Backgrounder: Canada helps protect Richmond residents from flooding
Climate change is affecting Canadian communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Natural hazards and extreme weather – like floods, wild fires and storms – are increasing in frequency and intensity. For many communities, these hazards are significantly affecting critical infrastructure and can result in health and safety risks, interruptions in essential community services and increasingly high costs of recovery and replacement.
The Government of Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a 10-year, $2 billion national program designed to help communities better withstand current and future risks of natural hazards.
In the City of Richmond, British Columbia, the federal government is investing over $13.7 million from DMAF in a project to improve the city’s flood protection infrastructure.
Richmond is an island city that sits approximately one meter above sea level and is vulnerable to a variety of natural hazards intensifying due to climate change, including storms, rising sea-levels and tsunamis.
This project builds on work already being done to improve the city’s existing flood protection infrastructure, including upgrading its dike system and pumping stations. After its completion in 2027, the community will have greater protection from coastal storm flooding, spring thaws and rising sea levels.
As a result, the City of Richmond has indicated that over 300,000 of its residents will be better protected from extreme flooding events once this project is completed.
Furthermore, the City of Richmond estimates that these infrastructure improvements will reduce by 95% the number of families and businesses who go without essential services in the event of a disaster.
In addition, the project will significantly reduce impact and losses for the local economy, as well as saving on long-term recovery and replacement costs for the infrastructure.
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