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Integrating Climate Change into Asset Management

With support from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Federation of Nova Scotia Municipalities, ClimAction Services and WSP developed a workshop to assist municipalities in integrating climate change into their asset management process.  The workshop was presented in Halifax and Middleton, Nova Scotia. The workshops provided a forum to discuss the role of climate change as an integral component of asset management.  This type of workshop information dissemination and participant discussion ensured that climate change risks could be assessed, impacts determined and adaptation approaches identified so that municipal infrastructure is resilient in the face of existing and/or expected climate changes.  It also provided an opportunity to discuss the cost of inaction of integrating climate resilience into asset management.

 ClimAction Services Inc. also developed a paper entitled “Integrating Asset Management and Climate Change – A Path Forward”.  This paper discusses some of the impacts from climate change on infrastructure (land transportation, building infrastructure, stormwater and wastewater management and water treatment) and poses some questions that can help municipalities design and operate resilient infrastructure and meet sustainable community objectives. It the infrastructure lifecycle and what the climate change considerations would be at each stage in the cycle and then moves on to present a process that would ensure that climate change is incorporated into an asset management framework.  This process is shown in the form of a Flowchart which clearly shows how climate change considerations can be addressed as part of the development of an asset management framework.

 This paper can be found on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities website. (2018)

CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY – NATIONAL DISASTER MITIGATION PROGRAM(NDMP) FLOOD RISK ASSESSMENT

ClimAction Services Inc. was subcontracted by WSP Canada Inc. to provide expertise in the area of climate change and extreme weather events for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality to complete a detailed risk assessment on a community scale, determine if flood risks exist, prepare preliminary recommendations for mitigation measures, and to develop approximate ‘order of magnitude’ cost estimates of the recommended remedial works. This work was done with financial support from the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP) and  fills a critical gap in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality’s ability to effectively mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from, flood-related events by building a body of knowledge of flood risks in the region, and investing in foundational flood mitigation activities, such as risk assessments and flood mapping.

The Municipality has identified areas of interest that could pose flood risks during heavy rainfall events. The risk assessments that are the subject of this proposal are intended to be conducted at a neighborhood or community level using the Government of Canada’s Risk Assessment Template. This exercise is not intended to identify individual properties that are subject to frequent flooding, but rather to study the broader community scale impacts. The work will also provide an approximate order of magnitude cost estimates to carry out remedial work that will inform a long term funding program and flood mitigation strategy.

This work will help to quantify the impacts from flooding of the identified systems in an effort to prioritize decisions and ultimately use the information to form the basis for future funding strategies in order to continue to follow the NDMP flood mitigation framework. (2018)

HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY – NATIONAL DISASTER MITIGATION PROGRAM (NDMP) FLOOD RISK ASSESSMENTS

 

ClimAction Services Inc. was subcontracted by WSP Canada Inc. to provide expertise in the area of climate change and extreme weather events for the Halifax Regional Municipality to complete the risk assessment phase of the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP).   This Program was established by the Canadian Federal Government to focus on targeted investments to build safer and more resilient communities by addressing increased flood risks and the planning for the implementation of future mitigation measures. The NDMP fills a critical gap in the Halifax Regional Municipality’s ability to effectively mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from, flood-related events. As part of the program, the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) retained WSP Canada Inc. project team to carry out risk assessment and develop mitigation strategies for key areas of the Municipality.

The overall goal of this project was to complete flood risk assessments for key areas of the Municipality that are susceptible to surface flooding, focusing on the impacts at the community level. The intent of the work was to investigate and define the localized and community-wide effects, impacts and risks associated with the flooding of these areas to inform future decisions of HRM Staff and HRM Council. The results of the investigation is intended to support future funding strategies for the design and construction of flood mitigation infrastructure and measures within the Municipality.  (2017)

Risk and vulnerabilities associated with extreme natural hazards and severe weather

