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Umbrella Stormwater Bulletin 35
14 October 2015
Published by Green Communities Canada

Webinar on stormwater user fee (utility) model


After years of chronic underfunding of stormwater infrastructure, many Canadian cities are looking to a new model of charging dedicated lot-level stormwater management fees.

This approach, often known as the stormwater utility model, has multiple advantages: reliable revenues, fairness, and the opportunity to incent measures that reduce runoff through onsite infiltration, harvesting, and reuse.

Join us for a webinar on 28 October featuring representatives from three Canadian municipalities (Victoria, Waterloo and Halifax) that are implementing stormwater user-fee systems. 

Learn more at our website and submit your questions for the panel.

The user-fee approach involves an explicit charge for each property, rather than paying for stormwater management out of general property taxes, or a surcharge tied to water consumption.

The lot-level fee can be geared to the area of impervious surface,...[Read more....]


[POLL: Would you support a stormwater user fee in your city?]

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Latest news

Keeping the Great Lakes great.  Last week the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change passed the Great Lakes Protection Act. This Act is a significant step in creating legislative protection of the Great Lakes- St.Lawrence River Basin watershed and in fulfilling the recommendations made within Ontario's Great Lakes Strategy which supports green infrastructure. 

Is rainwater harvesting worthwhile? Using rain barrels is often seen as a minimal step in water conservation. However, using them can help people to become aware of their water usage and; as seen during Australia’s 13 year drought, using tanks to capture water can make a significant dent in the amount of water a city uses.

Absorbing rain on commercial properties. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority released a hydrological assessment of LID on the Honda Campus in Markham, Ontario. Along with providing on-site water balance, water quality and flood control, the increase in native plants and vegetation has improved the aesthetics of the site and created a healthier work environment for Honda employees.

Green infrastructure for climate resiliency.  It is predicted that storms will increase in severity and frequency in coming years, and city infrastructure must be prepared. A new study in New York City found that a combination of grey and green infrastructure is the best way to create a resilient city. In Toronto a similar study is taking place to demonstrate a cost-effective way to maintain community resiliency.

Keep your butt out of the water. Cigarette butts are the number one item found during shoreline cleanups. The chemical toxicity and microplastic pollution created by cigarettes is deadly for marine environments. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper swim guide is encouraging communities to increase education and regulations around cigarette litter.

Cloud analysis of GI. UI Labs in Chicago is developing a cloud-based solution to monitor and analyze the impact of green infrastructure installations on urban drainage. The project will allow the city to compare the effect of green solutions to traditional existing drainage solutions.

Illustrated green infrastructure guide for Alberta. Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership is requesting expressions of interest for the creation of a guide for runoff water quality management using green infrastructure practices that are suitable for a general audience, deadline for submission is 23rd October.

Useful resources

Online repository for GI tools and resources. GIWiz created by the US Environmental Protection Agency contains sourced materials to support and promote sustainable water management and community planning decisions.

Rainfall to Results. The Water Environment Federation (WEF) has released a comprehensive report detailing the challenges, opportunities, and pathways to improving stormwater systems.

Schoolyard stormwater audit. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has created a report card for schools wanting to asses the impact of their property on local waterways which is easily adaptable to schools outside of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The Water Sampler. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority e-newsletter, The Water Sampler, features new and upcoming low impact development research and best management practices.

Online tool to help with climate adaptation. Adapt-action is a tool to help Alberta municipalities adapt to the changing climate. Included are strategies for adapting to floods and water scarcity.

Events

Green Roof Professional Training. 22-24 October. Toronto, Ontario. Registration online. Hosted by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

Virtual panel on stormwater user fees. Webinar. 28 October, 1pm EDT. Registration online. Hosted by RAIN Community Solutions.

TRIECA - Ontario's premier stormwater and erosion and sediment control conference. 23-24 March 2016. Brampton, Ontario. Early bird registration online. Hosted by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

Want to see more events? Check out the RAIN Events Calendar for other upcoming green infrastructure workshops, training, webinars and conferences.

The Umbrella Stormwater Bulletin is a free, biweekly newsletter on green stormwater infrastructure published by the RAIN Community Solutions program of Green Communities Canada. Our audience is made up of municipal stormwater professionals, policymakers, academics, engineers, conservation authorities, nonprofits, and interested community members. We encourage submissions from our readers. Please contact the editor to submit a news item, blog idea, or event. RAIN Community Solutions builds support for and participation in stormwater innovations that reduce runoff by managing rain where it falls.

Copyright © 2015 Green Communities Canada, All rights reserved.


 

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