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Category Archives: sustainability

image of wells and our ground waterConcerned about your well going dry?
Worried about well water safety?
Interested in groundwater?

Join the Islands Trust for a FREE workshop (this Friday, July 28th on Gabriola, other dates for other locations). For details see Islands Trust poster


Read our newest advertorial in the Easter Edition of the Sounder: All that water isn’t fit to drink


In 2015, the City of Victoria changed the way municipal storm water services are managed. These changes were made to help clean our waterways, reduce flooding in preparation for wetter, stormier winters and create a fair and equitable user-pay stormwater utility. The city also developed a rebate program for properties that wish to manage rainwater more sustainably. Rain gardens, cisterns, infiltration chambers, permeable paving, green roofs and an education option are currently part of the credit program.

About the NEW Stormwater Utility Bill

The City of Victoria NEW Stormwater Utility Bill will arrive in Victoria resident’s mail boxes by the end of October 2016. The charges on your new bill will be based on the property’s characteristics, including the area of non-permeable surfaces (roof, driveway, etc.), property use and length of street frontage.

To find out more about how the bill is calculated, click here: How Stormwater Bills Are Calculated.

Previously, the stormwater charges were included in property taxes and were determined by the assessed property value. The new utility bill is a user-pay system, connecting the impact a property has on the stormwater system directly to the bill. The bill will be sent annually to property owners.

What is Stormwater?

Stormwater is rain that lands on hard surfaces and then flows into drains and pipes. It is one of the largest sources of pollution in our waterways.

The City of Victoria stormwater system helps to manage the rain and runoff, including:

  • Reducing flooding by moving excess stormwater away from properties
  • Separating some of the oil, metals, sand and soil that would otherwise flow into our waterways and ocean
  • Using rain as a resource, capturing it for reuse in landscaping or slowing, cleaning and releasing it back into the natural water table
  • Increasing our ability to deal with a changing climate and rainfall patterns

About Rainwater Rewards Program

To minimize your properties impact on our stormwater system and to reduce your stormwater utility bill, install a rainwater harvesting system. A rainwater harvesting system helps reduce flooding, soil erosion and contamination of surface water. By capturing the rain, this will leave our stormwater system areas cleaner and in return cleaner waterways and ocean.

The City of Victoria is offering a rebate for property owners who want to manage rainwater sustainably. The rebate is limited to a maximum of $75,000 per year. If applications are received in excess of this amount, they will be considered in the following year.


Developed for Homeowners of the Regional District of Nanaimo, B.C.
This guide book was developed in September of 2012, but is still a super source for a wealth of information.

Top 5 Water Challenges that will Define B.C.’s Future

water-challengesEscalating water challenges in BC require a better understanding and coordinated work to avoid future crisis. Drawing on an extensive review of media, court and tribunal cases, and insights from attending over 100 recent events related to water issues, this report documents dozens of examples of why and where critical water issues exist in the province’s watersheds. The report, The Top 5 Water Challenges that will Define British Columbia’s Future, documents dozens of examples of critical water issues unfolding in the province’s watersheds.

Source: POLIS | September 2016
View full report here.

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