In this section, you can read about Metro Vancouver’s current climate action projects related to Infrastructure, search for technical data, and explore best practices from our region. You can also browse our management plans and policies, and find links to what other cities, provinces and countries are doing to address climate change.

About This Priority

Reservoirs, pipes, pumps, treatment plants, roads, power lines, dikes, and other built infrastructure provide us with essential services like drinking water, sewage treatment, storm water drainage, solid waste disposal, transportation, and energy to residents and businesses.

Climate 2050: Infrastructure

Good planning protects local government infrastructure (reservoirs, pipes, dikes, treatment plants), including facilities located at sea level, from the impacts of climate change.

Download a full description of this priority.


Anticipated Impacts

  • Sea level rise, storm surge, more extreme rainfall, and shifts in seasonal weather patterns all combine to increase risk to the infrastructure that Metro Vancouver residents and business rely on. These changes can also impact our ability to maintain healthy ecosystems.
  • Much of Metro Vancouver’s water, wastewater and drainage infrastructure is vulnerable to anticipated climate change impacts including more frequent extreme precipitation events.
  • Flooding that overwhelms sewer systems presents a risk to people, homes, businesses and infrastructure.
  • Climate change will affect the quantity and quality of water in our region and may challenge the supply and treatment of our drinking water.

Featured Story: Lions Bay Summer Water Supply Research

The Village of Lions Bay has its own water supply and is working with UBC researchers to learn more about their summer water sources, in the face of a changing climate.

 

Opportunities

Much of our community infrastructure – the roads, bridges, water supply, and waste management services that will be affected by climate change – fall under local and regional responsibility.

Managing water demand, protecting and restoring streams, lakes, bogs, and coastal estuaries, and protecting communities against sea level rise and flooding will be important components of creating a region resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Metro Vancouver works with federal, provincial, and local governments, First Nations, infrastructure providers like TransLink and other organizations to consider climate-related risks.

Incorporating climate change into local government infrastructure planning, design and operation can help maintain essential services in the face of climate impacts and reduce the risks associated with service disruptions.

The construction, maintenance and operation of infrastructure all contribute to greenhouse gas emissions in the region. Innovation in infrastructure design, upgrades, and operations can significantly reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions. Examples include:

  • BC Hydro and Fortis BC create policies and infrastructure investments that will increase the supply of low carbon energy to the region.
  • Two vulnerability assessments of Metro Vancouver's five sewerage areas have helped us understand and plan for the impacts of climate change on sewerage infrastructure. Examples are incorporating anticipated sea level rise into the design of new wastewater treatment plants and recognizing the value of improving how we manage rainwater.
  • Studies by Metro Vancouver on changing rainfall patterns help local governments with their drainage and stormwater management planning.
  • Reusing greywater and rainwater reduces the demand for potable water.

Learn More About Climate Change

Climate change is already affecting our planet and our region in profound ways, making our summers hotter and drier, our winters warmer and wetter, and increasing the occurrence of extreme weather events.

Learn More