Case Studies that Demonstrate the Cost of Doing Nothing

Protecting source water is often easier and more cost effective than treatment alone or dealing with the aftermath of contamination events. Canadian examples: $65 million to deal with a PCB leak that contaminated a Niagara aquifer (Office of the Auditor General of Ontario, 2014). $64 million on the Walkerton tragedy … Read more

City of Guelph Using Multi-Media to Get the Message Out About Groundwater

The City of Guelph, Canada’s largest city that relies exclusively on groundwater for its drinking water supply, also has websites with information dedicated to different user groups, including one website specifically for residents, Help protect Guelph’s water, and one for businesses, Source Water Protection for businesses, developers and builders. On … Read more

k’əmcnitkw (Alongside the Water) Floodplain Re-engagement Project

Located on Penticton Indian Band Reserve # 1 bordering sn’pink’tn (Penticton), BC, this innovative, multi-year, multi-partner project is well on-track in its efforts to restore the biodiverse mosaic of shallow open water wetlands, marshlands, seasonally flooded meadows, deciduous shrublands, and black cottonwood forests that once existed alongside the meandering q̓awsitkʷ … Read more

Links – General

Considerations for Local Government Elected Officials: Primer on Drinking Water Management in BC, published in 2018 by the Auditor General for Local Government. Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Program: 10 Year Action Plan Implementation Review, published by the Regional District of Nanaimo in 2018. Well Protection Toolkit, published … Read more

Links – Monitoring and reporting

BC Wildlife Federation Conservation App.,now%20easier%20to%20use%20offline. FrontCounter B.C. Geography Open Textbook, 2014. British Columbia in a Global Context: Tools for Spatial Data Collection and Utilization. Government of British Columbia, Share Your Water Data. Government of British Columbia, EcoCat Ecological Reports Catalogue. Government of British Columbia, iMapBC. … Read more

Links – Emergency preparedness and response

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 2014. Emergency Response Plan for Drinking Water Systems in First Nations Communities: Guide and Template. City of Nanaimo, 2017. Water System Emergency Plan. Ministry of Health, 2017. Emergency Response and Contingency Planning for Small Water Systems: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an … Read more

Links – Natural assets and green infrastructure

Integrating Natural Assets into Asset Management published by Asset Management B.C. in 2019. The Partnership for Water Sustainability in B.C., 2019. Primer on the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP): A Methodology for Valuing the “Water Balance Services” Provided by Nature. Natural Asset Primer published by the Municipal Natural Asset … Read more

Links – Education and engagement

Source Water Protection Justification Toolkit published in 2019 by the American Water Works Association. Econics, 2018. Regional District of Nanaimo Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Program: 10 Year Response Plan Implementation Review. Hayhoe, K., TEDWomen, 2018. The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk … Read more

Links – Policies, plans and bylaws

Preparing for Climate Change: An Implementation Guide for Local Governments in British Columbia, published in 2012 by West Coast Environmental Law. Green Bylaws Toolkit. 

Links – Funding

Sustainable Financing in Drinking Water Management: Considerations for Local Government Administrators published in 2020 by the Auditor General for Local Government Civic Info BC Grants database Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Funding Opportunities. Government of British Columbia, Infrastructure Planning Grant Program. Government of British Columbia. Economic Development … Read more

Links – Collaboration

Collaboration Toolkit: How to Build and Maintain Effective Partnerships to Protect Sources of Drinking Water website developed by the Source Water Collaborative A Handbook for Water Champions: First edition. Strengthening Decision-Making and Collaboration for Healthy Watersheds, published in 2019 by the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance Water Sustainability Project. … Read more

Kalamalka Lake Monitoring Program

Long-term monitoring of Kalamalka Lake has been ongoing for 20 years. This extensive database has enabled water suppliers to identify changes in their water supply and quickly address them. One example involved identifying the impacts of boating on drinking water quality by comparing raw water turbidity against long-term averages to … Read more

City of West Kelowna Long-Term Monitoring Identified Unprecedented Turbidity

Long-term data helped identify the cause of abrupt high turbidity in a reservoir that had been stable for 32 years of monitoring. This case involved a change in the amount of nitrogen delivered from the Lambly watershed. Without this dataset, the cause (and potential solutions) would remain a mystery.

Fuel Spill into Coldstream Creek

A fuel spill occurred at a gas station in Coldstream in November 2015. The operators were aware of storm drains that were directed to Coldstream Creek, so they barricaded them effectively. This action demonstrates the importance of staff training on the hazards to the water source and how Emergency Response … Read more

Rose Valley Reservoir Watershed Wildfire in 2015

In the past two decades, there have been four wildfires (2005, 2009, 2015 and 2020) caused by recreational carelessness in the tiny Rose Valley Reservoir watershed. This is a terminal reservoir for the City of West Kelowna, with no further opportunities for natural purification. The distribution system commences at the … Read more

City of Kelowna Roadside Bioretention

The City of Kelowna is looking at new ways to use green infrastructure to manage water on roadways. Rather than typical curb-and-gutter systems used along most Kelowna roadways now, the City will replace them with bioretention bump-outs (curb extensions) and bioswales. Instead of water flowing into stormwater drains, it will … Read more

Comox Lake Initiative Strengthens Role of Nature in Protecting Drinking Water

READ ARTICLE: Comox Lake Initiative Strengthens Role of Nature in Protecting Drinking Water In 2019, several Comox Valley communities and the K’òmoks First Nation launched a multi-year initiative with the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI) to help better understand, measure, and manage critical drinking water services provided by nature. The Comox … Read more

Measuring the Value of Natural Assets in Saskatoon

READ ARTICLE: Measuring the Value of Natural Assets in Saskatoon The City of Saskatoon completed a pilot project to assign measurable value of the ecosystem services provided by its natural assets. The project had three phases: (1) compile an inventory and choose the natural assets to focus on, (2) identify the … Read more

