Umbrella Stormwater Bulletin 36
28 October 2015
Published by Green Communities Canada

Tools for community-scale implementation
of green stormwater infrastructure

Faced with the combined impacts of urbanization and climate change, how can municipalities take action across the landscape to reduce flood risk, erosion, and pollution?

A free workshop, being held Wednesday 2 December in Toronto, will outline tools for community-scale adoption of green stormwater infrastructure (low impact development).

The half-day workshop will provide a strategic overview for ways to implement innovative stormwater solutions on public and private lands, including of policies and programs for green streets, parking lots, and alleys, green parks, stormwater user fees and incentives, green roofs, rainwater harvesting, and more. 

Target audiences include champions of green infrastructure, such as environment and community groups, who want to support local government action. Presenters will be Clara Blakelock and Clifford Maynes of Green Communities Canada, which delivers the RAIN program. The Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition is hosting.

Workshop content will be based on the Soak it up! toolkit being developed by Green Communities Canada, with generous financial support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Participants will receive a copy of the draft toolkit and be invited to provide input.

Measures like bioswales, permeable pavement,...[Read more....]

[POLL: Are you interested in attending the Soak it up workshop?]

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Latest news

Historic support for natural infrastructure.  Last week the Obama Administration released a memorandum directing federal agencies to factor the value of ecosystem services into federal planning and decision-making. It is estimated that capital projects incorporating ecosystem services have provided billions of dollars in flood protection in the U.S. and will continue to be a more efficient use of taxpayer money. 

Liberals and green infrastructure. The Liberal government has promised to invest $6-billion into green infrastructure over the next four years. However, the definition of green infrastructure used by the Liberals and previous federal governments does not correspond with common usage used elsewhere and appears to emphasize hard engineering over ecosystem services. Education required!

Ontario to plant 150 million trees! A resolution to plant 150 million trees to celebrate Ontario’s 150th year of confederation was unanimously supported by the Legislature... If you are planting a tree here are some tips from LEAF on how to keep it healthy.

Beavers: water superheroes.  A new study has found that beaver dams help to reduce nitrogen levels in estuaries in Northeastern United States. The ponds created from beaver dams slow the movement of water and cause a buildup of organic matter; which removes nitrogen through denitrification.

Balancing the social and environmental in City Square. The City of Regina undertook a major landscaping project in the downtown core. This high usage urban district was reconstructed to blend the urban forest with onsite stormwater management to infiltrate the 100-year storm.

Using mussels to track stormwater pollution. Researchers in Puget Sound are placing mussels in creeks and bays surrounding the sound to find out what contaminants are entering the waterbody. Additionally, the mussels will be used to measure the long-term impacts of ongoing projects to protect the Sound from stormwater.

Useful resources

9 Ways to Make Green Infrastructure Work. A report from the U.S. Regional Plan Association showcases nine ways to integrate good green infrastructure practices into land use and site-planning decisions.

Adapting local extreme rainfall statistics to climate change. The University of Western Ontario has created a web-based, publicly accessible intensity-duration-frequency tool to update and adapt local extreme rainfall statistics to climate change. An online explanation of the tool can be found on Youtube.

Health benefits and risks of harvesting stormwater. Researchers from the University of California have produced a review of literature summarizing the benefits and risks to using stormwater as a resource.

Maintaining your LID. A guide created by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program to maintenance and inspection best management practices for low impact development.


Last chance! Register before 11am EDT today to attend the virtual panel on stormwater utilities. Hear speakers from  Waterloo, Victoria and Halifax discuss the challenges and successes of implementing impervious-area based stormwater charges. Register now.

Changing Climate, Watershed Disturbance & Potential Risks to Municipal Waterworks Systems in Canada. Webinar. 3 November. 2-4pm EST. Registration online. Hosted by Canadian Water Network.

Soak It Up! Effective tools for community action. Manage rain where it falls and reduce runoff pollution and volumes. Free workshop. 2 December. Toronto, Ontario. Registration online. Hosted by Green Infrastructure Ontario and presented by Green Communities Canada.

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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