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National flood mitigation standards and guidelines collected into one convenient UW report

With flooding expected to get worse with climate change
File photo

With flooding affecting more Canadians each and every year, the University of Waterloo has collected all the national standards and guidelines, putting them into a single report.

It aims to provide a single convenient place to access all the practical actions that can be taken to mitigate flooding, from home owners to various levels of government.

Natalia Moudrak is the co-author of Under One Umbrella: Practical Approaches for Reducing Flood Risks in Canada. She also serves as the Director of Climate Resilience of the UW Intact Centre on Climate Change.

"We have these practical solutions that are outlined in the report to take action against. The challenge is that we need to act now with immediate and unremitting resolve to take action, so it's good news that we know what to do, but time is not a luxury for us to implement these best practices on the ground," she said.

International projections show the severity and frequency of extreme weather events, including flooding, are expected to get worse as a result of climate change.

"In addition to the climate change challenge that is effectively irreversible, we're also seeing the impacts of aging infrastructure, rapid urbanization, densification that are all accelerating this problem, and we're also seeing natural infrastructure loss, so areas that used to have wetlands, green spaces and so on, being lost to development or other land uses, that also contributes to the problem of flooding.

According to Moudrak, insurance payouts due to flooding have exceeded a billion dollars in the last 11 out of 12 years leading to 2020. Meanwhile, 75 per cent of the $900 million Federal Disaster Assistance Arrangement program is being used to address flooding.

The full report can be read HERE.

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