Stay up to date on the latest green infrastructure news with the Umbrella Stormwater Bulletin. It’s free, monthly.
February to March 2018: Trying to get it right webinar series
Hosted by: Youth for Water Program, Green Communities Canada
In this webinar series we heard from partners, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, who have worked together to achieve a unified environmental goal.
In each webinar the speakers provided an overview of the initiative they partnered on, shared the challenges they had faced working together, explained how they overcame their partnership challenges, and highlighted the successes of their joint-initiative.
February 7, 2018 – Sacred Water Circle (Speakers- Dorothy Taylor and Cathy Mitchell)
February 21, 2018 – Antler River Guardians from the 4 Directions (Speakers- Mary Alikakos and Tara Tchir)
March 7, 2018 – Credit Valley Indigenous Experience Plan (Speakers- Susan Robertson and Caroline King)
March 21, 2018 – Climate Adaptation Planning within the Chippewas of Georgina island First Nation Reserve (Speakers- Kerry-Ann Charles and Al Douglas)
January 30, 2018: Stormwater fees: how to engage the community in stormwater
Hosted by: Green Communities Canada
Free registration for this webinar was supported by the Town of Newmarket.
Background: In 2017, the Town of Newmarket implemented a stormwater user fee to pay for the necessary maintenance of stormwater infrastructure. The Town, in partnership with MOECC, conducted a jurisdictional scan on stormwater fee and credit programs in Ontario. The purpose was to identify various program structures and create a toolkit for municipalities who may want to implement a stormwater fee program in the future. A main focus was how to engage the community in the stormwater conversation, increase participation in credit programs and provide lessons learned for successful implementation. The result: co-creating to address community and municipal priorities.
Presenter: Jen Slykhuis is the Sr. Environmental Coordinator at the Town of Newmarket where her main focus is mitigating the impacts of climate change on stormwater management through the implementation of LID and creating new programs to push the boundaries on traditional approaches to stormwater and community engagement.
Abstract: This webinar is intended for municipal staff, consultants, or politicians who are interested in learning more about what works and what doesn’t in engaging the community around implementing a successful stormwater user fee. In the webinar, participants learned:
- How the Town of Newmarket implemented a stormwater user fee
- What was learned through engagement sessions with residents and business owners
- Tips for other municipalities thinking of implementing stormwater fees
- How to increase participation in stormwater credit or incentive programs.
Oct 17, 2017: Ontario Urban Flooding Collaborative
Presented by: Green Communities Canada
This webinar is intended for a municipality, other level of government, private business, conservation authority, insurance industry, nonprofit organization or an interested citizen who is interested in working to reduce urban flood risk in Ontario.
In this webinar, we provided an overview of the collective impact initiative to reduce urban flood risk in Ontario and how you could get involved. We also shared preliminary results and key themes gleaned from interviews with over 20 key stakeholders across sectors on what had been done and what would need to happen to address the issue. This webinar was hosted by Green Communities Canada with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
October 16, 2017: How transformative is Canadian green infrastructure?
Presented by: Green Communities Canada
Over the past year, Our Living Waters Network members, Green Communities Canada and the Canadian Freshwater Alliance, have been inviting communities and community groups to assess the scale and success of green infrastructure implementation in their municipality using a unique tool, the Stormwater Scorecard.
In July 2017, we released an aggregate report of the initial round of the first 30 assessments. The assessments documented a clear opportunity for improving the way communities manage rainfall – treating it as a resource instead of a waste product and managing it close to where it falls. We can, and need to do more to advance the scale, and pace of green infrastructure investment across the country.
In this webinar we explored the findings of the first assessment, and looked at examples of communities that had taken action to change the way rain is managed on the landscape. We explored opportunities to ensure our next assessment yields much more positive results.
July 13, 2017: Innovative, low cost ways to address flooding
Presented by: Green Communities Canada
This webinar is intended for municipalities interested in using green infrastructure and other retrofit options to help vulnerable neighbourhoods adapt to extreme rainfall.
Green Communities Canada (GCC) helps municipalities across the country to save money, reduce flood risk, and protect water by managing rain where it falls. At the time of the webinar GCC was creating a network of municipalities interested in implementing neighbourhood-based approaches to flood reduction. The network would provide access to case studies, webinars, and workshops designed to meet municipal needs. Municipality would benefit from training opportunities with leading experts, peer to peer knowledge sharing, and customized support.
In the webinar, we discussed:
- How cities are addressing flooding in vulnerable neighbourhoods
- What opportunities are available through the municipal implementation network
- What training or support would be most useful to your municipality
July 12, 2017: Ontario’s Runoff Volume Control Targets
Presented by: Green Communities Canada and the Canadian Environmental Law Association.
This webinar provided a brief overview of Ontario’s approach to stormwater management and the development of Runoff Volume Control targets for new development and redevelopment. At the time of the webinar, there was an opportunity to provide comments on the Ontario Environmental Registry (EBR) on consultant reports which will inform the targets. The goal was to bring together the environmental community to show strong support for this approach which, when implemented, would reverse some of the negative impacts of development on the hydrological cycle by treating rain as a resource that is managed as close as possible to where it falls.
