Town of Edson – Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk Assessment

This project was funded through the Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program

Town of Edson

2023Completion Year

$56,660Project Cost

$56,660MCCAC Funding

632 Climate RisksAssessed

5 Climate Resilience Actions Planned

 DownloadRisk Assessment


The Town of Edson retained Stantec Consulting to complete a Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk Assessment.  

The project was funded by $56,660 in grant proceeds from the Government of Alberta, through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre’s Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program.  


The Town of Edson is a small town halfway between Edmonton and Jasper and serves as both a rest stop for the travelling public and a service centre for residents and business owners residing in Yellowhead County.  

The project was completed to further develop the Town’s understanding of how municipal assets, infrastructure, and operations are at risk of climate change impacts, and to identify recommendations to manage those risks.  

This project was comprised of a risk assessment of Town assets and services and a series of workshops.  

The project team completed the vulnerability and risk assessment informed by the Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC) Protocol and Infrastructure Canada’s Climate Lens General Guidance.  

The risk assessment involved a screening of individual infrastructure components within the following seven asset systems:  

  • Administration and Operation Centres  
  • Recreation and Community Centres  
  • Roads  
  • Ecological Assets and Parks  
  • Stormwater Conveyance and Drainage Systems  
  • Water Storage, Treatment and Conveyance Systems  
  • Wastewater Treatment, Storage and Conveyance Systems 

Despite experiencing three State of Local Emergencies due to nearby wildfires, Town staff also participated in a series of workshops as part of this project. An informational interview session was held to build awareness of climate change, discuss historic climate events and impacts, and identify assets and climate hazards for assessment. A validation workshop was also held to refine the results and brainstorm adaptation actions.  


The Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Report identifies 632 risks across the 7 asset systems for three climate periods.  

Administration and operations centres, ecological assets and parks, and recreation and community centres were identified as the highest risk assets. Both administration and operations centres and recreation and community centres had risks associated with extreme heat and cold, with these hazards affecting the building controls and the HVAC and air handling systems.  

The highest risks were caused by the impacts of extreme cold on water storage, treatment, and conveyance systems, and the impacts of wildfires of ecological assets and parks.  

Intense rainfall also presented a high risk, with the potential of overloading the stormwater and drainage conveyance system and resulting in severe flooding in the Town.  

The report identifies a series of recommendations to support ongoing climate resilience efforts in the Town: 

  • Incorporate climate considerations into key levels of decision-making 
  • Continually monitor and improve climate projections and expectations 
  • Assess climate-resiliency for infrastructure 
  • Build and develop climate-based communication and collaboration opportunities  
  • Develop an implementation plan 


Through this project, the Town gained an understanding of the value of embedding climate considerations into decision making and applying a climate lens to all projects to manage the risks. 

This project equips the Town with a set of criteria to effectively prioritize improvements to infrastructure that is most at risk under future climate conditions. 

The funding from the Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program provided the Town of Edson the opportunity to identify and explore projects which increase efficiencies and decrease the carbon footprint within Town infrastructure. The Action Plan and criteria developed will assist Council and Administration in current and future decisions as well as further Council’s strategic goal to be resilient in the face of climate change. We remain committed to ensuring a strong focus on environmental strategies. 

Mayor Kevin Zahara 


Read more about the Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program