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Showcasing Successful Green Stormwater Infrastructure – Lessons from Implementation

report_stormwater_250px.pngA 2016 FBC report Showcasing Successful Green Stormwater Infrastructure – Lessons from Implementation profiles successful implementation of green stormwater infrastructure in Metro Vancouver and Victoria across three urban land use types:

  • Streetscapes
  • Residential Communities, and
  • Institutional Sites

Traditional stormwater management relies on networks of curbs, gutters and pipes to divert water from impervious surfaces and away from urban areas as quickly as possible, often directly into nearby watercourses. Although this traditional pipe-and-convey approach to stormwater management protects urban property from surface flooding during rain events, it leads to a range of unintended yet significant impacts to watercourses, including water pollution, streambank erosion and loss of fish habitat.

Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is an alternative approach that includes a network of decentralized infrastructure to capture, detain and infiltrate rainwater as close as possible to where it falls. GSI includes a range of features such as bioswales, rain gardens, green roofs, pervious paving and infiltration trenches. By capturing and infiltrating rainfall, GSI slows and reduces stormwater entering the traditional piped system while also removing pollutants.

GSI has been shown to improve water quality and stream health in urban watercourses.

In addition to these benefits, GSI has been identified as a method of increasing the resilience of urban communities to climate change. Communities in BC’s South Coast are expected to face an increase in the frequency and intensity of winter storms. Such a trend increases in the risk of flooding from overwhelmed, aging urban drainage systems and receiving stream channels. If GSI is implemented across the urban watershed, the cumulative reduction of stormwater entering the piped drainage system can reduce the burden on receiving streams and aging storm sewer systems – thereby reducing the risk of flooding and increasing the resilience of communities to the impacts of a changing climate.

FBC would like to thank all project funders: Environment Canada's Science Horizons Internship Program, Sitka Foundation, Keurig Canada and Salmon-Safe BC.

Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and throughout BC. Established in 1997, FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations) along with those from the private sector and civil society. We work with people in multiple sectors, helping them find collaborative solutions to today’s issues through a commitment to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Our focus is on healthy water and watersheds, action on climate change and air quality and strong, resilient communities and regions.

FBC Project and
Partner Sites

Plug in BC:


ReTooling for Climate Change:

FBC Youth:

Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Contact Us

FBC has offices in Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George. We also have staff located in Abbotsford and Vernon.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff.

Our main office is:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350
F: 604 488-5351