Undertook a comprehensive study for the Mi’kmaq Conservation Group, to address climate change impacts to three communities (Pictou Landing, Indian Brook and Glooscap) in terms of their economics, public health and safety, environmental and ecosystem health and cultural areas and heritage. The study (Climate Change and Water/Wastewater Facilities – Impacts, Hazard Assessment and Adaptation for First Nation Communities) was to determine the vulnerability of First Nation water/wastewater facilities and storm water management systems.   A particular concern in one community was placed on assessing the significance of sea level rise and storm surge on coastal flooding and recommending adaptation strategies.  (2016)

Adaptive management

Provided advice to the Nova Scotia Departments of Agriculture and Environment on the need for a comprehensive program to address climate change impacts on the agricultural sector.  Recommendations were made to pursue funding under the federal/provincial Agri-Risk Initiatives Program.  The proposed submission was aimed at establishing a private/public partnership arrangement to develop a web-based decision-support tool that is capable of evaluating the effects of various climatic hazardous types (e.g., heavy precipitation, extreme weather).  The need for and type of adaptation measures to reduce future impacts were included.  (2016)

Asset Management

Placed a priority on working with members of the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment and Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal to adopt “climate ready” approaches to address infrastructure and asset management requirements.  A presentation was drafted which outlined the impacts of climate change on infrastructure, key engineering challenges, future projections to identify climate risks and tools that can be used to support the design and development of resilient infrastructure. (2016)

Provide advice to the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, Land Protection Section, on the development of an asset management approach to address impacts associated with flooding, identify appropriate mitigation planning measures and recommend adaptation strategies to protect dykes and associated infrastructure.

Capacity building on climate change

 

January 27, 2017 AAROM Symposium

January 27, 2017 AAROM Symposium

Developed a climate change strategy for the Nova Scotia Department of Environment, Land Protection Section, which outline the issues, priorities and directions to address existing and emerging climate change challenges related to day-to-day decision making and program operations.  Initial emphasis will be placed on developing a climate change lens for its various programs and services to assess threats, risks and vulnerabilities. 

Worked with the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and other provincial departments to identify options for building capacity to address extreme natural hazards (e.g., flooding) through a workshop.  ClimAction Services was instrumental in developing the agenda and recommending the structure, design and organization of the workshop.  (2015)                                                                                   

Made a presentation to members of the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment, Protected Spaces Division.  This presentation outlined the impacts of climate change on protected spaces, key challenges and future projections to identify climate risks and tools that can be used to support the effective management of these spaces for future generations. (2016)

Integrated water management

Nova Scotia Department of Environment requested a review of monitoring benchmarks incorporating climate change considerations into downstream maintenance flow values in the Cheticamp River system and Indian Brook.  These benchmarks contributed to identifying terms/conditions for future water withdrawal approval for the Nova Scotia Power Incorporated Wreck Cove Hydro system.  They also contributed to how to manage down stream flows under a changing climate regime. (2016)

Developed regional and national sustainable water management programs to address national source water protection and water availability issues, water management opportunities on federal lands and for First Nations.  In addition, worked with a variety of departments, agencies and communities to address First Nation water management issues in Cape Breton. (2015)

Strategic and Operational Planning

Developed a framework for the Nova Scotia Department of Environment on the Flood Assessment Fund to undertake a comprehensive evaluation to measure the overall success of the Fund using a series of performance measures and outcomes. (2014)

Provided advice to the Nova Scotia Department of Environment on the objectives, funding criteria, guidelines and application forms for the Nova Scotia Flood Assessment Fund through the provision of strategic advice. (2014)

Developed a long-term strategic plan for the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, Land Protection Section, which identified key climate change challenges and opportunities that the Section should address.  The focus of the plan was placed on evaluating coastal and inland flooding from sea level rise and storm surge, identifying assets at risk from inundation and recommending adaptation as a means of protecting coastal resources.  (2015)

 

OUR CLIENTS

Halifax Regional Municipality (in partnership with WSP International)

Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture

Nova Scotia Department of Environment

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations

Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources

Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities

First Nations

  • Pita’paq Partnership: Eskasoni, Membertou, Chapel Island, Wagmatcook, Waycobah, Malagawatch

  • Mi’kmaq Confederacy

  • Mi’kmaq Conservation Group

Insurance Industry of Canada