Rain City: Vancouver Puts New Focus on Rainwater Management

Sourced from CBC

Vancouver is notorious for its heavy rainfall, but the environmental impact of all that water is perhaps not as well known.

The City of Vancouver is addressing that general lack of rainwater knowledge during a series of public workshops starting March 3.

The workshops are part of the Rain City Strategy, which aims to limit the amount of polluted road water run-off going into the ecosystem.

"We're a city of glass, concrete, asphalt, buildings ... The rain just doesn't have a lot of places to go," said Melina Scholefield, director of green infrastructure implementation for the City of Vancouver.

The goal of the Rain City Strategy is to capture and clean 90 per cent of rainwater in the city. To that end, the city is implementing new rainwater management practices that aim to use rainwater as a resource, rather than a waste product.

The target will be achieved by using a combination of "green" infrastructure and conventional pipe systems.

Harmful particulates
"A lot of people haven't realized just how much of an impact pollutants have in our storm water system,"  said Scholefield.

Scholefield said many of Vancouver's older roads were not designed with the environment in mind. When it rains, the water run-off from streets can damage the ecology of surrounding bodies of water.

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