Thursday, July 11, 2013


Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story " Water just doesn't have anywhere to go". A local university professor, Blair Feltmate, was interviewed regarding both the recent Toronto and Calgary flooding and more. I'm not sure as to how this would be accomplished but he is suggesting that cities increase the amount of permeable surfaces including using materials for parking lots, sidewalks and even roadways that are permeable. Obviously current concrete and asphalt surfaces while reasonably durable certainly are not permeable, by intention.

The prof also suggests that municipalities need to redraw their floodplain maps and encompass larger areas to reflect the new reality of larger precipitation events. This of course will meet opposition from vested interests namely developers who are constantly butting heads with municipal and regional councils. Currently here they have taken the Region of Waterloo to the Ontario Municipal Board regarding an alleged lack of new development lands. Finally cities need to be proactive in promoting and protecting wetlands within their borders as they are wonderful buffers during heavy rain events.

All of these ideas will not only protect cities from flooding but they will also promote more recharge of our groundwater resources. As cities grow they need more water not less and attempting to channel all rainflow into the nearest surface water body is counterproductive and indeed impossible.

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