Water, Water Everywhere - Rural Ontario Foresight Papers

Date: January 28, 2020

Water management in the era of climate change was the focus of my Rural Ontario Foresight Paper. Because it’s such a large subject, I chose to focus on too much water in the system – both at a community/municipal and a residential lot level.  

Too much water in the system creates flooding which in turn creates many problems for elected officials.  The most effective approach that both local governments and residential homeowners and landlords can take is one of prevention first. It’s much easier and less expensive to deal with problems before they arise rather than after the fact. Ontario’s Intact Insurance is suggesting that an average flooding event will now cost a homeowner in the area of $40,000.

Applying the principle of green infrastructure is a solid first step that communities can take. has many useful and time-saving methods for better protection from too much water in the system. The types of approaches they recommend include tree planting, bioswales, stormwater ponds, maintenance of wetlands and ravines, green roofs and green walls, urban agriculture and parks and gardens.

Adding to the problem, higher levels of government in the last several decades have consistently underfunded the costs of maintaining our existing water and sewer infrastructure and without more money, this problem will only get worse over time.

Education, information and engagement are the three key ways to further prevent too much water. All municipal officials need to be involved as there is often cross-jurisdictional decision-making that overlooks this type of problem. Environmental, community and service organizations can be very helpful in delivering inexpensive preventive tools and information to the public.

Download the Services for an Aging Rural Population Foresight Paper:

English: Water, Water Everywhere - When the Storm Water Flows | French: De l’eau, de l'eau, partout de l'eau : quand les eaux pluviales ruissellent 

Complete Rural Ontario Foresight Papers 2019