If the design objective is to meet and provide peak flow control for storm events, it is necessary to plan beyond the 1:100-year peak flow, and instead plan for the new norm of a 1:1000-year flood event. Planning for the appropriate peak flow is crucial to building climate resilience and meeting the demand over the full lifecycle of the infrastructure. If an inadequate peak flow formula is used it could result in significant additional costs to the City if it has to repair or tear up failing infrastructure to rebuild and increase capacity before it has reached its end-life. “Even a 1000-year return period has a 5% risk of being equalled or exceeded in a 50-year period.”
The Report indicates that “the anticipated influence of climate change on precipitation is steeped in uncertainty with future projections ranging from a minimal increase to almost a 250% increase”, and yet the stormwater planning only ranges from a 1:5 to a 1:100-year flood event. The Report admits that “this range represents a significant challenge to the municipality to understand and integrate into its planning decision making process”.
The specific areas of concern (AOC) for the VRS are the Margaret, Anne and Three Corner Lake areas in Louise and Lorne Townships. The forest area within and surrounding this triangle of lakes has cultural heritage landscape values and is of significance to this community. The area has been used for cross country skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, trapping and fishing by the Finnish Community since the early 1900s.
The extremes of climate change will affect the operation of critical infrastructure such as water and wastewater treatment plants, sewers, the electrical grid, public transport and roads that are sensitive to temperature and weather thresholds. Beyond these thresholds, infrastructure may have reduced capacity or may not function at all.
Climate Change is projected to have long-term and ever-increasing effects on communities and the environment. It is encouraging to hear that data gaps in the vulnerability assessment for the City of Greater Sudbury’s (CGS) drainage related infrastructure are being addressed to prepare for the predicted increases in the severity and frequency of extreme weather events associated with climate change.
Climate change is already impacting our daily lives here in Northeastern Ontario with high costs socially, environmentally and financially. The scientific consensus is that there is a small window of time to act to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. It is both expected of our community, and in our community’s best interests to take the necessary action now.