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A Three Project Partnership on Climate Change and Water in Eastern Ontario


A Three Project Partnership on Climate Change and Water in Eastern Ontario ... City of Clarence-Rockland. Municipality of the Nation. Town of Hawkesbury ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Three Project Partnership on Climate Change and Water in Eastern Ontario

A Three Project Partnership on Climate Change and
Water in Eastern Ontario Un partenariat de trois
projets sur le changement climatique et leau
dans lEst de lOntario presented by présenté
par Philippe Crabbé CURA Director Philippe
Crabbé Directeur de l ARUC
Municipalities Institutional Capacity to Adapt to
Climate Change and its Associated Impacts on
Freshwater An Eastern Ontario Case-study
Table of Contents
  • 1. What is CURA/ARUC?
  • 2. Adaptation and Mitigation at
  • the Municipal Level
  • 3. Municipal Adaptation Needs
  • 4. Municipal Manufactured Infrastructure
  • 5. Anecdotal evidence of municipal
  • and Conservation Authoritiesconcern
  • climate change

Table of Contents
  • 6. Barriers to Adaptation
  • 7. Barrier Removal
  • 8. Emergency
  • 9. Preparedness
  • 10. Liability
  • 11. Risk Management and Planning
  • 12. Health

1. What is CURA/ARUC?
  • Community University Research Alliance (CURA)
  • Association de recherche université communauté
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
    (SSHRC) program
  • NOT Science and Engineering or Health program

1.1 Motivation for CURA
  • Globalization offers new challenges better
    addressed by communities at the local level
  • Communities understand better than bureaucracies
    or higher jurisdictional levels their needs and
    the factors which affect their circumstances
    (Subsidiarity Principle)

1.1 Motivation for CURA
  • Expertise available in communities
  • Epistemic Communities non-university communities
    recognized for their expertise in areas pertinent
    to public policy
  • Community problems are multidisciplinary
  • Importance of differentiated research networks

1.2 Eastern Ontario
  • Climate change is a global challenge but
    adaptation needs to be local

1.3 Communities
  • Local communities defined by geographical
  • Include business and governments
  • Community sustainable development initiatives,
    such as climate change initiatives, led by

1.4 Local Communities of Eastern Ontario
  • University of Ottawa (U of O) approached about
  • years ago by the Economic Development
  • Corporation of the United-Counties of Stormont,
  • Dundas and Glengarry (S, D G) and by a local
  • environmental engineering firm M.S. Thompson to
  • Assist in the establishment of a
  • research/community environmental research
  • institute focused upon large rivers including
    the St.
  • Lawrence.
  • University of Ottawa (U of O) approached about 10
    years ago by the Economic Development Corporation
    of the United-Counties of Stormont, Dundas and
    Glengarry (S, D G) and by a local environmental
    engineering firm M.S. Thompson to
  • Assist in the establishment of a
    research/community environmental research
    institute focused upon large rivers including the
    St. Lawrence.

1.5 St.Lawrence River Institute of Environmental
Sciences (SLRIES)
  • U of O did assist and SLRIES came about.
  • SLRIES is a community-based research institute.

1.6 CURA is a partnership
  • The research alliance is conceived as a
    partnership among equals
  • between a bottom-up local community process and
  • a top-down university process more concerned
    about the universality, consistency and
    transferability of knowledge across community
    boundaries (very similar to government)

Partnership means
  • Joint definition of
  • theme of the project based on
  • its mutual importance to the partners and
  • complementarity with their mutual strengths
  • program of activities
  • participatory arrangements and
  • Recruitment of new partners during the period of
    the project

1.7 Initial CURA Partners
  • FCM

  • clearly has expertise in climate change
    mitigation at the local level e.g. Partners for
    Climate Protection (PCP) and Local Action Plan
  • suggested the theme of adaptation to us and
  • invited us to join FCM in a comparative study of
    impacts and adaptation across the country called
    Municipal Risk Project Adapting to Climate

Map of 6 FCM projects
Norman Wells
La Baie
Northwest Territories
Prince Edward Island
Eastern Ontario
Swift Current
  • suggested CURA focuses on groundwater and on
    tributaries in Eastern Ontario rather than on the
    St. Lawrence, on which U of O had experience
  • there would then be complementarity with an
    ongoing Eastern Ontario Water Resources
    Management Study (EOWRMS) which did not consider
    climate change.

  • included the United-Counties of Prescott and
    Russell on top of the United-Counties of
    Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, and the City of
  • EOWRMS geographical area covered the South-Nation
    watershed (this explains the inclusion of the
    City of Ottawa) and the Raisin River Region.

