Fraser Basin Council


(2014) Natural Resources Canada

The climate is changing – in Canada and throughout the world. Globally, international assessments continue to identify rising air and ocean temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, shrinking glaciers, declining snow cover and sea ice extent, rising sea level and changes in extreme events (IPCC, 2013).

In 2008, the Government of Canada released a national-scale science assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation: From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate).

This report – Canada in a Changing Climate: Sector Perspectives on Impacts and Adaptation – is a 2014 update to the 2008 assessment. It discusses climate change impacts and adaptation from a sectoral perspective, based primarily on literature published up to the end of 2012. Led by Natural Resources Canada, the updated assessment involved over 90 authors and 115 expert reviewers, and synthesizes over 1,500 recent publications.

The report focus is on the following sectors: natural resources, food production, biodiversity and protected areas, human health, water and transportation infrastructure and industry.

2013 – International Institute for Sustainable Development

This report looks at the potential for climate change to substantially impact the effectiveness and lifespan of infrastructure in Canada through degradation or loss, particularly transportation, buildings, marine and water management systems. There is also a look at adaptive measures that can help limit costs and strengthen resilience.

Published – October 2011

The Protocol describes a step-by-step methodology of risk assessment and optional engineering analysis for evaluating the impact of changing climate on infrastructure. The observations, conclusions and recommendations derived from the application of this Protocol provide a framework to support effective decision-making about infrastructure operation, maintenance, planning and development.

2012 - West Coast Environmental Law, for the BC Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

This Guide is designed to assist elected officials and staff to plan and act in ways that will make their communities more resilient to the impacts of a changing climate.

Part 1 introduces climate change adaptation including climate change impacts in BC, how local governments are affected, the adaptation process, and building adaptive capacity and resilience. Part 2 offers practical examples of climate change adaptation strategies in the context of land use planning, emergency management planning, long term financing and reporting, asset management, infrastructure, civic buildings policy, building regulation, watershed management, liquid waste management, air quality, biodiversity, conservation, community and economic development, legal liability and insurance. Supplemental materials include three adaptation scenarios, checklists for local governments and links to other adaptation projects and resources.

The Guide was developed under the BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative and funded by Natural Resources Canada and the Fraser Basin Council, with support from the BC Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

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  — Christopher Allen Jensen (Master of Science Thesis), Department of Geography, University of Victoria

The purpose of this study is to determine if Low Impact Development (LID) can effectively mitigate flooding under projected climate scenarios. LID relies on run-off management measures that seek to control rainwater volume at the source by reducing imperviousness and retaining, infiltrating and reusing rainwater.

In general, the simulations suggest that if future extreme rainfall events follow the median climate change projection, then LID can be used to maintain or reduce flood hazard for rainfall events up to the 25-year return period. This study demonstrates that in a smaller urban watershed, LID can play an important role in reducing the flood impacts associated with climate change

2017 - Canadian Electricity Association

The unavoidable impacts associated with climate change and weather extremes have the potential to adversely affect infrastructure, including electricity infrastructure. It is thus imperative that organizations in the business of generating electricity have the tools and resources they need to effectively anticipate, plan for, and respond to climate-related risks.

The purpose of this guidance document is to support the creation of practical, useful climate change adaptation management plans and to ensure a consistent approach across the sector. This risk-based framework will define the characteristics and key considerations of adaptation planning. It will take an approach similar to the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) management system standards by providing a framework that allows users to flesh out the details in a utility-specific manner.

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.

2015, ICLEI Canada – Local Governments for Sustainability

The case studies included in this report cover process and outcome-based indicators used to measure sustainability in four sectors: coastal management, flood management, infrastructure and health.

2015 - Fraser Basin Council

This is a webinar hosted by the Fraser Basin Council and B.C. Ministry of Transportation to explore issues relating to the protection of transportation infrastructure from the effects of climate change. The specific focus is on future warming and precipitation trends and the expected impacts on British Columbia's highway infrastructure. The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure recently conducted climate change risk assessments for a number of BC’s major highways: Coquihalla, Yellowhead, Bella Coola, Stewart and Pine Pass. In the webinar, Chief Engineer Dirk Nyland offers an overview of the risk assessments and case examples. While focused on provincial highways, the overview and examples offer information useful for municipalities.

This webinar is part of the BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative (BC RAC) webinar series. 

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.