Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flooding school soccer fields keeps neighbouring basements dry

Doug Noble in the Edmonton Journal (Canada): Deliberately flooding school athletic fields might seem a bizarre way to respond to the shifting and threatening weather patterns that are a result of climate change. But a seemingly odd notion can turn out to be an inspired idea in the right context. With 4,000 flooded basements as its context, the City of Edmonton realized that when the game is called because of rain, an empty playing field is a far better reservoir for flood waters than the homes in the surrounding neighbourhood.

For this imaginative initiative undertaken in Lendrum Place to reduce storm and waste water damage, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) recently honoured Edmonton with the first national Watershed Award for its efforts to adapt to the effects of climate change.

The awards, which are part of FCM's Sustainable Community Awards, recognize Canadian municipalities that have taken proactive measures to reduce their vulnerability to storm and waste water damage. .. Edmonton's search for new ways to adapt to severe weather was set in motion after an intense rainstorm on July 11, 2004, left 4,000 basements flooded throughout the city. IBC estimates that the 12,000 claims made as a result of the water damage cost insurers a whopping $171 million….

High Level Bridge, Dudley B. Menzies Bridge and Waterdale Bridge NW in Edmonton Alberta along the North Saskatchewan Riverbank, shot by SriMesh, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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