May 18, 2017: Urban flooding in Ontario – toward collective impact solutions
Presented by: Anastasia Kaschenko, the Lead Researcher for the Urban Flooding in Ontario: Toward Collective Impact Solutions report released in final draft by Green Communities Canada in April this year.
Anastasia presented an overview of findings from the 2017 report: Urban flooding in Ontario: Toward Collective Impact Solutions. The research includes the causes of urban flooding, focusing on land use changes and urbanization interrupting the water cycle. Aging stormwater infrastructure and climate change are also explored as other contributing causes. The webinar was concluded by describing current and past initiatives to address urban flooding in Ontario by many stakeholders from various sectors.
March 2, 2017: New solutions for sustainable stormwater management in Canada
Sara Jane O’Neill, Senior Research Associate, Smart Prosperity Institute
Smart Prosperity Institute is a national green economy think tank based at the University of Ottawa. Sara’s research focuses on sustainable communities and in finding economic ways to make our cities a better place to live for everyone.
Struggling with costly infrastructure deficits, the impacts of increasing urbanization, and changing weather patterns, how are today’s local governments going to address the challenges of urban stormwater management?
Based on information contained in the report, New Solutions for Sustainable Stormwater Management in Canada, this webinar will give an overview of stormwater user fees and incentives for green infrastructure, highlighting successes and challenges in both U.S. and Canadian communities.
November 23, 2016: Roads and runoff — using green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff from roads and highways
Robert Goo, Office of Research and Development, USEPA
There are over 900,000 km of roads in Canada, creating thousands of square kilometers of impervious surface which rain water washes over carrying pollutants into our waterways. Managing road runoff through rain gardens, bioswales, infiltration galleries or urban trees in the rights-of-way reduces runoff volumes and stormwater pollution. It can also make streets safer and more pleasant for pedestrians and cyclists, while sequestering carbon. Some cities (Toronto, Philadelphia, Boston) are now beginning to institutionalize this approach, through complete streets and green streets policies. Pilot projects which infiltrate stormwater runoff in rights-of-way have proven very successful. Costs have consistently been shown to be lower and performance has exceeded expectations. In the webinar participants learned about what the US Environmental Protection Agency has done to enhance right of ways by using green stormwater infrastructure.
October 13, 2016: Transforming rainwater management on the Ontario landscape—the changing policy environment
Anastasia Lintner, Principal, Lintner Law, and Clifford Maynes, Executive Director, Green Communities Canada
The Ontario government appears to be embracing a new paradigm for stormwater management using green infrastructure (low impact development) to reduce runoff and runoff pollution. Environmental lawyer Anastasia Lintner, and Clifford Maynes, Executive Director of Green Communities Canada discussed about two important processes under way now: the Coordinated Land Use Planning Review and the Low Impact Development Guidance Document (including runoff volume expectations). Anastasia and Clifford outlined provisions in these important policy initiatives, and talked about strengths, weakness, and opportunities for improvement.
September 28, 2016: Weathering the drought — using green stormwater infrastructure to manage the impact of dry seasons
Catlow Shipek, Policy and Technical Director, Watershed Management Group
Green infrastructure is a tool for managing rainfall. So what if there isn’t any? Many Canadian cities have been experiencing the driest growing season on record, and climate change experts expect that these dry extremes will become the norm. We need to provide opportunities to capture rain for reuse and allow it to soak into the ground where it can recharge groundwater, so cities and agriculture can become more resilient to drought. Catlow Shipek talked about the great work that the Watershed Management Group (WMG) has been doing in Tucson, Arizona—a place where drought is the norm. He also demonstrated how WMG has been using community-based green stormwater infrastructure to capture water during the rainy season to help harvest rain water and recharge groundwater in order to mitigate the impacts of the dry seasons.
May 25, 2016: Stormwater Retention Credits — a fresh idea
Mattew Espie, Environmental Protection Specialist, Stormwater Management Division, Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), Government of the District of Columbia. Matthew’s work focuses on financial incentive programs for green infrastructure practices that reduce stormwater runoff.
Washington, DC has developed an innovative way of promoting cost-effective action to reduce stormwater runoff volumes: stormwater retention credits (SRCs). Landowners who lack an affordable way to meet requirements for onsite rainwater management can purchase stormwater retention credits from others in the same watershed in order to meet part of their obligations. Each credit is equivalent to managing one gallon of runoff for a year. Landowners with absorbent properties have a financial incentive to invest in green infrastructure and sell their SRCs.
April 27, 2016: Strategies for implementing green stormwater infrastructure
Clifford Maynes, Executive Director, Green Communities Canada.
Green Communities Canada developed the Soak it Up! Toolkit recognizing that communities are on the front lines of stormwater impacts, costs, and solutions. Conventional grey infrastructure (storm drains and pipes) is costly and can’t keep up with the challenges of increased urbanization and climate change. Green infrastructure (also known as low impact development) will be a big part of an effective, affordable solution.
