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B.C. Guidance Document on Climate Change and Asset Management

By Todd Westcott 11:50AM November 08, 2018

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A new document, Climate Change and Asset Management – A Sustainable Service Delivery Primer, provides guidance to B.C. communities in maintaining essential public services.

Developed in partnership between the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Union of British Columbia Municipalities, and Asset Management BC. The primer introduces an approach for integrating climate change considerations throughout the asset management process.

“Local Governments too often take core infrastructure for granted until it breaks down. Without robust Asset Management practices it is too easy for local governments to starve capital replenishment and bring in artificially low tax rates and user fees in order to balance budgets – the long term consequences of this can be catastrophic,” said Richard Walton, Mayor, District of North Vancouver, in the 2015 publication, Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework.

The 2015 publication provides the broad strategy for the province’s climate change-responsive asset management strategy. For many asset intensive services, climate change makes it more difficult to deliver desired levels of service; it amplifies risk and increases the costs required to manage those risks.

asset management
Visual representation of how climate change response is integrated with the B.C. asset management framework. Credit: Asset Management BC

The greatest climate change impacts are to transportation systems, buildings, water management systems, and marine infrastructure. These assets represent the majority of local government infrastructure assets in the province.

Climate change will also impact natural assets. Wetlands, creeks, deltas, foreshore areas, forests, groundwater aquifers, and other natural assets are all vulnerable to the effects of climate change. However,throughout the primer, the authors acknowledge that “identifying and assessing the services provided by natural assets can improve understanding of how these natural assets will perform under climate change scenarios – often providing greater adaptive capacity than engineered assets.”

The Primer has been written for staff of local governments and provides an overview of the following topics:

  • Why integrate climate change response with asset management;
  • How to integrate climate change response throughout the AM process;
  • This Primer is a companion document to Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery, A BC Framework (the Framework) and builds on concepts from the Framework.

“Sustainable service delivery is critical for the guarantee of future livability with our communities,” said Mayor Walton.

For more information, visit Asset Management BC’s website.

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