The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has released its recommendations for the federal government’s 2017 budget, which includes an emphasis on continued investment in water resource management.
In the report titled, “Seizing the Moment” FCM emphasized the importance of the federal government financially supporting municipal level climate action and bolstering the capacity of low-density communities to modernize infrastructure, water and wastewater among them.
FCM named clean-water facilities and the clean-up of contaminated sites as areas in need of sustained financial priority. Though, it more urgently pointed to the needs of communities to meet new federal environmental regulations with respect to wastewater treatment compliance. Further, the report pointed to next-generation infrastructure, such as high-efficiency wastewater treatment, as an urgent area of sustainable investment.
Additionally, the report pointed to the annual cost of extreme weather events in 2020 is expected to be $5 billion, and the report called out property damage and economic disruption as the primary threats from extreme weather. And the report also reported that for every dollar invested in climate change now, $9–38 will be saved. In order to effectively deal with extreme weather, the report recommends a variety of strategies:
- investing in dams and dikes,
- wetland acquisition and preservation,
- snow and wind load enhancements,
- sewer network retrofits,
- increasing surface water storage,
- permafrost adaptations,
- and incorporating natural and semi-natural elements into infrastructure design.
With respect to rural and northern communities, the report emphasizes the need for the new Rural and Northern Communities Fund to include the capital priorities of local government, including culverts, water and wastewater treatment, and septic system upgrades.