Preparing for the Future Préparation de lavenir
Understanding the Present Compréhension du présent
Municipal capacity building
Sharing Municipal Experience with Climate
Change Partager lexpérience municipale sur le
changement climatique
1.8 Geographical extent of CURA project
  • Same as EOWRMS for best coordination of efforts

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U of O Research component
  • Ongoing
  • Water resources (mainly groundwater and
  • Infrastructure-
  • related Institutional Changes required
  • for Adaptation to climate change

1.9 Four Types of Infrastructure
  • Manufactured (e.g. culvert)
  • Natural (e.g. watershed)
  • Human (e. g. well-being, health, expertise)
  • Social (institutions)

1.10 Deliverables
  • 1) Blueprint for climate change impact
    assessment on water resources and related
  • 2) Application and critical analysis in Eastern
  • 3) Legacy Sustainable partnership between the
    University and the various existing and future

  • in terms of institutional adjustments required to
  • Increase municipal capacity to
  • Manage the physical relationships between
    existing and anticipated cumulative stress on
    water supply/demand
  • Transferable to other local communities through
  • Climate change considered as a cumulative stress
    on top of demographic and land-use stress

Population 2001 (about 180,000)
  • S, D G 106,000
  • P R 74,000

14 Agricultural/Rural Municipalities
  • S, D G
  • Township of North Stormont
  • Township of South Stormont
  • Township of North Dundas
  • Township of South Dundas
  • Township of North Glengarry
  • Township of South Glengarry
  • P R
  • City of Clarence-Rockland
  • Municipality of the Nation
  • Town of Hawkesbury
  • Township of Alfred and Plantagenet
  • Township of Champlain
  • Township of East Hawkesbury
  • Township of Russell
  • Village of Casselman

Regional Water Demand
Private Domestic
Existing Infrastructure
  • Domestic Wastewater Treatment

Purpose of Adaptation Avoidance of financial
  • At the national level, climate change is a
    multibillion risk
  • Cost of climate municipal inaction
  • In the absence of preventative and adaptive
    measures, substantial financial losses for
    municipalities resulting from climate change are
    distinctly possible if not probable.
  • Remember the ice storm which costed 5 billion
    dollars to Canada.

The risks are twofold
  • Economic/financial risk to municipalities from
  • Directly the damages from Climate Change and
    from reactive remediation and
  • Indirectly through disruptions in Canada, the US
    and abroad
  • (electricity distribution, environmental
    immigration , etc.)
  • Exposure to the costs of greenhouse gas emissions
    abatement in any regime to mitigate climate change

Possible Events/ Évènements possibles
  • Extreme events such as
  • Évènements extrêmes tels que
  • Floods and droughts
  • Inondations et sécheresse
  • Ice storms
  • Tempêtes de glace
  • Landslides
  • Glissements
  • de terrain
  • Tornadoes
  • Tornades

Quality of Life and Municipal Adaptation

Qualité de la vie et adaptation

Do nothing scenario/Ne rien faire
Many options Beaucoup doptions
Few options Peu doptions
Pro-active/ Ancticipative
2. Adaptation and Mitigation at the
Municipal/County Level
  • adaptation and mitigation decisions must be taken
    jointly (reread Kane-Shogren)
  • adaptation decisions need to be coordinated
    spatially as they are interdependent

3. Municipal/County Adaptation Needs
3.1 Municipal/County Adaptation Policy Synthesis
  • Reduction of average and extreme impacts (e. g.
    West Nile virus, ice storm)
  • Infrastructure initiatives (hardware)
  • New procedures (software)
  • New institutional arrangements (orgware)
  • Adoption of current measures which will reduce
    the cost of future adaptation
  • Residual risk-sharing (e. g. insurance)
  • Removal of barriers to effective adaptation
  • Build up social resilience (capacity to cope with
    possibly unexpected change)

3.2 Ability to adapt
  • Depends upon
  • Strength and diversity of community economy
  • Nature of its economic assets including its
    social capital (community spirit)
  • Ability of community members to manage change
  • Effectiveness of institutions in strategic
    planning and implementation for expected change
  • Social resilience may be the best asset of
    alli.e. the ability to cope with unexpected
  • Requires senior government assistance for both
    expertise, consistency and money for long-run

Each Community must determine its Adaptation Needs
Seven Stage System (I. Burton)
  • 1) hazard mapping i.e. identify on a map the
    areas which are the most
  • vulnerable to climate change (e.g. to
  • 2) flood control
  • 3) land use controls and enforcement, zoning
    regulations, building codes, including building
  • densities and height limits, and
    infrastructure standards
  • 4) retrofitting existing structures
  • 5) capacity building (strengthening orgware)
  • 6) increase early warning systems to improve
    preparedness (software)
  • 7) public education and information e. g.
    through social marketing

