February 24, 2020

Report: Nature helps communities manage flooding

Source Name
Municipal Natural Assets Initiative
Source URL

The latest research from the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI) finds that natural assets like wetlands, forests and ponds help communities in Canada better manage flood risk, while providing a range of other ecosystem benefits, and at savings ranging from $0.2 to $414 million.

These findings are based on six assessments of natural infrastructure values from the District of Sparwood and City of Courtenay in British Columbia; the communities of Florenceville-Bristol, Riverside-Albert, and Riverview in New Brunswick; and the City of Oshawa in Ontario.

In each community, the assessment results demonstrated that conservation and proper management of natural assets helps local governments deliver core services to their residents, such as stormwater conveyance, drinking water supply, water treatment, etc. – all at a reduced cost, compared to traditional engineered or grey infrastructure assets.

“In Canada and beyond, urban infrastructure is in very poor shape,” said Roy Brooke, Municipal Natural Assets Initiative Executive Director. “And every year, local governments face increasing pressures from growing populations, extreme weather conditions, and tightening budgets. These latest MNAI research results demonstrate why more and more local governments are discovering that it makes sense to incorporate natural assets such as wetlands, forests, ponds, watersheds, or creeks into their asset management plans.”

The full technical reports, summary briefs, and overview report are available here. Previously, MNAI worked with the City of Gibsons, City of Nanaimo, District of West Vancouver, and City of Grand Forks in British Columbia, as well as the Region of Peel and the Town of Oakville in Ontario, that also explored economic values of services provided by natural assets. Documents for these communities are available here.

The MNAI team provides scientific, economic and municipal expertise to support and guide local governments to identify, value and account for natural assets in their financial planning and asset management programs, and to develop leading-edge, sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure. For more information, visit mnai.ca.

Access Backgrounder Here