Fraser Basin Council


2012 - Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC

The British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations commissioned the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) to develop these professional practice guidelines for professional engineers, professional geoscientists and APEGBC licensees in carrying out flood assessments. The guidelines identify the circumstances in which risk assessments are appropriate and emphasize the need to consider climate change and land use changes in such assessments. APEGBC adopted the guidelines in October 2012.

2011 – Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. for BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

This report is intended to provide a technically sound basis for BC local governments to develop coastal floodplain maps, and includes an estimation of Flood Construction Levels (FCLs), based on best mapping and engineering practices. In light of rising sea levels, coastal floodplain maps are needed so that local governments can define sea level rise planning zones for land use planning and development decisions. The report summarizes recommended standards for topographic mapping in the production of coastal floodplain maps. A sample coastal floodplain map and design brief for the City of Campbell River is included.

In conjunction with this project, a coastal flood hazard web application had been developed. It illustrates potential year 2100 floodplain areas in coastal BC, based on approximate FCLs.

2012 – Delcan for the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

This report explores diking and other flood management options, along with related costs, for more than 250 km of coastal shoreline in Metro Vancouver, including the Fraser River downstream of the Port Mann Bridge. Options include new or expanded dikes, floodwalls where there is insufficient room for dikes, breakwaters or barrier islands to dissipate wave energy, restrictions on building in the floodplain and better emergency response systems. The report estimates a cost of $9.5 billion to implement flood-protection improvements in Metro Vancouver by 2100 to address sea level rise.

2014 – Province of British Columbia (prepared for the Province of British Columbia by the Arlington Group, assisted by Kerr Wood Leidal, Sustainability Solutions Group and Greenomics)

Here is one in a series of recent reports commissioned by the Province of BC on flood hazard management and climate change in support of the Province’s adaptation strategy. This report explores whether existing policies and programs support or hinder adaptation to sea level rise and related climate change impacts in coastal areas, and what measures would help facilitate action on adaptation.

The report finds that BC local governments have a high interest in adapting to sea level rise and associated impacts, but also concerns relating to risk mitigation, clarification of roles, funding and future liability.

The BC flood policy regime generally supports climate change adaptation, although in some cases the consequences of implementation are significant. The report notes that although structural flood management options (e.g., dikes) have historically been the focus of coastal protection measures, a combination of strategies of flood protection, accommodation, managed retreat and avoidance will be necessary to adequately manage the risk of coastal flooding in a changing climate.

Priority recommendations to the Province include updating critically important information, such as the 2004 Provincial Flood Hazard Land Use Guidelines and provincial floodplain maps, clarifying minimum flood protection standards, updating the Disaster Financial Assistance Regulation, strengthening regional flood management planning and coordination, investigating use of insurance to cover overland flooding, expanding real estate disclosure statements and use of Notice on Title to identify developments in flood hazard areas, and exploring changes to the Building Code to address building in the floodplain.


2013 — Fraser Basin Council

This webinar series, hosted by the Fraser Basin Council in the fall of 2013, showcases advances in local climate change information and tools that are tailored to the needs of BC local governments large and small.

It shares the experiences of those who have used the tools to plan for climate change adaptation and to begin implementing changes on complex issues such as sea level rise, flood, drought and agricultural land management.

Check out all three sessions:

Webinar 1: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Plan2Adapt: Online Tools for Assessing How Climate Change will Affect your Community or Region

Webinar 2: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Preparing for Climate Change - An Implementation Guide for Local Governments in British Columbia

Webinar 3: Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Planning for Climate Change on the Coast: A Sea Level Rise Adaptation Primer

2014 – SNC Lavalin for the Stewardship Centre for British Columbia

This report explores use of soft shore armouring approaches as an alternative to, or adaptation of, hard armouring of the shoreline, within the context of climate change, sea level rise practices and guidelines, and flood protection.

The study evaluated the effectiveness of the three soft shore armouring approaches, based on specific scenarios and case examples (communities along the BC shoreline). Each was evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Adaptability to sea level rise from climate change
  • Effectiveness in protecting the shoreline against flooding
  • Effectiveness in providing ecological resilience
  • Relative cost, taking into account initial capital investment, maintenance and replacement costs.

The report was prepared by SNC Lavalin for the Stewardship Centre for British Columbia, with the support of Natural Resources Canada.


2010 - E. Pond et al., Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP), UBC

Local climate change visioning integrates climate science with local planning, using participatory processes and visualization techniques based on digital mapping and best available data. This Guidance Manual describes how proven visioning approaches can be applied by community groups, municipalities and consultants to support adaptation and mitigation in BC communities, with visual examples from local case studies and research.

2013 - Arlington Group Planning + Architecture Inc. and others for the Government of British Columbia

Coastal hazards associated with sea level rise include coastal inundation (flooding), reduced drainage capacity (due to higher groundwater levels), coastal erosion, changes to coastal habitats and loss of wetlands, such as salt marshes. The BC Ministry of Environment commissioned the Sea Level Rise Adaptation Primer: A Toolkit to Build Adaptive Capacity on Canada's South Coasts to help coastal management authorities — mainly local governments  — identify, evaluate and compare options for adapting to the impacts of sea level rise and associated coastal hazards. The Primer offers 21 adaptation tools: for planning, regulation, land use changes/restrictions and for structural (flood protection) and non-structural (soft armouring) works.

The project was funded through the BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative (RAC) in partnership with Atlantic RAC and Natural Resources Canada to investigate adaptation on Canada's Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

2012 — Barron, Canete, Carmichael, Flanders, Pond, Sheppard and Tatebe, published in Sustainability (Special Edition: Adaptation or Extinction)

This research demonstrates a process to model, visualize and evaluate potential flood impacts and adaptation options for the community of Delta, in Metro Vancouver, across economic, social and environmental perspectives. Visualizations in 2D and 3D, based on hydrological modelling of breach events for existing dike infrastructure, future sea level rise and storm surges, were generated collaboratively, together with future adaptation scenarios assessed against quantitative and qualitative indicators. Recommendations are offered to facilitate sustainable future adaptation actions and decision-making in Delta and other jurisdictions.

ICLEI Canada | Clean Air Partnership

The purpose of this series of sector-focused case studies is to examine available indicators from a variety of sectors and assess their ability to contribute to the measurement of adaptation actions both in terms of effectiveness and progress on implementation. To achieve this, the Clean Air Partnership and ICLEI Canada catalogued existing sustainability indicators that are currently being used to measure and/or monitor the effectiveness of policies or actions in coastal management, flood management, health and infrastructure. Indicators were collected by an online survey.

The second phase of this project involved an examination of the pertinence of such indicators in measuring climate change adaptation. This examination will help to inform the main output of the project which is a case study series detailing indicators currently used to measure sustainability, and an evaluation of their potential application to measuring progress in adaptation to climate change.

About ReTooling for Climate Change

The ReTooling for Climate Change website is a project of the Fraser Basin Council to support local governments and First Nations in BC in preparing for climate change adaptation. The site is funded through the BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative (BC RAC), a partnership program of the Fraser Basin Council and the BC Ministry of Environment – Climate Action Secretariat, with funding from Natural Resources Canada and other in-kind contributions.

Find out more about the Fraser Basin Council and the BC RAC at

We want to hear from you

Share your ideas and suggestions for new resource links to , Senior Program Manager, at the Fraser Basin Council.

Also worth a visit

On this site, you’ll find links to many helpful websites on climate change adaptation.

For steps communities can take to mitigate climate change, check out the Climate Action Toolkit website.