Columbia Basin Trust is supporting 12 climate action projects through the first year of its three-year Climate Action Program with $540,000. This support will help several communities in the Columbia Basin adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Taking action on climate change is a high priority among many Basin communities,” said Tim Hicks, Columbia Basin Trust Senior Manager, Delivery of Benefits. “Through these projects, communities will be working to both reduce their contributions to climate change and become more resilient to climate challenges.”
Several communities will focus on water-related climate impacts. For example, the City of Cranbrook will install automated stream flow monitoring stations on nearby creeks to support community water supply and flood mitigation planning and actions.
“The flow monitoring stations will be equipped with real-time sensors with the ability to transmit high-flow warnings to City staff and operators,” said Mike Matejka, Project Manager, City of Cranbrook. “This will be an important new asset and source of information for proactive flood response, as well as for planning future upgrades and replacement of downstream infrastructure.”
Other communities will tackle composting, which reduces the greenhouse gas emissions from organic waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill. The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) will advance a food waste composting program within the city of Revelstoke, beginning with the commercial sector, which generates about 1,400 tonnes of food waste annually.
“There’s strong support from Revelstoke residents to implement organics collection,” said Ben von Nostrand, Team Leader, CSRD Environmental Health Services. “There is also an appetite to conduct the compost process locally as opposed to hauling food waste to the nearest facility, which is a three-hour round trip from Revelstoke. This will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting organic waste.”
The year 2017 had one of the hottest, driest summers on record for the Basin. Across the province, 1.2 million hectares of forest burned, surpassing the previous record of 855,000 hectares in 1958. As global temperatures continue to increase, so do the risks of drought, wildfire and flooding.
To assist Basin communities in understanding the climate changes underway, the Climate Action Program engages leading climate scientists to provide up-to-date local climate change information, and brings people around the region together to collaborate on climate action priorities.
Find these resources at ourtrust.org/climateaction.