The Alberta government is spending $53 million from the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund to support projects that will help communities mitigate, and adapt to, the effects of flooding.
The funding will be used to support include flood mitigation infrastructure and watershed restoration projects. The funding will also be used to support a new program that aims to help municipalities and Indigenous communities adapt to future floods.
“Flooding has disrupted the lives of Albertans and our economy too often in recent years,” said Jason Nixon, minister of environment and parks. “This funding will help protect communities against flooding, now and in the future, and support good jobs for Albertans when they are needed most across the province. I look forward to seeing these projects built and operational over the coming years.”
Ten high-priority flood mitigation projects across the province will receive a total of $45 million, including flood protection for Edmonton’s two water treatment plants. Work to protect communities and critical infrastructure in Canmore and the Municipal District of Bighorn from debris, including large boulders and trees, has already begun. Stormwater improvements in the Municipal District of Taber will also be funded by the money announced on October 8, 2020.
“We are thrilled to see the Government of Alberta taking steps forward and helping Alberta communities prepare to address climate-related risks,” said Al Kemmere, president of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta. “This program means Alberta municipalities and Indigenous communities will have access to a range of capacity-building activities enabling participants of varying states of readiness to engage in climate adaptation planning and make progress on risk reduction strategies.”
The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC)—a partnership of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, Rural Municipalities of Alberta, and the Government of Alberta—will receive $4.5 million to administer a new Climate Adaptation Program.
The Climate Adaptation Program aims to help municipalities and Indigenous communities in Alberta better understand, manage, and adjust to a changing climate. The program will aim to help communities learn about climate adaptation, assess how vulnerable they are to events like floods, droughts and severe storms, and build climate adaptation plans.
“The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association is pleased that municipalities and Indigenous communities in Alberta will have the opportunity to access the Climate Adaptation Program,” said Barry Morishita, president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.
“The Action Centre, with its decade-long success record, will successfully develop and administer this innovative program,” added Morishita. “With the support of the Action Centre, participants will increase their climate adaptation ability, assess climate vulnerabilities, and build climate adaptation plans to help keep their communities safe.”
A total of $3.5 million will be available through the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program to support new projects that improve watersheds and better prepare communities for flood and drought. Eligible organizations have until January 4, 2021 to apply for funding.