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.
What Are We Doing?
- 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.
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.
- City sustainability staff:
- Actively participate in the Halton Children’s Water Festival;
- Promote Trout Unlimited Canada’s Yellow Fish Program to raise awareness about the importance of proper disposal of hazardous material;
- Raise awareness on the environmentally responsible way to maintain and empty chlorine and salt water pools, spas and hot tubs; and
- Launched a Thirsty? Try the tap campaign in 2010 promoting tap water and restricting bottled water sales in most city facilities.
- Conservation Halton is involved in community programs including Halton Watershed Stewardship Program, Stream of Dreams, Healthy Neighboursheds and the Halton Children’s Water Festival. They also report on watershed health every five years.
What Can You Do?
- Thirsty? Try the tap to quench your thirst instead of using bottled water.
- Join Blue W, a community-based organization promoting municipal tap water.
- Keep contaminants out of the water supply:
- If you have a pool, ensure you maintain and empty your pool the right way.
- Take your car to a car wash if it needs a bath to ensure used water is properly captured and treated.
- Paint the city yellow. Sign out a Yellow Fish Road painting kit.
- Participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up, a national conservation program encouraging Canadians to take action and pick up litter wherever water meets land.
- If you use well water, download Halton’s Safe Water Guide for Private Well Owners.
- Use water efficiently.
- Protect your home and adapt to a changing environment.
- Be prepared. Download a copy of Halton’s Guide to Flooding Prevention and Recovery.
- Find out if your home qualifies for Halton’s Enhanced Basement Flooding Prevention subsidy.
- Learn how to reduce your risk of flooding through the Home Flood Protection Program.
- Get ideas on how to create low cost, environmentally friendly and visually appealing gardens. Attend one or all three of Conservation Halton’s Healthy Neighboursheds homeowner workshops offered each year.
Take Action Burlington! Collectively we can make a difference.