Securing the dikes should be priority
Climate change is continuing its march to negatively impact populations living close to our oceans and waterways. We here in Kings County are in the cross hairs for major impacts of rising oceans being brought on by climate change.
According to our Kings County planning and engineering departments, there is a study underway to secure the dikes that protect many of our communities and towns situated near the Cornwallis river system. I do not know the scope of the study or if and when the results will be acted upon.
Our U.N.S.C.O site at Grand Pre would be lost if the dikes fail in that area which would put more than 3,000 acres of agricultural land under sea water.
The towns of Wolfville and Kentville would also be impacted. Villages such as Port Williams and New Minas are also in jeopardy, along with the community of Meadowview.
One of the most important infrastructures that would be catastrophically impacted is our many regional sewer systems, which are located next to the Cornwallis River at sea level within the flood zone.
Other river systems such as the Gaspereau and Habitant rivers would also be impacted.
Thousands of homeowners and businesses depend on these regional sewer systems to get rid of our human waste and waste water. If the dikes fail in these areas the impact would be a disaster for the four municipalities in Kings County.
It would take hundreds of millions of tax dollars to clean up and rebuild these systems after a tidal surge brought on by a hurricane submerges these regional sewer systems, causing millions in damages. Homeowners and business owners need to check their property insurance policies to ensure they would be covered in such an event.
Two projects should start immediately. Relocating the existing regional sewer systems to higher ground away from the flood zones and raising the dike levels another two meters to prevent the destruction of thousands of acres of agricultural land and flooding impacts on our towns and communities.
When these regional sewer systems were constructed climate change affecting rise in ocean levels were not considered which has put these systems in jeopardy thus this possible looming disaster.
Yes, the costs for this preventive work would be in the millions of dollars but these costs would pale in comparison to costs of catastrophic failure of our dike systems due to storm surges.
Infrastructure dollars are available and hopefully our municipal, provincial and federal politicians will work together to start these very important preventive projects.
We can study this situation until the cows come home but what really needs to happen is meaningful action right away before it is too late.
We trust our newly minted Kings County council under the leadership of Mayor Muttart will address this issue and provide proactive visionary action on this very important issue.
Dick Killam Halls Harbour