Umbrella Stormwater Bulletin 52

16 February 2017
Published by Green Communities Canada

Implementing green infrastructure across Canada

By Sara Jane O'Neill, Smart Prosperity Institute

Local governments across Canada are starting to look at rainwater through a new lens – as a resource that can be managed and harvested on site as opposed to a waste product that must be removed. It is becoming clear that combining green infrastructure with existing grey infrastructure systems is a cost-effective option that provides a range of environmental and social benefits. And that stormwater management is a critical municipal service that requires a new funding approach that is dedicated, transparent and fair.

To help local governments tackle the challenge of implementing green infrastructure policies and programs, Green Communities Canada and the Smart Prosperity Institute held workshops in a number of communities across Canada to discuss options and listen to the barriers being encountered by municipal staff, non-profit organizations, and private industry. Our travels took us to Red Deer, AB, Saskatoon, SK, Charlottetown, PEI, Halifax, NS, and Kelowna, BC.

Learn more about how stormwater user fees can promote managing rain where it falls in your community. New solutions for sustainable stormwater management in Canada: Webinar, March 2, 1 pm EST with Sara Jane O’Neill of Smart Prosperity Institute.
Register now!
In these workshops...[READ MORE


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Stormwater scorecard. How is your community supporting green infrastructure? Fill out a quick, 5 minute survey to start. Want to know more? Attend an introductory webinar (February 27th, 1pm EST) which will walk you through the full stormwater scorecard designed to benchmark progress in your community in adopting transformative policies and programs. By contributing to this project, you will also help establish some benchmarks for the advancement of green infrastructure across Canada.

Infrastructure funding must go green. The Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) calls on the federal government to support green infrastructure with its upcoming major infrastructure investment. The report, released in January, explains how this approach will save money, prolong the life of existing infrastructure, and help communities adapt to climate change.

A new way to finance green infrastructure. Washington D.C. is piloting "green bonds" to fund a $25 million green infrastructure project. Investors' returns will depend on how well the infrastructure performs. Ontario raised $800 million in its third "green bond" and has issued the bond to fund 12 environmental friendly projects, although green stormwater infrastructure projects are not among them. This is a missed opportunity.  

Kitchener leads the way. Once again the City of Kitchener (one of the first municipalities in Ontario to adopt a stormwater user fee and credit system) is on the leading edge of stormwater management. Their new Integrated Stormwater Management Plan includes many progressive elements, including a mandatory volume retention target of 12.5 mm for all new development, redevelopment and road projects. This will align the city with the upcoming MOECC targets expected to be released early this year.

Green infrastructure certifications. The first credentials have been issued through the new U.S. National Green Infrastructure Certification Program, a joint project of DC Water and the Water Environment Federation. "We are preparing a workforce for the jobs we know are coming to support green infrastructure projects here in the District of Columbia and across the nation," said George Hawkins, CEO and General Manager of DC Water.

Water News.  Clifford Maynes, Executive Director of Green Communities Canada, has a feature article on managing rain where it falls with green infrastructure in this winter's edition of the CWRA's quarterly publication.

Feedback requested. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is seeking public comments on its climate adaptation strategy. Comments will be received until March 13, 2017.


DRainscapes. UBC and the Landscape Architects of Canada Foundation have produced a great animated video demonstrating how green infrastructure works to reverse the damage from urbanization on the water cycle. 

Private money for public infrastructure. Could private investment fund large scale green infrastructure? A new report analyzes the winning conditions required to make this successful. 


Making Urban Water Sustainability a Reality. Webinar. 3-4 PM (EST) 17 February 2017. Presented by POLIS Project on Ecological Governance. Register here.

Stormwater Scorecard. Webinar. 1-2 PM (EST). 27 February 2017. Register here.

New Solutions for Sustainable Stormwater Management in Canada. Webinar. 1-2 PM (EST) 2 March 2017. Presented by Sara Jane O'Neill, Smart Prosperity Institute. Register here.

Strategies for implementing green stormwater infrastructure. Webinar. 2-3 PM (EST). 9 March 2017. Presented by the Canada Water Resources Association. Speaker: Clara Blakelock, Green Communities Canada. Register here.

Public-Private Partnerships, Green Infrastructure, and Private Delivery/ Financing. Webinar. 12-1 PM (EDT). 23 March 2017. By Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. Register here.

Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program LID training. Webinars and in person. See website for upcoming events including training on LID construction (28 March), maintenance (16 Feb and 29 March) and the use of LID for water quantity control (9 March), as well as sediment and erosion control (several dates).

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, monthly 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 © 2017 Green Communities Canada, All rights reserved.


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