Toronto, ON – Floods and rainstorms comprise a significant portion of weather-related natural disasters that occur each year. There are several factors contributing to this trend, including changes in the intensity, frequency, or duration of precipitation due to climate change and a higher number of properties in flood-prone areas. Municipalities shoulder the burden of responding to these events and their aftermath. To help municipalities improve their resiliency and protect against flooding, CSA Group has published The Municipal How-to Guide which provides municipalities with a detailed framework, including a three-step process, to help them implement community water standards into municipal planning and approval processes.

CSA Group’s community water standards were created to support municipalities in building more resilient communities, regardless of their size. While many municipalities express interest in using water standards, they often struggle with where to start amidst competing priorities. Following consultation and discussion with municipalities across Canada, CSA Group recognized the need for additional support in understanding and implementing these standards, helping save time and cost while gaining the confidence and support of residents.

To develop the guide, CSA Group collaborated with four Canadian municipalities that have been significantly impacted by flooding in recent years: Colwood, British Columbia; High River, Alberta; Lakeshore, Ontario; and Cambridge, Ontario. Validated by municipalities from across the country, the guide provides a three-step process for integrating CSA Group Community Water Standards into municipal planning and approval processes.

“Our ultimate goal is to have networks of resilient communities supporting each other,” says Michael Leering, Director, Environment and Business Excellence, CSA Group. “For a municipality to truly be resilient, their neighbouring municipalities must also be working towards the same goals and implementing the same standards.”

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In addition to providing a three-step process, the guide can help municipalities understand the standards they can leverage and use to support their municipal objectives. The guide also includes sample language municipalities can use when referencing standards in their policies, bylaws, and municipal documents.

“The launch of a guide to support municipal uptake of CSA Group standards provides an important tool for interpretation and decision making,” says Lisa Prime, MCIP RPP LEED AP, Chief Planner City of Cambridge. “Municipalities can benefit from further opportunities to meet technical performance requirements for development through standards.”

The guide is intended to serve as a resource for urban planners, managers, and elected municipal officials.

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