Paved Surfaces, Overloaded Infrastructure and Severe Weather Conditions All Create Challenges for Managing Excess Water



Canadians concerned about possible water damage from storms, but may not be prepared for it: survey

Ninety percent of Canadians say they believe an extreme weather-related disaster is possible in their community, but few are prepared for the consequences that excess water from such events can have on their homes, notes a new report from Royal Bank of Canada.


2013 RBC Canadian Water Attitudes Survey

Paved surfaces, overloaded infrastructure and severe weather conditions all create challenges for managing excess water, notes the 2013 RBC Canadian Water Attitudes Study, an online survey of 2,282 Canadians administered by GlobeScan between Jan.  23 and Feb. 1.

“Extreme storms have a direct impact on water, as storm water runoff can drag contaminants into local waterways and pollute water bodies that are important for recreation and water supplies,” Bob Sandford, chair of Canadian Partnership Initiative of the UN Water for Life Decade noted in a statement.

“All the impermeable surfaces in cities create the ideal condition for excess water to overwhelm our already strained municipal stormwater systems. Municipalities, property developers and homeowners must work together to better manage stormwater.”

Roughly two-thirds (68%) of those surveyed said Canadian towns and cities should be prepared for a major disaster though would affect stormwater management systems, but only 19% said major actions are required now, the report suggests. Nearly half (49%), however, did say that moderate action is required immediately.

When asked about what is most concerning about increased frequency and severity of extreme weather, water pollution, drought affecting farmers and decreased water supply levels were the top three, the report suggests.

Property damage also remained a concern, although RBC suggests homeowners may not be taking enough steps to take on potential excess water problems.

Of those surveyed, 23% say they have mitigated risk through landscaping with grading, and only 7% have replaced paved surfaces with water-permeable materials, the report notes, adding that managing the risk is up to individuals as well as municipalities.


To Learn More:

To read the complete article published by the Canada’s Insurance and Risk Magazine, click on Canadians concerned about possible water damage from storms, but may not be prepared for it: survey.