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Municipalities/Counties must understand
  • which sectors and companies within their
    jurisdiction are exposed to the greatest risks
  • what measures are being taken to reduce them (say
    by Domtar)
  • and how effective these are likely to be

Adaptation and Mitigation
Municipalities/Counties should ensure that they
have sufficient expertise to deal with all
aspects of climate change relevant to their
2) Insist that senior staff undertake a thorough
assessment of the municipality/county s current
and probable risk exposures
3) Insist that senior staff have thoroughly
examined the opportunities which climate change
may also present
  • for new and expanded business activity and /or
    cost reduction from business

4) Require that the municipality/county
benchmarks itself against best practices
5) Develop, announce and implement an explicit
strategy on climate change
  • that is integrated into the municipalitys
    overall strategy

6) The first thing municipalities/counties ought
to do is to establish an inventory of their
  • 50 of GHG emissions originate in municipalities
  • FCM has a program to assist municipalities in
    doing this (PCP)

7) Establish realistic targets for emission
  • practicality and affordability of early
    mitigation measures

8) Explore for new
  • less carbon intensive suppliers,
  • collaboration with NGOs,
  • carbon mitigation technologies investment
    opportunities (e.g. ethanol)

9) Develop and follow best practice standards
  • for disclosing climate change exposure to
  • constituents and to the province
  • for disclosing climate change exposure to
    constituents and to the province

10) Create formal levels of accountability
  • to monitor and report on the municipalitys
    progress in addressing climate driven
    business-risks and opportunities and
  • ensure that cost-saving adaptation actions are
    taken promptly.

Municipalities are responsible for
  • many manufactured and natural infrastructures and
  • for infrastructure related liability
  • for essential and emergency services (fire,
  • The following is based upon R. Needham,  The
    Informed Opinion of Municipal Officials
    Infrastructure Administration, Planning and
    Managment in Eastern Ontario , FCM, unpubl. 2001
    and C. Andrew, L. Juillet, D. Leech, Local
    Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change, CURA unpubl.
    report, 2001

4.County and Municipal Manufactured Infrastructure
  • Roads
  • Including transferred provincial roads
  • County roads are built for interregional traffic
  • Municipal roads are built for lighter
    intraregional traffic
  • Bridges and culverts
  • Landfill sites for solid waste
  • Water treatment facilities
  • Wastewater treatment facilities including lagoons
  • Drains

County and Municipal Manufactured Infrastructure
  • Multipurpose paths, trails and sidewalks
  • GIS
  • Emergency Plan Infrastructure
  • Sports and recreation facilities including
    playing fields, trails, community centres and
  • Airports
  • Marinas and docks
  • Dams and weirs for flood control

County and municipal Natural Infrastructure
  • Forests
  • River banks
  • Etc.

Large capital investment in manufactured
infrastructure with operating costs currently
exceeding revenues
  • 1 new km of road costs about 300,000 with
    estimated life of 15 years
  • 1 new bridge (wider than 6 meters and higher than
    3 meters)
  • about 500,000 1,000,000
  • 1 new light, boxed culvert, about 500,000 with
    estimated life of 30 years

Large capital investment with operating costs
currently exceeding revenues
  • Average budget for public works is about
    2,000,000 or about 6,000 per road km for both
    capital and maintenance.
  • Load limits on bridges are being revised downward
    despite mandatory provincial inspection
  • Environmental regulations (including for
    municipal water systems) create hidden
    infrastructure costs
  • Provincial funding applications deadlines for
    infrastructure programs (e.g. SuperBuild, ONSTAR)
    are too short

Subdivision lots and plans
  • Approved years ago
  • Are small-scale
  • Cant afford new water, sewage and road costs

County and Municipal Revenue
  • Counties have no direct source of revenue they
    are funded through levies
  • Municipalities derive their revenues from
    property taxes, transfer payments from senior
    governments and user fees.

Infrastructure Planning
  • No long-term life-cycle planning just matches 3
    year political cycle for Council

What is Impact of climate change on these
infrastructures and their estimated life?
  • Nobody knows (FCM has a project with NRC on this)
  • Public works budget could easily be devastated by
    a one year climate event.

