Integrated Rainwater Management Plan
Start: Spring 2019
Last Updated: June 14, 2019
In cities and towns, rainwater that doesn’t absorb into the ground flows into storm drains which empty into local waterways. How we manage rainwater directly affects the health of our rivers and oceans, as well as our watersheds. The City of Courtenay is developing a community-wide management plan that will guide how we manage rainwater now and into the future.
An Integrated Rainwater Management Plan will help shape our community as it grows, in an environmentally respectful and sustainable manner. The plan will guide how we manage our underground infrastructure such as stormwater pipes and catch basins, as well as our natural assets such as wetlands and rivers.
What is an Integrated Rainwater Management Plan
Examining the important relationship between land-use, infrastructure and the environment, an Integrated Rainwater Management Plan takes a comprehensive look at the policy, procedures, regulations and infrastructure needed to guide community growth in way that maintains or ideally improves the health of the watershed.
What are the benefits of an Integrated Rainwater Management Plan
Without an Integrated Rainwater Management Plan the tendency is for stormwater infrastructure to simply focus on drainage and flood prevention. Integrated rainwater management moves beyond municipal pipe, drainage and conveyance planning, and reacting to issues as they arise, to a more proactive approach that considers the entire ecosystem, anticipates future volumes and identifies more holistic and natural solutions that protect property and habitat.
Municipalities are increasingly introducing new approaches that imitate natural processes and allow stormwater to soak back into the ground or be released more slowly into local waters.
How can I get involved?
The needs of each community vary, so it’s important that integrated rainwater management plans are informed by public input. A key part of developing the plan is to understand the community’s values and needs. Over the next 18-24 months there will be several opportunities to learn more and provide input at various stages of the plan development.
Project updates and events:
To kick off the consultation process for the Integrated Rainwater Management Plan the City of Courtenay held a stakeholder workshop on June 4th, 2019. This workshop gathered representatives from K’ómoks First Nation, local government, the development community, local environmental and stewardship groups, and local engineering and environmental consultants, to start the conversation about rainwater management. Specifically the discussion focused on highlighting issues and opportunities that could be addressed through the integrated rainwater management planning process, developing an understanding of what data and monitoring work related to rainwater management is already underway in the community, and identifying where more information is needed.