The Town of Gibsons’ Experience in Financial Planning and Reporting

The Town of Gibsons was North America’s first community to experiment with strategies to integrate natural assets into asset management and financial planning. They started in 2009 by valuing the aquifer that filters and stores water to supply the town and future projected populations with clean drinking water and are … Read more

Citizen Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program

The goal of the Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program is to increase knowledge about groundwater resources in the Columbia Basin and the climate impacts on them in order to effectively inform sustainable water management and meet the needs of people and nature. The foundation of the Program is the well … Read more

LakeSmart Stewardship Program Drives Community-Level Behavioural Change

In Maine, USA, direct interpersonal contact between LakeSmart staff and citizens kick-started an effective voluntary lake protection program. The LakeSmart Program was designed with the following tools: Landscaping BMP workshops. These both spread knowledge on how to minimize nutrient runoff and solicited participation among residents. BMP focal areas included: driveways; … Read more

Source Protection Education in Ontario

In Ontario, education is primarily delivered through dedicated drinking water source protection websites; one exists for each source protection region and all use the same logo. Partnering organizations distribute fact sheets, videos, and guides through websites and provide education through watershed management and conservation programs.

Lake Windermere Management Plan

The Lake Windermere Management Plan was initiated by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) in November 2008 to address concerns that increasing development and use could lead to a degradation in drinking water quality and other values. The Plan guides long-term management of the lake and directs local government … Read more

District of North Vancouver Environmental Protection and Preservation Bylaw

The District of North Vancouver Environmental Protection and Preservation Bylaw regulates the protection, preservation and conservation of the natural environment and ecological systems including watercourses, trees, soils, and lands. It regulates development in aquatic areas (Part A) and on sloping terrain (Part B), soil removal and deposit (Part C).

City of Metchosin Protection and Management of Rainwater Bylaw

The City of Metchosin Bylaw for the Protection and Management of Rain Water regulates the use and development of land to minimize the impact on a watershed by emphasizing the conservation and balance of water in and over the land. The performance requirement is to address 90% of rainfall on-site. … Read more

City of Kelowna Well Regulation Bylaw

The City of Kelowna Well Regulation Bylaw regulates the disconnection and closure of wells on properties connected to the City Water Utility. The bylaw includes options for water well owners to professionally decommission their wells in order to connect to the City utility or, for those wishing to keep their … Read more

Village of Cumberland Development Permit Area for Groundwater Protection

The Village of Cumberland DPA 2 – Groundwater Protection (p. 99) regulates development in a manner that protects, sustains, or enhances the quality and quantity of ground water sources for drinking, irrigation, and other approved uses and the overall health of the natural environment and water ecosystem. To develop in … Read more

Official Community Plan Policies Supporting Climate Resilience

The Official Community Plan Policies Supporting Climate Resilience  guide provides local government with guidance and examples for putting climate resilient policies into official community plans and development permit areas guidelines. Section 2.3.3 covers stormwater management, Sections 2.5 and 3.1, and 3.4.1 discuss the natural environment, and water conservation is addressed … Read more

District of Highlands Official Community Plan

The District of Highlands Official Community Plan states that all land use decisions must consider water (Section 2.1). Numerous sections in the OCP provide objectives and policy direction related to source water protection, including: Section 3.3 – water features and riparian areas as environmentally sensitive areas, Section 3.5 – watershed … Read more

Comox Valley Regional District Regional Growth Strategy

The Comox Valley Regional District Regional Growth Strategy has a strong emphasis on protecting drinking water and managing stormwater. Objective 5-B and its five policies call for professional reports that outline potential development impacts to water quality and quantity, support plans that protect drinking water, require collaboration with stakeholders and … Read more

Metro Vancouver 2040 Shaping our Future Regional Growth Strategy

Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy sets out Conservation and Recreation areas, which are intended to protect significant ecological and recreation assets, including drinking water. Goal 3 Protect the Environment and Respond to Climate Change Impacts includes strategies to protect those conservation and recreation lands (3.1) and to protect and enhance … Read more

Pops for Parks

Pops for Parks Funding Mechanism in the United States New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine and Michigan fund environmental programs by claiming deposit fees from unrecycled beverage containers, which otherwise remains as a profit with the beverage industry. In B.C., there were 16 million dollars’ worth of unclaimed bottle deposits in … Read more

Monthly Meter Fees go Towards Land Acquisition for Central Arkansas Water

Central Arkansas Water (CAW) began funding its watershed protection program using a $0.45 monthly meter fee, which they displayed on bills to increase customer knowledge of watershed protection. The fee generated over $1 million annually and was used primarily to purchase land and conservation easements, but also for other watershed … Read more

Syilx Forestry Standards

Sn’pink’tn (Penticton Indian Band) signed a Forest and Range Opportunity Agreement with the Government of British Columbia in 2007 and has begun managing two Non-Replaceable Forest Licences within the Okanagan Nation traditional territory. As well, Sn’pink’tn has a working partnership with Gorman Brothers Lumber Ltd., developing cutting permits and assisting … Read more

Cowichan Watershed Board

The Cowichan Watershed Board (CWB) is a local governance entity that promotes water and watershed sustainability in the Cowichan/Koksilah watersheds, ancestral home of the Quw’utsun First Nation. The CWB is co-chaired by the Chief of Cowichan Tribes and the Chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, with 10-12 other members … Read more

Regional District of Nanaimo Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Program

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) established an exemplary Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Program (DWWP) in 2009 after six years of careful planning and staff dedication. The DWWP spans seven major basins, involves four member municipalities, relies on participation and collaboration of numerous parties, and is sustained financially through … Read more