As part of the public-safety funding announced in the 2016 provincial budget, the Province is committing $16.6 million toward a flood mitigation project in Richmond that will upgrade multiple pump stations.
The $24.95-million project includes $8.3 million from the City of Richmond. The combined funding will help Richmond rebuild four pump stations that have reached the end of their functional lifespan and enhance 1,750 metres of the north dike to accommodate rising sea levels induced by climate change.
Richmond is the highest-risk area in B.C. for coastal and freshet flooding. This investment will protect important provincial and national infrastructure assets, including the Vancouver International Airport and SkyTrain.
The provincial investment is part of over $49 million being provided to flood mitigation projects in communities across British Columbia.
In the 2016 budget, the B.C. government announced $65 million to help keep communities safe, including $16 million in public safety preparedness initiatives and $49 million in community hazard mitigation initiatives, such as upgrades to dikes and flood protection.
Leading up to 2016 budget, B.C. has committed significant funding to flood mitigation and prevention. Since 2008, the Province has committed $174 million with the federal government to pay for 168 flood mitigation projects in 65 communities throughout British Columbia.
Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto –
“Our government values the safety of all British Columbians. Anything we can do to identify risk and prepare for risk is a step in the right direction. That’s why our government is investing in flood mitigation projects across the province. We applaud communities like Richmond who are investing in mitigation work and are happy to work collaboratively with them to help limit the risk our citizens could be exposed to in the unfortunate event a disaster strikes.”
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone –
“We enjoy the economic and quality-of-life benefits associated with British Columbia’s rivers and lakes, and the ocean. But with that, we also need to be aware of the real potential waterways pose for flooding and associated risks to public safety. By substantially investing in infrastructure, we are taking proactive steps to keep communities and people safe. And we recognize the unique challenges that the City of Richmond has in regard to flood management and protection, and we applaud the city’s proactive and innovative approach.”
Mayor of Richmond Malcolm Brodie –
“Richmond is an island community, surrounded by water. Richmond’s 49 kilometres of dike and the supporting drainage system is a critical part of our civic infrastructure, protecting us from the threat of flooding. We must continually strive to improve this network to address both current threats and emerging risks from climate change. This new funding will help Richmond address this important need for our community. We look forward to continued strong collaboration in the future as we work together to keep our B.C. communities safe and our economy strong.”
Richmond Centre MLA, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism Teresa Wat –
“There is a significant return on investment to funding flood-protection projects in our communities – some reports indicate five times the return – and here in Richmond with the major economic development and tourism growth in the region, via the SkyTrain or through the Vancouver International Airport, those investment dollars couldn’t be better spent.”
Richmond East MLA Linda Reid –
“We are committed to working collaboratively with communities across B.C. to improve safety and well-being for all British Columbians. A resilient Richmond requires investments in flood protection, and today’s announcement goes a long way towards increasing our public safety and disaster preparedness in terms of waterways that our community so depends on, but conversely, puts us at risk. The investment in pump stations helps manage that risk.”
Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap –
“Richmond residents and the local businesses and industries that provide jobs will all be safer from the adverse effects of flooding thanks to this funding to upgrade multiple pump stations and diking infrastructure. The investment will help to protect over 13,000 businesses and will create 297 one-time jobs. Our government is pleased to work together with the City of Richmond who continues to be a leader among local authorities when it comes to investing in flood mitigation.”
- The estimated economic damage from an event similar to the 1894 Fraser River flood in Richmond is $7.1 billion. Richmond is an island city approximately one metre above sea level. The city is protected from the Strait of Georgia and the Fraser River by 49 km of dikes. Located at the mouth of the Fraser River, Richmond is diligent in dike maintenance and upgrades to reduce any risk of flooding.
- In Richmond, storm water is pumped off the island by 39 drainage pump stations. It is imperative that the City of Richmond continuously upgrades infrastructure to meet the effects of climate change including rising sea level, increased intensity of storms and risk of flooding. Over the next four years, Richmond must continue its due diligence to ensure the safety of residents and essential infrastructure on the island.
- Climate-change scientists estimate that sea level will rise approximately one metre over the next 100 years. Richmond will be required to raise dikes by 1.2 metres to accommodate these changes.
- In response to the elevated flood threat, the City of Richmond has developed a comprehensive disaster mitigation plan that includes upgrades to existing infrastructure and new mitigation structures.
- The City of Richmond has previously received funding through EMBC’s Flood Protection Program for six projects worth a total of over $16 million (including contributions from the city), for pump stations, pump station upgrades and dike upgrades.
B.C. government flood prevention and planning: http://bit.ly/1OkJDa7