5. Anecdotal evidence re Concern about climate
  • Neither municipalities nor Conservation
    Authorities mentioned climate change as a
    research priority even though they are aware of
    its occurrence and of the need to adapt to it
  • Neither ranked universities as an important
    source of information

Concern about Climate Change
  • Municipalities, more than Conservation
    Authorities, tended to believe in technological
  • Very few interviewees felt that their ability to
    make a living would be affected by climate change
  • Municipalities assigned a lower level to the
    likely impact of climate change on watersheds
    than Conservation Authorities while climate
    models consistently indicate lower average water

Concern about environmental health
  • Municipalities are more concerned about
    environmental health than Conservation Authorities

Information Supply and Demand
  • At the community level, scientific information
    needs to be spread out to a larger audience,
  • demands specific information in order to
    contribute to participatory integrated assessment
    of regional climate change.
  • Therefore, information supply from experts must
    be matched to demand from the community in
    order to develop a shared understanding of the
    problem or social learning
  • In turn, through feedback, community
    participation in adaptation may help create
    awareness of climate change in routine day to day

CURA Information Supply and Demand
  • Councilors and municipal staff made clear that
    they require the financial implications of
    neglecting climate change.
  • A financial risk assessment component needed to
    be added to the CURA initiative if climate change
    was to appear as a contingency on their municipal
    planning and management agenda.

Burden of liability insurance
  • May increase under climate change
  • Municipal council may hesitate to take additional
    insurance coverage
  • Commercial insurance companies may not take on
    the new risk

Self-insurance will be required
  • Creation of a  disaster fund 
  • Co-insurance and other risk-sharing arrangements
    among municipalities

New infrastructure standards
  • May be required

6. Barriers to Adaptation
  • Culture of management by crises
  • Culture of oral communication
  • Conflict between political and administrative
  • Conflicts between upper tier and lower tier
  • Inertia towards change and innovation

  • Lack of regional infrastructure database
  • Lack of clear jurisdictional responsibility over
    water resource infrastructure
  • Lack of overall expertise and reliance on outside
  • Lack of climate change information and expertise
    at all levels
  • Lack of knowledge of specific impacts from
    climate change on infrastructures
  • Lack of infrastructure design standards for big
    climate events related to municipal-communal
    wells and sewage lagoons
  • Lack of trust in science for prediction under
    climate change

  • Inadequate provincial funding for infrastructure
    and obsolete cost-sharing agreements
  • Concern about infrastructure service standards,
    due diligence and liability
  • infrastructure age and structural condition
  • Conflicts between past infrastructure siting and
    current development pressures
  • Engineering consultant culture
  • Lack of information about alternatives

  • Lack of respect for municipal plan and associated
  • Lack of compliance in environmental regulation
  • Lack of jurisdiction over agricultural practices
    despite knowledge of relationships with water
    quality and quantity
  • Lack of knowledge about infrastructure
    performance related to solid waste disposal and
    the operation of pits and quarries
  • Lack of knowledge about old abandoned
    infrastructures such as landfill sites and wells

7. Barrier removal (Admininistration)
  • Revise the Ontario Municipal Act
  • Support the work of Eastern Ontario Wardens
  • More active role for the Federal Government in
    municipal infrastructure programs
  • Identify new sources of municipal revenue (e.g.
    gasoline tax)
  • Revise existing infrastructure programs such as
    SuperBuild and ONSTAR and their application

Barrier removal (Planning)
  • Amend Ontario Planning Act allowing for new and
    innovative planning tools
  • Develop a Provincial Policy Statement under the
    Ontario Planning Act dealing with climate change
    impacts and their consideration in Municipal
    Official Plans
  • Develop Upper Tier offical plans and key regional
    planning functions e.g. for water resources,
    roads and waste management

Barrier removal (Planning)
  • Develop policy statements for comprehensive
    well-head protection, attach them to official
    plans and develop appropriate by-laws
  • Develop policy statements for landfill management
    plans (e.g. leachate migration)
  • Develop a regional GIS system for infrastructure
  • Linked to Road Inventory Management System,
    Municipal Bridges Appraisal System, and the
    Municipal Culverts Appraisal System

Barrier removal (Planning)
  • Facilitation of nutrient management planning,
    environmental significant areas protection and
    siting for new developments
  • Development of watershed plans by Conservation
    Authorities and associated programs such as flood
    plan management and septic tank system monitoring
    and assessment
  • Define and develop risk management processes that
    are sensitive to the needs of rural Ontario
  • Enhance the enforcement role of municipalities

Barrier removal (Planning)
  • Develop stronger working relation with the Health
    Unit and the Medical Officer of Health
  • Develop a regional  State of the Environment
    Report  that includes indicators related to
    community and environmental health, and have an
    emphasis on the regions water resources
  • Develop educational messages and strategies
    specifically for rural municipal politicians and
    for staff members

Barrier removal (Management)
  • Develop and maintain a comprehensive set or
    emergency preparedness Plans for the United
    Counties and local municipalities
  • Develop a water metering system for appropriate
    municipal consumers
  • Develop and maintain a cooperative regional
    system for the purchase and use of material and
    equipment needed for infrastructure servicing
  • Support lobbying efforts of the Eastern Ontario
    Good Roads Association
  • Develop a forum with mobilization potential for
    infrastructure stakeholders, including the
    general public and public interests.

