Wednesday, February 10, 2010

HRM prepares for rising sea levels

Remarkably forward thinking for a municipal council:

City hall wants to prepare for a potential water level rise, over the next several decades, on both sides of Halifax Harbour.

Regional council heard Tuesday that many properties bordering the harbour — including sites with commercial and public works infrastructure — could be at risk of major flooding due to projected sea level change.

In one scenario, during the next 100 years or so, the harbour’s water level is predicted to rise by at least 73 centimetres, council’s meeting of committee of the whole was told.

It is part of a global trend prompted by climate change, municipal staff said.

Staff said the city should consider site-specific measures to address the rising-water concern. Council heard it will be much cheaper to plan ahead than to dish out money later, should disaster strike.

A harbour research group has been studying the water level in the Halifax-Dartmouth area, Bedford Basin and the Northwest Arm. Council voted to have the group of city staff, scientists and others look at all of Halifax Regional Municipality’s coastal communities.

From the Chronicle-Herald.

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