Sea Level Rise and Climate Adaptation
The effect of rising sea levels and more extreme storms create increasing hazards like flooding and erosion for coastal communities. As seas continue to rise, the RDN is one of many local governments in BC preparing to deal with the impacts now, and in the future, as we adapt to our changing environment.
Preparing for Sea Level Rise
In January 2018, the Province of BC adopted an amendment to the Flood Hazard Area Land Use Management Guidelines by incorporating sea level rise into building standards in all coastal areas to include storm surge, wave effect and freeboard when determining the Flood Construction level (FCL) of new building construction. Aligned with this direction the RDN updated the Floodplain Management Bylaw No.1469 in December 2018.
Flood Hazard Mapping Framework
A necessary first step in flood management is to acquire coastal flood hazard maps to better understand where and how deep water might be in a flood event, especially in the context of changing sea levels. With funding support from the UBCM Community Emergency Preparedness Fund this work is being conducted by Ebbwater Consulting. When complete in 2019, the RDN anticipates proceeding with updating the riverine hazard maps and undertaking a combined risk assessment to inform risk-based planning, as illustrated by this diagram.
We are currently in the RESEARCH phase which includes undertaking a coastal analysis to develop coastal hazard maps. When completed, the mapping information will be used to update the RDN's Floodplain Management Bylaw No. 1469, and the RDN's Emergency Services Hazard Risk Assessment Plan as well as future assessments, policies and plans regarding sea level rise adaptation.