Preparing for Climate Change : Securing British Columbia's Water Future

The British Columbia (B.C.) Regional Adaptation Collaborative (RAC), entitled, Preparing for Climate Change: Securing B.C.’s Water Future, is working to enhance resilience to a changing climate and the anticipated, related impacts on water and aquatic ecosystems.

Natural Resources Canada is partnering with the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Fraser Basin Council working directly with other collaborators including government, non-government organizations, and academia.

To address targeted climate change vulnerabilities, a series of projects will be undertaken over the next three years to advance decision-making in the areas of water allocation and use, forest and fisheries management, flood protection, and community adaptation. Project activities will result in recommendations and actions for regulations, standards, best practices, plans, and/or polices, as well as tools to support adaptation action.

More detailed information on the B.C. RAC is provided through visiting the Fraser Basin Council’s website. The project theme areas are summarized below.

PROJECT THEMES

Water Allocation and Use

Through a series of linked activities, the B.C. RAC responds to projected, climate-related reductions in water supply by introducing measures to reduce conflicts among users, and to improve allocation and management of scarce water resources. Activities include:

  • producing a water supply and demand study for the Okanagan Basin to better understand vulnerabilities and adaptation options;
  • reducing agricultural water demand by developing and distributing tools for irrigation management and forecasting of future demand; and,
  • exploring water management planning models in three coastal watersheds.

Forest and Fisheries Management

This theme focuses on the management of forested watersheds where climate change may negatively impact terrestrial and aquatic values.  By producing tools and pilot processes that are transferable to other forested watersheds, the B.C. RAC will enhance the resilience of aquatic ecosystems to a changing climate. Activities include:

  • recommending options to include impacts on fish habitat in the existing Riparian Areas Regulation of British Columbia; and,
  • developing an integrated watershed management planning case study in northern B.C. that addresses impacts on terrestrial and aquatic resources.

Flood Protection

This theme focuses on updating tools and provincial guidelines that practitioners use to reduce the vulnerability of local communities to increased flooding from climate change. Activities include:

  • producing new guidelines for sea dike elevations, flood construction levels, and professional flood hazard and risk assessments;
  • recommending and implementing changes to provincial floodplain maps and tools for local governments to evaluate runoff; and,
  • flood management planning in Delta to identify and evaluate adaptation options.

Community Adaptation

The B.C. RAC increases the capacity of municipalities, regional and improvement districts, and First Nations to advance adaptation in existing community planning processes. Activities include:

  • developing, testing and improving tools, such as practical mapping, modelling, and visualization tools, as well as providing guidance for local governments on the use of these tools; and,
  • producing community-based case studies that identify local impacts and vulnerabilities, as well as options for integrating adaptation considerations into community plans.

PARTNERS:

  • BC Conservation Foundation
  • BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
  • BC Ministry of Community and Rural Development
  • BC Ministry of Environment
  • Cariboo Regional District
  • Columbia Basin Trust
  • City of Prince George
  • District of Saanich
  • Fraser Basin Council
  • Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District
  • Metro Vancouver
  • Okanagan Basin Water Board
  • Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium
  • Pacific Salmon Foundation
  • University of British Columbia
  • WWF - Canada

REGIONAL LINKS

B.C. RAC CONTACTS

For more information on the BC RAC, please contact:

Terry Robert 
Program Manager, Climate Change & Air Quality
Fraser Basin Council
Upper Fraser Regional Office
E: trobertATfraserbasin.bc.ca
T: 250-612-0252

Jenny Fraser
Climate Change Adaptation Advisor
British Columbia Ministry of Environment
Climate Action Secretariat
E: Jenny.FraserATgov.bc.ca
T: 250-387-9330