Umbrella Stormwater Bulletin | 11 Mar 2015 : 20

Photo via USEPA

Urge province to boost green infrastructure in its climate strategy

The Ontario government has issued a climate strategy discussion paper that references green infrastructure/LID measures in the context of climate adaptation and resilience. That’s the good news. But Umbrella readers looking for action will be disappointed by the lack of specifics.

Supporters of green infrastructure/LID should their submit input during the comment period, which closes 29 March 2015.

Ontario’s Climate Change Discussion Paper 2015 pulls no punches in describing the threat of climate change to Ontario, and features alternative carbon pricing schemes as a centrepiece of the government’s strategy for reducing emissions.

Adaptation planning is cited as part of local government efforts to manage risks and improve resilience. The paper references “opportunities” for “Green designs such as green roofs … permeable paving and incorporating green and blue (water) landscaping …” There is a peculiar mention of canals (?) along with swales to manage flood risks (p. 21).

One of four “Climate Critical Priorities” is to “Promote climate resilience and risk management in key areas and with key partners – on issues including stormwater management.” But no details.

(Click here to read more about what's missing in Ontario's climate strategy... )

POLL: How should Ontario prioritize climate change adaptation and mitigation?

Contribute to the bulletin!

Let us know if you have a green infrastructure project or story that should be featured in the blog, a news item you'd like to share, or an event that Umbrella subscribers would be interested in. Email us or contribute to the thread in The Umbrella.

Latest news

Small town values natural capital. Gibsons, B.C. (pop. 4,400) is the first municipality in North America to explicitly include natural features such as aquifers, creeks, trees, and shoreline areas in its asset management planning process. By valuing the services these “eco-assets” provide, the Town has “moved natural assets from the periphery of municipal decision-making to its core.” Stormwater management is identified as a key service provided by many natural features.

The many benefits of rain gardens. Cities in the U.S. and Canada are giving property owners incentives to reduce their stormwater runoff by installing rain gardens. Nashville, St. LouisKitchener and Waterloo are just some of the cities offering financial perks to residents who install these attractive, low maintenance landscape features which capture and filter runoff. Rain gardening is even good for your health! See examples of Canadian rain gardens at

Permeable parking lot gets accolades. Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) and IMAX Corporation have received the Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence for the retrofit of the IMAX head office parking lot with innovative green infrastructure technologies. The permeable pavers, in addition to reducing flood risk, are also saving IMAX $345/month in lifecycle costs and reducing winter slips and falls. Read the case study to learn more. Other CVC case studies and guides can be found in The Umbrella.

RAIN on the cover. Municipal World featured an article this month on urban runoff and RAIN, an intensive community engagement program by Green Communities Canada and its members that promotes green infrastructure and ecological stormwater management. The article highlighted RAIN’s activities in Kitchener and Waterloo, where the cities partnered with local nonprofit REEP Green Solutions to obtain community buy-in for their stormwater rate and credit programs.

Library updates. 2015 has already seen a rash of new reports on green infrastructure. Some new additions to the Umbrella library:

Thunder Bay plans for the future. The new Thunder Bay stormwater management plan identifies 600 sites on public lands where rain can be managed onsite with green infrastructure before it gets into the conventional stormwater system. The plan was discussed at a council meeting on 9 March, and should be completed and released by the end of April.

Corrections. In the 25 June, 2014 issue of the stormwater bulletin, we incorrectly reported that Toronto was installing concrete tree boxes on Bloor/Danforth. In fact, they are removing them in favour of planting pits which give trees a much better chance of survival in the harsh urban environment. In the 25 February, 2015 issue, we neglected to provide a link to the study about trees and stormwater. Find that link here. To report any other errors, please contact the editor.


Permeable pavements in Ontario: Design options, maintenance BMPs, and proven performance. 13 March, 2015, 12-1pm EDT. Umbrella Webinar. Jennifer Drake of the University of Toronto. Register here, for this presentation or for the entire 6 webinar series.

Designing for tomorrow. 17-20 March, 2015. Calgary. Training week by Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership.

Evergreen Urban watershed forum. 20 March, 2015. Toronto. Explore innovative approaches to stormwater management at this one day event.

Water innovations walk. 24 March, 2015. Waterloo. Learn how Canada’s first stormwater rate and credit systems have contributed to an innovative approach to water management at Wilfrid Laurier University.

TRIECA. 25-26 March, 2015. Ontario's premier stormwater and sediment and erosion control conference. Clifford Maynes and Clara Blakelock of Green Communities Canada presenting.  Register now.

Waterkeeper gala. 23 April, 2015. Toronto, Ontario. Featuring Wade Davis. Tickets on sale now. Proceeds to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.

Ontario Climate Consortium 2015. 11 May, 2015. Hamilton, Ontario. Ready, steady, adapt: leading adaptation through collaboration.

The Umbrella is an online community designed for knowledge-sharing about green stormwater infrastructure. Its members are municipal stormwater professionals, policymakers, academics, engineers, conservation authorities, nonprofits, and interested community members. The Umbrella is managed by Green Communities Canada. Submit an item for an upcoming issue or provide feedback on the bulletin.

Copyright © 2015 RAIN Community Solutions, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp