Canadian Water and Wastewater Association eBulletin

CCME Natural Infrastructure Framework

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This Framework outlines key concepts and terms that address four distinct climate-related infrastructure challenges: coastal hazards, riverine floods, municipal storm water, and extreme heat. Examples of how Natural Infrastructure Systems can be used to address these challenge areas are also provided. While select infrastructure solutions may be more suitable for application in specific geographic locations (e.g., those intended to address coastal erosion are most suited for coastal regions, including the Great Lakes), the Framework is intended to be applied across jurisdictions, including Canada’s rural and northern areas. The Framework does not provide specific emphasis on use of NBS for fire risk management, droughts, or remote and northern communities, outside of the four distinct challenge and solution areas listed above. While many of the NBS can be applied for those areas and purposes, further work is needed

Green Stormwater Infrastructure has been implemented by municipalities to achieve the active and everyday management of the full rainfall-runoff spectrum. In future scenarios, it is anticipated that climate-related hazards (e.g., pluvial/overland flooding from rainfall or snowmelt, flash flooding from intense rainfall and fast runoff) will exert new pressures on storm sewer capacity, drainage and conveyance systems.

NI features (e.g., rain gardens, vegetated swales and distributed depression storage) and grey elements (e.g., reservoir, and ditch and culvert systems) work together to help restore the predevelopment balance of hydrological functions in urban sites, with co-benefits to local water quality, landscape-level naturalization and wildlife habitat.

The document gives a detailed over view of green and grey infrastructure and how they can be used to improve stormwater drainage, especially in the light of mitigating the impacts of climate change on communities.

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