This community has completed its pilot project:
District of West Vancouver, British Columbia
The District contains 13 watersheds, each with numerous tributaries. Some tributaries are in a natural state, and others are channeled through underground pipes and culverts. The ecological benefits of returning streams to above ground channels or “daylighting” and returning them to a more natural state are well-documented. They can include improvements to water quality, flood mitigation and habitat creation. The financial case for local governments to daylight streams, by contrast, is not well-documented.
The District’s objectives related to a covered 90-metre tributary to a creek near an elementary school. The District hoped to understand the financial and risk management case in terms of avoided future asset replacement costs for daylighting the tributary as well as the potential benefits in terms of increased habitat for cutthroat trout and coho salmon species.
Management questions the District wanted to answer through the process included:
- Determining the value of the services provided by the stream in its natural (daylighted) state versus the value of the services in its current covered form; and versus the size and type of pipe that would be required to meet current standards /
- Developing a simple model that can be used elsewhere in the District and in other areas, to estimate the financial value of daylighted versus covered assets?
Click here to read the District of West Vancouver’s case study.
Update: The District of West Vancouver’s understanding that natural assets provide core services and form an essential part of asset management has led the District to launch an inventory of its natural assets. Find out more here.