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Weathering the Storm: Developing a New Flood Risk Standard for Canadian Communities

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Flooding within urban centres is Canada’s costliest and fastest growing extreme weather challenge. Insurable claims in Canada have risen from an average of $405 million per year between 1983 and 2008 to an average of $1.8 billion per year between 2009 and 2017 (in $2017), with flooding contributing the greatest proportion of this increase.

Against the backdrop of unavoidable climate change, the need to limit this risk will only grow. In an effort to alleviate future flood risk, a new report from the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, University of Waterloo, highlights a range of solutions that can be deployed practically and cost-effectively within communities and households.

This report was supported financially by the National Research Council of Canada, the Standards Council of Canada and the Intact Financial Corporation, with the objective to fund the development of a National Standard of Canada by SCC-accredited standards development organizations. It features a unique framework for screening flood hazards and vulnerabilities to select areas within communities that should be targeted for flood-resiliency retrofits – a result of an extensive, year-long consultation with municipal experts, engineering consultants, conservation authorities and industry representatives from across the nation.