody Watson
  • CRD Harbours and Watersheds Coordinator

2
Outline
  • Watershed Management
  • Climate Change
  • Case Study - Bowker Creek Initiative
  • Successes
  • Implementation challenges
  • Sustainable Communities

3
What is a watershed?
  • Boundary within which rainwater runoff
    (stormwater) drains to a common point
  • Natural and man-made boundaries
  • Many cross municipal borders
  • Perform many ecological services

4
Function of Watersheds
  • Collect rainfall
  • Store and release water as runoff
  • Provide conditions and sites for biochemical
    reactions
  • Provide habitat
  • Rain is used for natural processes before slowly
    being released to the environment

5
Water Cycle
6
Urban Water Cycle
7
How will we adapt to changing climate?
  • More rain in winter
  • More frequent and higher intensity storms
  • Increased winds
  • Longer periods of drought, more intense
  • Sea level rise
  • High tides
  • Storm surge
  • On-shore winds

8
Integrated Watershed Management
  • IWM promotes
  • coordinated development and management of water,
    land and related resources
  • maximized economic, social and environmental
    functions
  • sustainable vital ecosystems

9
IWM Objectives
  • control or conserve the hydrology
  • improve water quality
  • ensure biodiversity and protection of vital
    ecosystems
  • minimize land degradation and
  • achieve specific land/water management objectives
  • achieve social objectives (i.e. greenways and
    trails, connection to nature, aesthetics)

10
Bowker Creek Initiative
  • Vision
  • The varied human uses and natural areas in the
    Bowker watershed are managed to minimize runoff
    and pollution, making Bowker Creek a healthy
    stream that supports habitat for native
    vegetation and wildlife, and provides a community
    greenway to connect neighbourhoods

11
Partners
  • Capital Regional District
  • District of Oak Bay
  • District of Saanich
  • City of Victoria
  • University of Victoria
  • Friends of Bowker Creek
  • Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association
  • Camosun Community Association
  • Community members

12
Goal 1
  • Take responsibility for actions that affect
    the watershed

13
Goal 2
Manage stream flows effectively
14
Goal 3
  • Improve and expand public areas, natural
    areas and biodiversity in the watershed

15
Goal 4
Achieve and maintain acceptable water quality in
the watershed
16
MASTER DRAINAGE PLAN Engineering solutions for
flooding and erosion, climate change considered
INTEGRATED STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN
LAND USE Low impact development
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS Water
quality Aquatic and riparian habitat
SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS Economic costs vs.
benefits Greenways Recreation
17
Master Drainage Plan
  • Assess watershed hydrology
  • Examine areas of erosion and flooding
  • Hydrological models to predict flows and areas at
    risk of flooding for numerous scenarios
  • Considers climate change predictions
  • presents engineering solutions to flooding and
    erosion

18
Flooding Currently
  • (show snippet of watershed in point of interest
    to municipality 10, 25, 100, 200)

19
Projected Future Flooding
  • (show snippet of watershed in point of interest
    to municipality 10, 25,100, 200)

20
Flooding With Proposed Upgrades
  • (show snippet of watershed in point of interest
    to municipality 10, 25,100, 200)

21
MASTER DRAINAGE PLAN Engineering Solutions for
flooding and erosion, climate change considered
INTEGRATED STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN
LAND USE Low impact development
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS Water
quality Aquatic and riparian habitat
SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS Economic costs vs.
benefits Greenways Recreation
22
Environmental Considerations
  • habitat assessment
  • riparian buffer
  • urban forests
  • wildlife corridors
  • climate adapted vegetation
  • benthic invertebrates
  • water quality
  • restoration potential of degraded areas
  • watershed health indicators

23
Social
  • Greenways and trails
  • Community engagement
  • Sustainable living
  • Costs and benefits

24
Community Greenway Connection
25
Land Use
  • Need to retain more water on the land to delay
    the rate of water reaching the creek
  • development is key
  • investigate infiltration, detention, LID

26
Street Edge Alternatives
27
Rain Gardens
28
Permeable Paving
29
Bioswales
30
Green Roof and Living Walls
31
Integrated Stormwater Management Plan
  • completion in 2009
  • try to reduce engineering costs through other
    measures (e.g. LID)
  • provide prioritized, optimized recommendations to
    address multiple objectives
  • Bowker Creek Watershed Management Plan
  • Climate change strategies

32
Bowker Creek NET Project
  • CRD upgrade of trunk sewers
  • creek crossing required
  • restored 45 m of creek
  • Upgrade infrastructure
  • Reduce overflows to creek

33
Bowker at St. Pats
  • Entrenched channel
  • Straight and constrained
  • Steep banks
  • No flood plain
  • Vegetation - poor stabilizer
  • Box culvert creates bottleneck

34
Project Design
35
Eroded and entrenched channel
Narrowed stream bed and widened flood plain
Stabilize banks and create planting terraces
Created some sinuosity, hydroseeded
36
Bioengineering
Saanich and Oak Bay have used this technique in
other open sections of the creek
37
Planted with native vegetation
Engaged school kids in the restoration
Sept 2005
38
Imagine this in 5 years in 50 years
Oct 2006
May 2007
39
What makes these initiatives successful?
  • Direct community input and wide community
    involvement
  • Multi-disciplined, multi-stakeholder,
    multi-interest steering committee
  • Fosters direct communication between neighbouring
    municipalities and the community
  • Coordinator position to guide implementation
  • Municipal champions

40
Are there challenges?
  • Re-engineering nature is difficult
  • Multi-disciplined, multi-stakeholder,
    multi-interest steering committee
  • Funding not easy to determine how to share
    costs, dependent on external funds
  • Different rules and standards in each
    municipality

41
Why do we need to do it together?
  • Many watersheds
  • Many jurisdictions
  • Boundaries do not match
  • Watershed activities can impacts in other parts
    of the watershed and often in other
    municipalities
  • Limited resources to deal with major issues
  • invasive species
  • community stewardship
  • restoring hydrology
  • climate change
  • COLLABORATION IS CRITICAL

42
How many watersheds are there?
43
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44
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45
Sustainable Municipalities
  • Share resources and develop common design
    guidelines
  • Think outside the pipe
  • Recognize ecosystem services
  • Water goes where water goes why fight it?
  • Integrated solutions to meet multiple objectives
  • Climate change
  • Urban forests
  • Hydrological issues
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