Integrating Holistic Water Resource Planning into City-Building: Feb 24, 2020


Over the past 18 months, the City of Vancouver has undergone a transformation in how it plans and manages water in all its forms to respond and adapt to climate change, provide reliable services to our communities, protect the environment and our natural systems, and embed water at the outset into city planning functions. To that end, the City created division within Engineering (Integrated Strategy and Utility Planning – ISUP), a new city-wide approach (“One Water”) for integrated water resource management, and adopted the Water Sensitive Cities framework to guide our progress.

The Rain City Strategy, a 30-year vision, strategy and action plan formalize this paradigm shift and was unanimously approved by the City Council on November 5th, 2019. More information on the strategy can be found here. The ISUP division includes four new water resource planning and management branches, and its work encompasses a number of established or emerging water resource planning approaches:

  • Water balance approach at watershed scale as a data-driven planning approach
  • Watershed characterization efforts (natural, social, infrastructure mapping) to maximize conservation, capture, reuse, and co-benefits of water management
  • Multi-criteria decision support tools and scenario planning methodologies for water servicing
  • Hydrological and hydraulic modelling practice to guide servicing, scenario development, and climate adaptation
  • Water quality and piped system monitoring (flow, levels, CSOs) practice to provide reliable input to underpin our analysis
  • Green rainwater infrastructure (GRI) and nature-based solutions practice that aggressively deploy GRI as part of our standard practice
  • Blue-green systems planning approach that integrates active transportation, biodiversity, and water management)
  • Masterplanning and investment planning function to guide long-range investments

The presentation by Jimmy Zammar (Director, ISUP) will address the transformation that the City has undertaken in the past 18 months, to move from a traditional water management approach to an integrated and water-sensitive paradigm. Jimmy will discuss the vision, goals, targets, organizational transformation, and major opportunities and programs undertaken at the City.

About the Speaker

Jimmy Zammar is the director of Integrated Strategy and Utility Planning within the City of Vancouver's Engineering Department. He is in charge of integrating holistic water resource planning and management across the City, and initiating a number of emerging practices including modelling, monitoring, and scaled deployment of nature-based solutions. In addition, Jimmy oversees the City's neighbourhood energy utility, which uses sewage heat recovery to supply heat and hot water to neighbourhoods around Olympic Village and beyond.

Jimmy has a multidisciplinary background (Bachelors and master’s degrees in Architecture and Building Engineering, Lebanon; Master’s in Project Management, France; Masters in Sustainable Development, UK). He is passionate about transformational organizational change, and excels in envisioning, planning and delivering initiatives that advance public agencies towards embedding and advancing resilience, sustainability, climate, performance, accountability, and collaboration into infrastructure and service delivery.

Jimmy's experience covers federal, regional, and local governments, with international assignments in nine countries. His sector knowledge includes: water and sanitation, integrated water resource management, nature- based solutions, climate adaptation, transportation, low-carbon district energy, hydro-electric infrastructure, and green building.

Please RSVP: Dr. Nastaran Arianpoo (; Research Associate at PWRC, REM