Umbrella Stormwater Bulletin #32 | 2 Sep 15 Published by Green Communities Canada

Collaborative voice calls for healthy waters

Lindsay Telfer is the national project director for the Canadian Freshwater Alliance, and is leading outreach and engagement activities for Our Living Waters.
Protecting Canada’s fresh waters should be on the next federal government’s agenda, whichever party wins on October 19. And curbing runoff pollution needs to be on the agenda.

This is a key message in Federal leadership for our living waters, a call to action for the next government of Canada that individuals and organizations are asked to support in advance of the coming election. The call to action is the first project under Our Living Waters, a new collaborative initiative administered by Tides Canada, coordinated by the Freshwater Alliance and supported by over 80 freshwater groups from across Canada. Our Living Waters aims to amplify the voice and impact of Canada’s freshwater community.

The goal: that all Canadian waters be restored to good health and protected.

Stormwater runoff, which has been identified in the U.S. as one of the leading sources of pollution to water bodies in urban areas, is singled out as an item for action in Canada as well. The call urges federal government action to address the country’s $88 billion infrastructure deficit through a 10-year strategic plan that puts emphasis on green infrastructure, rainwater management, and water conservation and efficiency.

Our Living Waters identifies four themes and associated actions...[Read more]

POLL] Will you be looking for fresh water protection to be on your federal candidate's election platform?

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Latest news

Aging water infrastructure. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s recent victory, requiring Toronto to inform the public about sewage bypasses into the lake, is just a first step. Vice-president Krystyn Tully states: “The number one reason why we have these water quality issues ... is because our infrastructure isn’t up to snuff.” Costs can be reduced by incorporating green infrastructure into any new plans.

Using history to predict precipitation. Extreme drought has led to the collapse of many civilizations. Modeling based on information gained through ancient pictographs and geochemical analysis has allowed researchers to model the likelihood of future droughts in Central China.

Protecting Ontario’s wetlands. Urban wetlands are an underappreciated resource for stormwater management. Ontario has released a discussion paper as part of the review of the wetland conservation framework. Provide your comments by 30 October.

Rain gardens. Have you built a rain garden yet? Why not? Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District responds to the top four myths about rain gardens. For more resources on how to build your own rain garden check out

Stormwater manager’s new best friend? Michigan has a new way to detect human sewage in stormwater -- sniffer dogs. Dogs trained to detect on-site leaks from faulty infrastructure and septics are saving time and money.

Using natural infrastructure for water. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and the International Water Association have collaborated to create a paper which examines the most recent approaches and challenges to using natural infrastructure to help maintain an adequate supply of clean water, and provides recommendations for addressing urgent challenges faced by current infrastructure systems. Shared by Green Infrastructure Ontario.

Useful resources

RAIN Events Calendar. A calendar of upcoming green infrastructure training, webinars and conferences.

5 Green Infrastructure Projects any Community Can Do. From depaving to building a rain garden this guide provides information on five simple GI projects people can do to address stormwater issues in their cities.


Webinars for Great Lakes Stakeholders: The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Series of five webinars beginning 1 September, 2-4pm EDT. Hosted by Canada-United States Collaboration for Great Lakes Water Quality. Free.

Post-construction stormwater BMPs master class series. Series of five webinars beginning 6 September, 2pm EDT. Hosted by Forester University. $79 per webinar.

Integrated Water Management. Webinar series - 16 September, 11am EDT and 14 October, 11am EDT. Hosted by Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative.

WEFTEC Stormwater Congress. 26-30 September, Chicago. WEFTEC, the water quality event, features 30 sessions and workshops focused on stormwater.

Livable Cities Forum 2015. 28-30 September. Calgary, Alberta. Building flood resilient communities. ICLEI.

TRCA Living Cities LID Workshops. 28-30 September. Woodbridge, ON. The Living City Campus is offering three events in the fall: Design of infiltration practices workshop, LID construction, inspection and maintenance training, and an LID site tour.

13th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference. 5-8 October. New York City. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Cities Alive.

Winter weather O&M for green infrastructure. 6 October. Webinar. Registration and details available in late September. Hosted by USEPA. Free.

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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