RAIN Community Solutions is on a mission to create flood-resilient communities where rain is managed where it falls to reduce runoff and pollution. Learn more about it on our newly redesigned website.
RAIN Community Solutions, a program of Green Communities Canada and our member organizations, helps local governments implement innovative stormwater management approaches known as green infrastructure and low impact development.
RAIN builds community support and participation for measures that help solve problems with flooding and other impacts caused by urbanization, climate change, and a growing infrastructure deficit.
We promote measures like rain gardens, bioswales, and permeable pavement that help restore the urban water cycle by absorbing more rain into the soil. Other measures include slowing the rain down by harvesting it for landscaping purposes, increasing the urban forest canopy and expanding green spaces.
Governments in Ontario and beyond have declared their support for this shift in strategy for managing rain. See the Ontario government’s land-use policy statement, the Canada-Ontario agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality, and a recent bulletin outlining expectations regarding stormwater management. Reducing stormwater volumes through source controls is fully supported by the province.
Green Communities Canada and our member organizations are offering services to municipalities to help get community buy-in. Activities include public outreach, demonstration projects (like Depave Paradise), site-specific advice, neighbourhood action planning, market development, and resident surveys.
We work with a wide variety of partners, including municipalities, community organizations, conservation authorities, community groups, the landscaping industry, consultants, and professionals.
Working in Ontario and beyond, RAIN has achieved significant, measurable results. Our largest project to date has been a partnership with REEP Green Solutions and the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. With funding from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s Showcasing Water Innovation Fund, we launched an intensive community engagement project to promote three key messages:
- Slow it down: Reduce peak stormwater flows through rainwater-harvesting and increasing the urban canopy.
- Soak it up: Maximize infiltration of rain into the soil to recharge groundwater and protect aquifers for the future.
- Keep it clean: Prevent pollutants like pet waste, fertilizers, cigarette butts and road salt from entering the system.
We have helped the municipalities communicate their new stormwater utility and credit system to the public, using a community-based social marketing approach that focuses on person-to-person communication. Thousands of individuals have been reached, and millions of cubic meters of stormwater have been kept out of the storm sewer systems.
Former Mayor of Waterloo, Brenda Halloran, showed her support: “Our RAIN program shows other communities how it is possible to alleviate pressure on our aging stormwater infrastructure and protect our aquifer, our river and our natural heritage.”
Get in touch with us to start the conversation about how RAIN Community Solutions can help your community save money, reduce flood risk, and protect our water. Learn more about us on our website, or contact us directly.