Canadian Municipal Water eBulletin

Asset Data - How it supports water infrastructure planning

Print this Article | Send to Colleague

A joint research project on climate change involving Public Sector Digest (PSD), CWWA Canadian Water Network and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is in its final stages and the resulting product will be available soon.

The joint project builds on the previous collaboration between the parties where they researched what asset data is being collected by Canadian municipalities and how it is being used to support water infrastructure planning. The latest collaboration is again about data but is focused on climate change vulnerability. The research project intends to present a number of case studies to show ways in which better data has been used to identify climate change related vulnerabilities in communities across Canada.

So far three case studies have been completed. These are from across the country and include the City of Kenora, a rural community in northern Ontario, the City of Moncton, the largest urban settlement in New Brunswick, and the Union Water Supply System at Lake Erie. 

Faced with new asset management accounting requirements, the City of Kenora advanced their asset management practices which included efforts to include climate change adaptation. The most recent steps for the City’s climate change adaptation is a Climate Change and Resilience Strategy to identify the impacts of climate change and a Climate Change Risk Assessment Framework which built on the first strategy to develop tailored risk matrices and additional data gathering to predict climate change impact on municipal assets. These two documents and the process of achieving them is presented in the case study.

In 2010, the City of Moncton, together with other municipalities in the Greater Moncton Area, received funding from NRCan to identify and reduce the impacts posed by climate change under the Regional Adaptation Collaborative funding program. As a result of this initial funding the City of Moncton released its Climate Change Action Plan in 2013. As part of the process of developing the Climate Change Action Plan the City established a specific climate profile with a risk assessment of key infrastructure assets located within the Greater Moncton Area.

The Union Water Supply System (UWSS) supplies potable water from Lake Erie to residents in Essex County which has been affected by significant rainfalls and has brought to attention the need to adapt to climate change to protect local infrastructure and not just from flooding.  In 2011 a climate risk assessment was carried out on the UWSS infrastructure using the PIEVC protocol.  A list of short to medium term recommendations were made to protect infrastructure against current and future climate change impacts which the UWSS is well on its way to completing implementation of. 

A further two case studies on the City of Edmonton and the City of Saskatoon are currently being finalised.  Public Sector Digest will be sharing the full document with their readers.  The Climate Change Committee of the CWWA contributed their expert input to the process in helping to identify and select case studies as well as reviewing and commenting on the output.  The CWWA will be making copies of the final document available when it is published in late May/ early June.