Adaptation to a Changing Climate

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1 Adaptation to a Changing Climate City Infrastructure Preparedness David MacLeod City of Toronto Environment Office March 3, 2011

2 WHAT IS CITY INFRASTRUCTURE? Physical (Hard) Infrastructure Buildings Municipal & privately-owned Transportation Roads, sidewalks, culverts, bridges, traffic signals Public transportation facilities Water supply / distribution Sewer / stormwater systems Solid waste facilities Electricity distribution & generation Natural gas distribution Communications Natural Infrastructure Natural areas within & around cities Coastal zones Lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands Urban trees & vegetation Social (Soft) Infrastructure Public health Emergency response Social services School & youth programs

3 EXAMPLES OF ACTIONS TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE Mitigation Adaptation Sustainable transportation Energy efficiency Building Code changes Renewable energy Expand deep lake water cooling Improve vehicle fuel efficiency Capture & use landfill & digester gas Tree planting & care Healthy green space conservation Local food production Water conservation Green roofs Infrastructure upgrades: sewers & culverts Residential programs: sewer backflow & downspout disconnection Health programs: West Nile, Cooling Centres, Smog Alerts, Air Quality Health Index Help for vulnerable people during severe weather Countering invasive species Taking action to protect our citizens, our environment, our economy 3

4 ANTICIPATED CC IMPACTS ON TORONTO INFRASTRUCTURE ASSETS More extreme weather events e.g.: Heavy rain, flash floods, high wind, freezing rain, hail, tornadoes, etc. Damage to: Buildings, water, sewer & transportation infrastructure Electrical system, causing blackouts 4

5 ANTICIPATED CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS ON TORONTO More heat waves, smog days, related illness & deaths Stress on electrical supply from increased use of A/C Declining lake levels, affecting water quality & shipping 5 Source on Anticipated Impacts: Scan of Climate Change Impacts on Toronto; Clean Air Partnership, 2006

6 ANTICIPATED CC IMPACTS ON TORONTO - ECOSYSTEMS Increased disease carried by insect vectors Damage to urban trees from insect pests & storms Increased stress & damage to vulnerable ecosystems & habitats 6

7 LOCAL VULNERABLE POPULATION: HEAT IS BOTHERSOME & LETHAL Streets to Homes worker attending to a client Homeless Low-income people Housing conditions Limited mobility Lack of insurance, savings People in poor health Isolated seniors Infants & small children 7

8 FLOODING: A GROWING PROBLEM Toronto, $547 Million Calgary, $300 Million Edmonton, $166 Million Peterborough, $87.3 Million and many other cities

9 TORONTO: AUGUST 2005 STORM TOTAL $547 Million Toronto has 154 large culverts

10 10 Some affected more than others

11 Finch Ave in Toronto Photos courtesy Jane-Finch.com 11

12 Exposed utilities at Finch Ave Wash Out 12

13 New stream crossing at Finch Ave 13

14 TORONTO: 2005 STORM IMPACT SUMMARY Impact Area Physical Structures City Operations, Business & Households Safety & Security Financial Impacts Damage to infrastructure, homes, businesses, vehicles Loss of cultural and natural heritage features Arterial road closed 14 months Businesses disrupted in flooded areas Basement contents destroyed City workers & budgets redeployed (e.g. tree disposal instead of planting & care) Cars caught in floods; blackouts in some neighbourhoods; potential harm to citizens, potential for disease outbreaks (water-borne) and infections (contact with sewage contaminated flood waters) Repair costs & overtime Loss of staff productivity Claims against the City

15 SAMPLE ADAPTATION ACTIONS IN TORONTO Limiting reverse slope driveways Upgrade tree planting requirements Water treatment plant UPS upgrades Improved watershed & species monitoring Heat alert system study & upgrades Green Development Standard 15

16 Residential Protection Lot grading Sewer backflow valve 16

17 Green Roof Incentive Program Photos courtesy Toronto Water 17

18 18 Sustainable Parking Lots

19 Urban Naturalization 19

20 Sustainable Sidewalks Silva cell 20

21 Road Weather Info System Sensors: Wind speed, gusts & direction Precip [yes/no] Temp & humidity Cabinet contains: Processing unit (RPU / Data logger) Telecom Power connection Digital barometer - pressure Optional sensors: Visibility Precip amount & type Cameras Traffic counters 21

22 3 In 1 Salt Truck Salt Management Program Brine tanks Flexibility to variable road & weather conditions 22

23 Clean Roads to Clean Air Program New Street Sweepers Can operate dry in cold weather if there is no snow 23

24 TORONTO S MAJOR PROGRAMS Wet Weather Flow Master Plan (2003) $1 Billion investment over 25 years Basement Flooding Program (2006) $680 Million investment over 10 years 5 of 32 flooded areas now studied (recent cost estimate to address risk is $226 Million for the 5 areas) Climate Change, Clean Air & Sustainable Energy Action Plan (2007) $1 Billion over 5 years (includes Transit City street car / LRT expansion) Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (2008) Ahead of the Storm : Identifies short & medium term adaptation actions Climate Drivers Study : Improves local knowledge of future weather extremes Climate change risk assessment to identify & prioritize long term actions

