CLIMATE CHANGE: Coastal communities plan for rising water levels



A cross-section for the year 2100 for raising the West Richmond Dike by building overtop the existing dike. Drawing is from B.C. Ministry of Environment document


Municipalities are planning ahead, slowly building up surrounding lands, dikes

“Rising sea levels combined with volatile and intense storms provide a challenge for B.C. coastal municipalities, but it’s a challenge they say they are meeting head on. Last year, the province set new guidelines for sea dikes and land use in coastal flood-hazard zones as part of the effort to manage an expected sea level rise of 1.2 metres in the next 100 years,” wrote Tracy Sherlock in the second of a three-part series on what sea level rise means for cities and future development in the Lower Mainland.

Tracy Sherlock reported that the City of Vancouver adopted the new guidelines last summer, calling for new construction in areas that could be subject to flooding be built up an additional metre, to 4.5 metres above sea level.

“We did that immediately with the West Fraser Lands development River District. They basically raised the entire development one metre without it causing any problems. They built the sidewalks and the streets higher as well. I think the key is, this is long-term work and you need to do it strategically and practically,” said Sadhu Johnston, Deputy City Manager, when interviewed by Tracy Sherlock.


To Learn More:

To read the complete story as published in the Vancouver Sun in December 2012, click on Coastal communities plan for rising sea levels: Municipalities are planning ahead, slowly building up surrounding lands, dikes