Take Action Burlington: An Update on Our Local Environment – Water

August 4, 2014 Flood in Burlington

Earlier this summer, Burlington sustainability staff presented Take Action Burlington – An Update on Our Local Environment to Council. This report gives an overview on the state of Burlington’s environment including information on local sustainability efforts and actions that can be taken. This is the fourth in a series of five blog posts about the report.

This post highlights climate change connections, what the city is doing and actions you can take as identified in the “Water” chapter of the report.

Climate Change Connections

Burlington will be warmer and get more precipitation in fall, winter and spring but less in the summer. There will also be more frequent and higher intensity rain, ice and wind storms.

Damage after the high Lake Ontario water levels in 2017.
Damage due to high Lake Ontario water levels in 2017.

What Are We Doing?

Water Quality

  • The Randle Reef Sediment Remediation Project, which is currently underway, is a major part of the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan to remove the “area of concern” pollution status.
  • Burlington has a stormwater management pond cleanout program, is installing more oil grit separators to reduce sediment and oil from stormwater and will be presenting proposed updates to stormwater design standards to City Council in 2019.
A stormwater management pond
A stormwater management pond.

Burlington Flood Risk and Prevention

  • On Aug. 4, 2014, part of Burlington had two months of rain (191 millimetres) in eight hours. 3,000 homes reported flooding with over $90 million in insured damages. In response:
    • $20.4 million was added to the 10-year stormwater capital budget and forecast for major flood improvements.
    • The Intact Centre on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo launched the Home Flood Protection Program in Burlington.
    • Halton Region offers four subsidy programs to help residents protect their homes.

Community Outreach

A couple of the high school student presenters having fun with activity props.
A couple of the high school student presenters having fun with activity props at the Halton Children’s Water Festival. Image courtesy of Conservation Halton.

What Can You Do?

  • Use water efficiently.
Extending a downspout.
Extending a downspout away from the foundation is a common tip provided to homeowners through the Home Flood Protection Program.

Stay tuned for the last post on waste. You can also view a copy of the full report (pdf) and the online story map and previous blog posts about the report (introductory, land and air themes).

Take Action Burlington! Collectively we can make a difference.

3 thoughts on “Take Action Burlington: An Update on Our Local Environment – Water

  1. I want to hear more about how the city is reducing flood risk, keeping water at source, taking steps towards low impact development, reducing urban heat islands. The city’s recent John Street parking lot extension development is the opposite of sustainable development with wall to wall asphalt, reduced green space and elimination of trees. I trust the city will get it right as staff get up to speed on climate adaptation and extreme weather strategies.


    1. Thank you for your comment. Additional information is provided on page 36 of the Take Action Burlington – An Update on Our Local Environment (https://www.burlington.ca/en/live-and-play/resources/Environment/Take-Action-Burlington/19-313-CW—Take-Action-Burlington—2018-Environment-Update-June-12-no-bleeds-1.pdf) and on pages 5 to 7 of Appendix C to staff report CW-07-19 (https://www.burlington.ca/en/live-and-play/resources/Environment/Take-Action-Burlington/CW-07-19—Appendix-C—Staff-update-on-SOER-V-.pdf) which were presented to Committee of the Whole on June 10, 2019. Staff will also be presenting new stormwater design standards, which will include climate change adaption and low impact development, to Committee of the Whole later this year.


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