BC Business’ Felicity Stone covers a two-year Phase 1 study by the Fraser Basin Council that projects the costs of major flood vulnerabilities to the Lower Mainland. The number is between $20B and $30B. And the risk of major flood is increasing due to climate change. So says the Council’s Phase 1 Summary Report.
The Bottom Line: Prepare for Larger and More Frequent Floods
The research makes one thing clear: under climate change, major floods in the Lower Mainland are expected to increase in magnitude and frequency. This is because of projections for sea level rise and for larger peak flows on the Fraser River. Flood mitigation planning for the Lower Mainland must account for the changing face of flood hazards.
Phase 2 is underway and is expected to develop a regional strategy and action plan, including recommendations for a secure, sustainable funding model.
To quote the Council on the results of its analysis of flood scenarios:
Phase 1 work shows there’s a growing risk of a large-magnitude flood in BC’s Lower Mainland, and that if a major Fraser River or coastal flood were to occur between now and 2100, it would trigger losses estimated at $20 to 30 billion.
Lower Mainland flood risks are projected to worsen over the next 85 years, both in terms of flood frequency and size, because of sea level rise and other projected impacts of climate change. The Province of BC has committed $1 million towards Phase 2 development of the flood action plan.
But, I guess for some, there’s no need to get upset. Or is there? After all, all we need to do is to build lots of bigger dykes, and we can keep on selling coal and LNG for others to burn.