8. Emergency Plan
  • Plan for S,D G and for each individual
    municipality except South Glengarry and for PR
  • For natural hazards i.e. ice and major snow
    storms, spring floods and landslides
  • Reactive device

Emergency (definition)
  • Situations or the threat of impending situations
    abnormally affecting property and health, safety
    and welfare of a community
  • Distinct from fire, police and land ambulance
  • Can be caused by natural disasters (landslide) or
    human activity (forest fire)

9. Preparedness
  • Do not confuse existence of an emergency plan
    with preparedness
  • plans are too disparate, too old , too complex
    and lack consistency. Need for a template.
  • Not tested in terms of specific groups,
    functions, or types of disaster.
  • The infrastructure supporting these plans is not
    in place and has not been tested.
  • Lack of regional consistency no regional
    perspective, no regional organizational capacity.
    (e.g. 911, rural property address system, GIS
    based referencing for all properties and key
    locations, production and maintenance of
    in-county and out of county directory of
    supplies, service needed to cope with disasters)

10. Liability
  • Municipalities are terrified about the liability
  • Need to make a link between impacts and
    infrastructure and liability if municipalities
    does not prepare and follow plans and policies
  • In court, questions asked are
  • Were you prepared?
  • Were you informed?
  • Did you have a plan?
  • Did you follow your plan?
  • If not, why not?
  • If you cant answer, municipality will have to
    rely on insurance coverage to pay the fine

  • Links to climate change addressed largely at the
    infrastructure design stage washed out culverts,
    extra stress on road surfaces, collapse of road
  • Design must cope with more water and traffic.
  • No money to do this
  • Are there liability questions related to better

11. Risk Management and Planning
  • No will or capacity to manage risks
  • Ice storm is a good example unpreparedness (no
    plan) but led to emergency plan development
    involving both municipalities and provincial
  • Ontario Emergency Plan Act (1983 and 1990 amended
    in 2,000) gives local municipalities the power to
    develop these plans and counties, the power to
    create regionally oriented coordination of
    municipal plans
  • Because of traditional Ontario politics, download
    of responsibilities by provincial governnent and
    new financial reality, management by crisis

Risk Management and Planning
  • An official plan is policy and not a law
  • Risk management figures only in the plan but the
    plan is static plans are sensitive to hazard
    land, landslide zones,to identifiable brownfield
    sites. The plan is in need of constant
    reevaluation given new information e.g. about
    water resources, climate change.
  • Politicians do not want to spend money on things
    they dont know whether they are going to happen.
    This includes risk management.
  • More than 90 of landfill sites do not have
    management plans bad siting decisons are being
    made, leachate migration in waterways are
    happening at an alarming rate. ¾ of our landfills
    are in floodplains no info on private landfill
    sites (receive more than 1/2 our garbage of
    unknown origin and toxicitiy)

Risk Management
  • Public safety
  • Legal liability of not providing adequate service
  • Roadway service standards
  • How quickly roads must be plowed after snowstorms
  • How quickly drains are to be repaired
  • Incorporated in a by-law

12. Health
  • Link needed between human health, environment and
    water resources since Walkerton
  • Deals with public health risk
  • Family health, communicable diseases, chronic
    diseases and infectious diseases
  • Under te Health Promotion Protection Act,
    Environmental Protection Act, Building Code,
    Mandatory Health Programs and Services Guidelines
  • Powers can range from implementing Public Beach
    Management Protocol related to water quality,
    testing municipal and residential water and
    wastewater systems, voluntary review of land use
    applications and permits to draw water.
  • Capacity to send health-related messages to

Health Impacts of
  • Thermal stress
  • Extreme weather events (storm, flood, drought)
  • Infectious diseases (West Nile virus, hantaan
    virus, Lyme disease)
  • Air quality (smog and allergies)
  • Water and food-borne diseases

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Needed adaptability of the health system
  • to be able to identify symptoms as related to a
    typically foreign disease and follow-up with

  • Adaptation and mitigation must be managed jointly
  • Early adaptation may save money and offer
    business opportunities
  • There are many barriers to adaptation, some
    related to lack of resources
  • Barrier removal may be related to liability
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