Oct. 4, 2012 — Canadian sustainability expert Dr. Avi Friedman and Town of Ajax Mayor Steve Parish shared their passion and experiences today on sustainable, affordable development and innovative water technologies to help protect the Great Lakes and build resiliency in the face of a changing climate, on the first day of Credit Valley Conservation’s Making It Work 2012 – Low Impact Development in Action conference in Mississauga.
“Given fiscal constraints and aging infrastructure, managing and adapting to climate change is becoming an increasingly critical challenge for governments and business,” said Christine Zimmer, Manager of Protection and Restoration at Credit Valley Conservation. “According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, water damage is now the leading cause of property damage in this country, costing insurers nearly $1.7 billion per year.
“In Ontario, the water and wastewater sector employs 22,000 people and generates $1.8 billion in sales. There is significant economic return from actions that keep the Great Lakes healthy, including low impact development (LID) that manages stormwater where it falls. Preliminary monitoring data from partnered innovative stormwater demonstration sites shows that LID measures can help treat up to 86 per cent of all rainfall on site.”
CVC officials also today released their recently updated Stormwater Management Criteria document, developed in close partnership with Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and with input and support from the province, watershed municipalities and the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). The document will help guide the design, construction and ongoing maintenance of stormwater management infrastructure in municipal strategic plans and planning policies.
The updated criteria provide needed guidance for developers, consultants, municipalities and landowners in ensuring future developments incorporate measures that protect against increased flooding, prevent erosion, protect and improve water quality, and enhance the resilience of natural and built environments to climate change.
CVC is currently working with more than 40 private and public sector partners in implementing a range of innovative water technologies that will treat close to 100,000 cubic metres of stormwater each year. This year’s sold out conference has attracted leaders from many sectors including municipalities, the province of Ontario, developers, property insurers, suppliers, consultants, landscape architects, and more.
The conference continues tomorrow with classroom sessions and tours of LID installations at sites in Mississauga, Toronto International Airport, and north and west of the GTA.
Credit Valley Conservation is one of a network of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario who are local watershed management agencies that deliver services and programs to protect and manage water and other natural resources. Conservation authorities work in partnership with government, landowners, environmental partners and other organizations to promote an integrated watershed approach balancing human, environmental and economic needs. CVC has been working for nearly 60 years to protect and enhance the natural environment of the Credit River watershed.