The Soak it Up! Toolkit is available for free download at www.raincommunitysolutions.ca/en/toolkit
The 50-page document outlines a wide range of practical strategies for municipalities and communities, including green streets and alleys, green parks, development standards, and stormwater user fees and incentives as a way of promoting action on private property. The toolkit was prepared by Clifford Maynes and Clara Blakelock at Green Communities Canada, with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
March 30, 2016: Managing rain where it falls in the Lake Simcoe watershed
Steve Auger, M.Sc., P.Eng., Stormwater Management Specialist, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA)
With the right support, developers and municipalities can become champions for low impact development and managing rain where it falls. In this webinar, Steve Auger from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) RainScaping Program shared the experiences in addressing stormwater runoff from new developments, as well as from existing built-up areas in the Lake Simcoe region. Participants learned how LSRCA:
- has developed a model bylaw and stormwater management guidelines for adoption by municipalities
- works closely with developers and consultants to help them implement low impact development (LID) stormwater management
- is developing a retrofitting incentive program for construction of green infrastructure on industrial, institutional and commercial lands
- tailors training and capacity building for landscaping staff as an important part of the strategy in retrofitting the existing urban landscape
October 28, 2015: Panel on stormwater user fees
Carl Yates, Halifax Water; Brianne Czypyha, City of Victoria; and, Todd Chapman, the City of Waterloo
Cities across Canada are adopting a new approach to pay for necessary stormwater upgrades, including green infrastructure. Stormwater user fees charge properties based on the amount of impervious surface they contain.
The webinar brought together three experts from Canadian municipalities, which have adopted a user-pay system for stormwater. The panelists discussed the structure of their programs, and the successes and challenges of implementing an impervious-area based charge for stormwater.
October 7, 2015: Using urban trees for stormwater management
Peter MacDonagh, Kestrel Design Group.
Urban trees are valuable for many reasons. But a recent study from TD economics put 66% of an urban tree’s annual value to its benefits for stormwater management. Trees, when properly planted and maintained, can absorb a significant portion of a city’s stormwater. Municipal policies can help ensure that cities get the most out of their urban trees.
In the webinar, the urban tree expert, Peter MacDonagha—a forerunner in the use of trees for stormwater management—presented his ground breaking work in policy development, research quantifying tree stormwater benefits, and techniques for maximizing tree stormwater benefits.
May 29, 2015: Where's the green in green infrastructure: identifying the direct and indirect benefits of low impact development
Phil James and Kyle Vander Linden, Credit Valley Conservation (CVC)
The webinar focused on understanding the economics of green infrastructure. Phil James and Kyle Vander Linden from Credit Valley Conservation identified the benefits of low impact development through a discussion of the returns on infrastructure investments.
May 22, 2015: Green infrastructure and flood resiliency
Dr. Robert Roseen, Horsley Witten Group.
The webinar explored sustainable and low-cost ways to reduce flood risk with green infrastructure.
May 8, 2015: Rain Ready: finding solutions to urban flooding
Harriet Festing, Director, Water Program, Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), Chicogo.
The webinar presented how the RainReady program at CNT helped retrofitting communities at high risk of flooding.
April 24, 2015: Infiltration in low permeability soils: lessons from the Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program
Dean Young, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
The webinar discussed how to make green stormwater infrastructure work on low permeability soils.
April 10, 2015: Philadelphia: Green City, Clean Waters
Tiffany Ledesma, Jessica Noon, and Amy Liu, Philadelphia Water Department.
Presenters shared the successes, challenges and opportunities for Philadelphia’s city-wide green infrastructure implementation.
March 13, 2015: Permeable pavements in Ontario: design options, BMPs, and proven performance
Dr. Jennifer Drake, University of Toronto.
January 30, 2015: Urban flooding in Canada
Dan Sandink, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR)
January 23, 2015: Implementing a stormwater utility and incentive program without getting soaked
Denise McGoldrick, City of Waterloo
The webinar presented the Kitchener-Waterloo story of how municipalities may finance and implement green infrastructure.
January 16, 2015: Monitoring results from LID across Canada
Chris Denich, Aquafor Beech.
Chris Denich presented how low impact development (such as permeable paving and rain gardens) perform in cold climates across Canada.
December 12, 2014: Engaging the community about stormwater management: the Kitchener-Waterloo experience
Cheryl Evans, REEP Green Solutions
The webinar showcased the Kitchener-Waterloo success story of city-wide implementation of stormwater rates, credits, and incentive program through intensive community engagement.
October 31, 2014: The business case for change: the need for innovative stormwater solutions
Christine Zimmer and Phil James, Credit Valley Conservation (CVC)
The webinar presented lessons learned from the implementation of infiltration landscapes and other green storwmater features.
November 28, 2014: Legal responsibilities and risk management in a changing climate
Laura Zizzo, Zizzo Allan Professional
The webinar explored the need to reduce flooding from the perspectives of municipal liability issues.