Evidence reliably shows that climate in the Columbia Basin has changed significantly over the last century which has led to increases in air temperatures, varied changes in precipitation, and shifts in the intensity and frequency of extreme events. Such changes are expected to affect the infrastructure of Basin communities including storm drainages, water distribution systems, and roads.

ESSA led a collaborative team of planners, lawyers, engineers, and scientists to develop a guidance document and a companion “model bylaw” for Subdivision and Development Servicing (SDS) that would help guide communities when updating their bylaws. To develop these products, this work required identifying a list of infrastructure priorities that could be address through an SDS bylaw, summarizing the best available evidence to understand the potential exposure and sensitivity of a community’s infrastructure, and then proposing provisions and good practices that have been applied elsewhere in British Columbia, North America, and the world to reduce vulnerabilities of community infrastructure to these impacts.

Ultimately this work was designed to help communities become more resilient to existing and future climate conditions and minimize the long term costs associated with developing and operating infrastructure across its entire life or service cycle.