Regional District of Nanaimo has a blueprint to guide decisions on handling rain and snow melt within its boundaries.
At a meeting March 22, RDN directors endorsed a regional strategy for rainwater management, which will guide its efforts in managing precipitation events “in a collaborative manner” with goals of alleviating risk of flooding, safeguarding water quality, maintaining “groundwater recharge” and augmenting climate resiliency, stated a staff report.
Julie Pisani, drinking water and watershed protection program coordinator, in her report at the RDN board meeting, indicated rainwater is synonymous with stormwater management. But rainwater management, she explained, includes all rain events, not just storms.
“It single-handedly looks at watershed scale as a whole and cumulative effects moving away from sort of just looking at the site, but more of holistic view across the landscape,” said Pisani.
The goal, she said, is to establish a framework for collaboration across the region – to co-ordinate actions across jurisdictions to maintain healthy watersheds in the context of climate change, land-use pressures and evolving best practices for rainwater management, and to provide a basis to update policies, standards and bylaws, inform education programs and outreach, and support grant funding applications for infrastructure improvements and natural asset protection.
The strategy will require continued collaboration to develop a regional approach that will include target setting, closing loopholes in regulatory language, implementing regional programs and developing regional projects.
Pisani said the strategy will be circulated to the public and stakeholders and presented to local governments for endorsement and input.