Stormwater (Rainwater) Management

Responsible management of rainwater is critical to maintaining Maple Ridge as one of the most beautiful and livable communities in the province. Without proper management of this resource, problems such as erosion, flooding, loss of water quality and dry stream beds during summer months can develop. Preventing these problems while supporting community growth is a challenge the City will meet through Integrated Stormwater Management Planning.

What is Integrated Stormwater Management Planning?

Integrated stormwater management planning represents a leap forward in the management of rainwater. Traditionally, rainwater management was one-dimensional: to avoid flooding, most rainwater water was routed quickly through drain pipes to the nearest body of water. Along with encroachment into sensitive habitat areas, this has led to the degradation of a number or urban watersheds throughout the world. Fortunately, best practices for rainwater management have evolved to consider overall watershed health in addition to the conveyance of rainwater through pipes. Watershed management now involves an integrated approach – the collaboration of multiple stakeholders on a number of inter-related issues such as water quality, erosion, sedimentation, groundwater recharge, habitat and recreation opportunities as well as flooding.

Regulatory Background

Maple Ridge is required to complete Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMP’s): under the Environmental Management Act, the provincial Minster of Environment approved a regional Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan that requires Metro Vancouver municipalities to develop ISMP's. In addition to fulfilling senior government requirements, ISMP's support the vision, strategies and policies of both the City's Corporate Strategic Plan and the Official Community Plan.

ISMP’s Currently in Progress

The City is currently developing ISMP’s for the South Alouette, North Alouette, Kanaka, Blaney Bog and Fraser River Watersheds. ISMP development for these watersheds is scheduled for completion in 2019. Stakeholder groups and the public will be engaged as part of the ISMP development process.

Monitoring Maple Ridge Streams

The City is currently monitoring water quality and flows at four streams in Maple Ridge. This supports the development of Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (ISMP's) for the Kanaka and South Alouette watersheds and complies with Provincial directives. The City is now monitoring North Alouette River, Balsam Creek and Cattall Brook in North Alouette Watershed, Anderson Creek in Blaney Watershed and an unnamed tributary in the Fraser River Watershed.