25 CASE STUDY: SEA-LEVEL RISE / STORM SURGE Southwest BC Coast at Risk Maritimes Coast at Risk Areas of high risk for sea level rise and storm surge impacts

26 SEA LEVEL / STORM SURGE RISK HALIFAX Impact Areas Potential Impacts Physical Structures City Operations, Business Safety & Security Entire 2100 km coastline ranked at high or moderate risk to sea level rise & storm surge (NRCan, 2005) 50% of coastline at risk from erosion Potential damage to coastal roads, rail lines, bridges, underground services Increased threats to wastewater systems Disruption of port traffic Halifax is home port for Canada s Atlantic Naval Fleet Hospitals provide services to Atlantic Canada Majority of population lives within 10 km of coast Financial Repair/replacement costs for municipal infrastructure Increased insurance costs

27 WHY IS CITY INFRASTRUCTURE CRITICAL? Two-thirds of Canada s population is concentrated in 20 urban areas Infrastructure provides critical lifelines water, food, shelter, heat, light, mobility, communications, access to services, removing waste Massive investment in existing municipal infrastructure estimated at $1.1 Trillion Infrastructure and its configuration is a major determinant of the sustainability of cities

28 MAJOR CANADIAN CLIMATE CHANGE HAZARDS Climate Change Hazards Increase in intense storms & precipitation causing floods Sea level rise and higher storm surges More hot days, heat waves & related air quality impacts Infrastructure Most Affected Almost all infrastructure at risk Ports, coastal rail lines & roads, ecosystems, groundwater, buildings, wastewater treatment Buildings Electricity supply & distribution Public health & social services Urban forest Cities Affected All Canadian cities Coastal cities (Vancouver, Halifax, Victoria, St. John s, Saint John ) Interior cities, especially the Windsor-Quebec City corridor; Prairie cities will also experience more heat waves Drier summers, reduced snowpack Water supply Natural infrastructure Cities dependent on groundwater, snowmelt, or local agricultural production

29 OTHER STRESSORS ON INFRASTRUCTURE Municipal infrastructure deficit Growing populations & urban intensification increase demands on infrastructure Infrastructure financing dependent on property taxes Age of Canada s Infrastructure (2008) Years 0-40 Years 28% 41% 31% Years

30 FUTURE CHANGES TO MUNICIPAL SECTOR Canadian Population Urban 27 million (80%) Total 34 million Urban 32 million (84%) Total 38 million Urban 42 million (89%) Total 47 million Infrastructure Status / Funding $100+ billion estimated deficit; New spending underway Deficit reduced by recent investments; Stormwater management improved Will require major renewals Climate Change Impacts Flooding & storm damages already significant Dry summers & warmer winters contributing to water shortages Heat / drought / sea level will be major problems Regulatory Requirements Based on obsolete historical climate; Cdn Standards Assn, Environment Canada & others working on new standards Some new standards in place based on better information about extremes (e.g. Intensity Duration Frequency curves) Total Risk Significant risks exist No significant change from year data set & better climate models will provide basis for better & tougher standards Manageable if adaptation done

31 MANAGING RISKS Cities need to identify, understand and manage climate change risks by: Increasing awareness & understanding at all levels of organizations Conducting screening level risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities Conducting engineering vulnerability assessments for priority infrastructure (See PIEVC) Prioritizing adaptation planning & actions for infrastructure: at critical risk of failure with high levels of service that is long-lived & requires significant investment to renew or replace Implementing operational & maintenance procedures that protect the integrity of infrastructure

32 POTENTIAL ACTIONS TO BUILD RESILIENCE 1. Targeted communications & training for municipal decision-makers & staff on the significance of current and expected impacts. 2. Investment in affordable, accessible, local climate trends & projections, including factors of specific concern for infrastructure (e.g. temp. & precip. extremes, wind, snow loading, freeze/thaw cycles, IDF curves, etc.). 3. Sectoral & cross sectoral coordination of concerned organizations to improve communications, identify gaps & redundancies in impacts /adaptation work related to infrastructure.

33 POTENTIAL ACTIONS TO BUILD RESILIENCE 4. Expand support for infrastructure climate risk assessments including identification of vulnerability thresholds for different types of infrastructure & standardized tools. 5. Inventory current adaptation strategies & best practices for urban infrastructure, including operations and maintenance; make this information available nationally - keep it updated. 6. Prioritize & make key infrastructure investments Decisionmaking that incorporates CC concerns into priority projects must go ahead, building in a margin of safety for uncertainties that are difficult to reduce at this time.

34 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The following groups provided input to this presentation: BC Ministry of Environment Clean Air Partnership Engineers Canada (PIEVC) Federation of Canadian Municipalities GTA Regional Municipalities CC Working Group Halifax Regional Municipality National Roundtable on Environment & Economy Toronto Climate Change Science Working Group Toronto & Region Conservation Authority Canadian Standards Association York University

35 Happy Adapting. We re all in this together David T. MacLeod Sr. Environmental Specialist Toronto Environment Office

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