IMPACTS OF FLOODING IN TORONTO DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

There has been a lot of flooding in Canada in the past 50 years where 70% of it occurred after 1959, and of these 62% is related to snowmelt runoff, storm rainfall or a combination of the two (Gaur 2013). With climate change getting worse, “small and large watersheds are at high risks of flooding due to severe summer storms, extended periods of wet weather or snowmelt” (Canada Climate forum 2015). Flood-related water damage has also replaced fires as the number one cause of household insurance claims in Ontario (Moghal & Peddle 2016). Precipitation extremes are to increase significantly over Centural and Eastern NA (Aldrain et al. 2013). Climate change will significantly impact the community infrastructure like sanitation, energy supply, transportation, and telecommunication, while also impacting health services and environmental and ecosystem services (Revi et al. 2014). In the last 10 years, 31% of respondents of 481 Canadian municipalities showed that flooding resulted in significant damage to public and private property, and 40% noted that high rainfall also causes damages (Moghal & Peddle 2016). With that said, the current plans for flood risk are through stormwater infrastructure, berms, dykes, flood studies, development planning and emergency management (Moghal & Peddle 2016).

The couple of great papers that I found that would be useful for this project are the following:

Workikng group 1 contribution to the IPCC fifth assessment report climate change 2013: The physical science basis: http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5_WGI-12Doc2b_FinalDraft_Chapter14.pdf

Climate Change impact on Flood Hazard in the Grand River Basin, Ontario, Canada: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2592&context=etd

At the Front Line of Flood: How Prepared are Ontario Communities? https://uwaterloo.ca/partners-for-action/sites/ca.partners-for-action/files/uploads/files/p4a_front_lines_of_the_flood_04jul16.pdf

The Impact of Climate Change on Canadian Municipalities and Infrastructure: http://www.climateforum.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/CCF-CCMunicipalities-PSD-April2015-FINAL.pdf

ECONOMICAL IMPLICATIONS

As a result of the widespread destruction and loss of habitat flooding in the major city will have, there are also various major economical implications. The current infrastructure of the major has demonstrated its lack of preparedness for the extreme weather that may be heading its way. As the looming threat of more severe floods continues to approach the city of Toronto will have to take action to ensure that the city remains functional. Many climate change programs have already begun collaborating with city officials to propose new changes in infrastructure and   flood management to mitigate the issue. Some proposed solutions include the construction of dams, channels, and reservoirs to provide relief with increased precipitation throughout the city. Many climatologists believe solutions like this will be enough to significantly reduce the risk to human lives and prevent any serious tragedies.

broken-bridge

This figure shows major infrastructure damage as a result of flooding in Toronto

While these solutions may sound promising, it will come at a major economical cost to the city of Toronto. Major infrastructure changes such as the building of dams comes at no small feat to the pocket. The building of an artificial dam to protect the city can cost in the billions, and is ultimately an expense the city may not be prepared to pay. Furthermore funding a project of this magnitude is sure to result in a need for greater public funding. This therefore means that is this method is pursued Torontonians can expect a major jump in taxes While an increase in taxes is never the answer to the working-class, it is clear that something must be done in Toronto to avoid the looming tragedy. Once a viable solution is reached that balances both safety and economical strain, the city of Toronto can hope by a dryer flood-free future.

dam

This figure shows one of the already existing dams in the city of toronto

References:

http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/imfg/uploads/334/imfg_perspectives_no11_costoverruns_matti_siemiatycki.pdf

http://www.climateforum.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/CCF-CCMunicipalities-PSD-April2015-FINAL.pdf

https://trca.ca/conservation/flood-risk-management/

http://www.blogto.com/city/2013/07/a_soggy_timeline_of_rain_and_flooding_in_toronto/

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