The City of Medicine Hat received $80,000 in grant proceeds for the completion of a climate risk assessment as part of the development of their Environmental Framework.
The project was funded in part by the Government of Alberta, through the Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program administered by the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre.
The City of Medicine Hat is a municipal government organization with 1364 employees. The City of Medicine Hat owns, produces, treats, operates and distributes all utility services in addition to owning and operating an airport, transit, fleet vehicles as well as other municipal services such as parks and recreational facilities.
This project was completed as part of City Council’s strategic priority to develop and implement an Environmental Framework with prioritized strategies and actions. The scope of the Environmental Framework included assessment of climate risks and vulnerabilities and a climate adaptation and resilience component.
During this project, the City aimed to understand how the climate is expected to change locally and identify how these changing patterns could impact the built, social, economic, and ecological systems of the community.
Following the ISO 31000 guidelines for risk management, the project included collecting climate data for the region and determining potential climate impacts, assessing the likelihood of climate events occurring and their expected consequences for the City, and developing resilience actions.
Community and stakeholder engagement activities were conducted throughout the project, including a climate risk assessment workshop, community engagement open house, 4 stakeholder workshops, presentation and workshop with City Council, and an engagement session held at City Hall. The consultant WSP provided facilitators and technical experts to support these sessions throughout the project.
The final deliverables include the Climate Assessment Report and City of Medicine Hat Environmental Framework. The Climate Assessment report identifies climate risks and hazards within Medicine Hat. The Environmental Framework identifies strategies and actions that have a co‐benefit of environmental sustainability and climate resilience and adaptation.
Local climate risks to Medicine Hat consist of increasing temperatures, increasing precipitation and more frequent severe storms. These climate risks may result in various impacts to the community and municipal infrastructure including potential water shortages, increases to energy demand, damage to road infrastructure or buildings.
The City of Medicine Hat gained a greater understanding of the future climate impacts, and this understanding will inform investment and decision making across the key topics areas in the Environmental Framework, including water, energy & air, ecosystems & agriculture, recycling & waste management, and community & land development.
In building climate resilience into the proposed actions of the Environmental Framework, these actions will have the benefit of environmental stewardship and sustainability in addition to climate resilience and adaptation.
Understanding our community’s climate related risks and vulnerabilities was a key factor in the development of the City of Medicine Hat’s Environmental Framework and facilitated the evolution of strategies and actions to ensure climate resilience now and in the future.Kevin Redden, Director – Environment, Land, & Gas Production, City of Medicine Hat
Read more about the Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program