When it rains it pours
Vancouver’s rainiest days of the future will be a lot wetter (and there will be drought too)
Over the next 30-odd years, Vancouver’s rainiest days will get a lot rainier.
Snowpacks that regenerate the water supplies we drink each spring will be smaller. Winter nights will be warmer, and so will summer days. As glaciers melt, the sea level will rise. So will the risk of extreme flooding as storms become more frequent.
There will be extremes on the other end of the spectrum, too. Drought will be more common, and heatwaves will pose a serious health risk — compounding the problem of badly polluted air drifting through the city as wildfires burn.
That’s the uncomfortable picture painted by updated climate projections for Vancouver circa 2050. That’s the scenario the City of Vancouver is preparing for.
On Wednesday, as the B.C. government unveiled its long-awaited climate plan, Vancouver’s city council approved an update to its own climate-change adaptation strategy outlining a series of initiatives the city will undertake over the next five years.
Through the updated plan, the city will continue to prepare for a rise in extreme rain events, while also working on water conservation initiatives important to withstanding future droughts, said Tamsin Mills, a senior sustainability specialist with the City of Vancouver.
With more extreme heat events projected, the city will ensure new buildings are designed to stay cool in the summer, not just warm in the winter.
As part of this plan, the city is focusing on Vancouver’s most vulnerable.
City talking with residents of social housing to understand how they deal with extreme heat. Full story at thestar.com/vancouver