Canada's government was warned nearly two years ago by its own experts that climate change was threatening critical infrastructure across the country, putting public health and the economy in jeopardy, according to memoranda released recently. Water systems were noted as particularly at risk.
[This is an EXCERPT: read the whole article here. -Ed.]
by Mike De Souza
The federal government was warned nearly two years ago by its own experts that climate change was threatening critical infrastructure across the country, putting public health and the economy in jeopardy, according to newly released federal reports and memorandums obtained by Canwest News Service.
The reports explained how extreme weather and rising temperatures would threaten infrastructure that was not designed for the range of temperatures. Many cities are ill-prepared to tackle the problem, it warned.
"Water infrastructure is perhaps the most vulnerable of all types of infra-structure to climate change, and the importance of water to human health, the economy and the environment also makes it one of the most critical types of infrastructure. Furthermore, this type of infrastructure has the potential to suffer the greatest damages or losses associated with climate change unless proactive adaptation actions are taken," reads an internal report, prepared by Infrastructure Canada's Research and Analysis division, entitled Adapting Infrastructure to Climate Change in Canada's Cities and Communities.
The report also noted that although many elected officials were conscious of the importance of reducing or mitigating activities that produce the greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming, few were knowledgeable about the importance of implementing strong policies to adapt their infrastructure to a changing climate.
Photo credit: Benny Mazur