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Flood costs in Canada could nearly triple by 2030 with no mitigation

Last Updated Apr 23, 2020 at 4:08 pm EDT

OTTAWA — A new analysis of flood risks suggests the yearly bills from overflowing rivers and rising seas could nearly triple by 2030 if Canada doesn’t do more to improve flood protection.

The World Resources Institute, a Washington-based global think-tank, says flood damage to urban infrastructure will cost the world more than $700 billion a year by 2030.

In Canada, the urban price tag could be close to $6.6 billion, nearly three times the cost in 2010.

Samantha Kuzma, one of the authors of the flooding project, says floods will also affect thousands more people each year, from about 200,000 in 2010, to more than 350,000 in 2030.

Climate change will be responsible for about one-third of the increased flood risks, but most can be blamed on population and economic growth that will see more people and businesses set up in areas becoming more prone to flooding.

Kuzma says those numbers could change dramatically if countries make flood-mitigation a priority, with an estimate that Canadians can prevent more than $2 in damage costs for every $1 spent on things like dikes, berms and drainage.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2020.

The Canadian Press