When the big storm hits – the role of wetlands to limit urban and rural flood damage
by Natalia Moudrak, Anne-Marie Hutter, and Dr. Blair Feltmate,
prepared for the Ontario MNRF
Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, University of Waterloo
58 pp., 3.8 MB, July 2017
The study is based on the findings in two pilot sites, one rural and one urban.
From the Executive Summary:
At the rural pilot site, if wetlands were maintained in their natural state, flood damages would have been $8.9 million. This was $3.5 million, or 29 per cent, lower than the $12.4 million cost that would have been realized if wetlands had been replaced with agricultural development.
For the urban pilot site, if wetlands were maintained in their natural state, the cost of flood damages would be $84.5 million, which was $51.1 million, or 38 per cent, lower than $135.6 million cost that would have occurred had wetlands been replaced with agricultural development.
This report demonstrates quantitatively that wetlands conservation is a cost-effective means to reduce flood risk in Canada. As such, the findings are consistent with, and reinforcing of, directives outlined in the Wetland Conservation Strategy for Ontario, the Province of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan, and the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.