Understanding and Assessing Impacts
Many cities in Canada are already facing substantial issues of surface water runoff overtaxing local sewer infrastructure, leading to higher maintenance and treatment costs and increasing the risk of basement flooding due to sewer backups. With climate change projected to increase the number of high-precipitation events, which are more likely to cause sewer backups as the pipes are filled to excess extremely quickly, this issue is likely to only increase in importance as the years go on. Implementing low impact development methods would be economically justified by reducing sewer loads in the absence of climate change. However, given that that is not the case, mandating that new developments retain local runoff on-site is an especially forward-looking plan, as climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of high-intensity precipitation events. In the specific case of the Currie Barracks, the site is also a former military installation and the surface water may carry many additional contaminants from the unique nature of its previous use.