Here’s a good article by Randy Shore from the Vancouver Sun on how municipalities are planning for climate change, featuring an interview with Town of Gibsons CAO Emanuel Machado.
The SCRD also needs to be updating our approach to infrastructure to incorporate natural asset management, especially in how we deal with our watershed.
As the world continues to warm, every city, town and village in B.C. will be living its own unique version of climate change.
The intensity of rain — when it comes — would surely overwhelm stormwater systems designed in the 1970s, said Machado. Severe rain and drought — unthinkable a decade ago — are commonplace here today.
“What we built then is no longer capable of withstanding the amount of water that we receive at one time,” he said. “Plus, we were missing a critical infiltration opportunity, which connects us to our drinking water storage.”
Gibsons is sitting on top of an aquifer brimming with water of world-class purity. The aquifer is recharged through the forests of nearby Mount Elphinstone, local creeks and, increasingly, the soil within the municipal boundary.
“About six years ago we changed our design approach to allow far more infiltration,” he said. “In doing so, we realized that nature does a better job at a fraction of the cost, ideally in perpetuity. It makes far more sense than collecting it and pumping it away.”