Climate change is a deciding factor in record high water levels in the Great Lakes being higher than ever before, a University of Waterloo professor told CTV’s Your Morning on Wednesday. According to government statistics, July water levels for the bodies of water between Canada and the U.S. were at record highs. And this can lead to faster erosion of the coastline and flooding. The flooding this spring and summer along the northern shores of Lake Ontario, the Toronto Islands and some Toronto-area beaches has been particularly troublesome for homeowners and businesses.
Rising water levels in the St. Lawrence Seaway could cost the economy more than $1 billion, shippers and port operators say. A new study from the Chamber of Marine Commerce warns that opening the floodgates further at a dam in Cornwall, Ont., would wash away between $1 billion and $1.75 billion in revenue for businesses on both sides of the border. A board of control recently increased the flow at the Moses Saunders Dam — the only control point on the St. Lawrence Seaway, which includes the Great Lakes — to allow 10,400 cubic metres of water per second out of Lake Ontario.
As an insurer, Intact obviously has its own data and maps. Based on that, the company assumes as many as five per cent of those newly at-risk properties will be simply uninsurable. Brindamour warns that "if you're in a zone that gets flooded repeatedly, or where the odds of being flooded has increased meaningfully, it'll be hard to find insurance from private capital."
Some people in Kingston, Ont., were asked to conserve water after a pipe broke Thursday at the River Street Pumping Station, flooding it with sewage. It's expected to be back to normal Friday morning. Utilities Kingston said residents should also take steps to protect their basements from flooding. "We are appealing to the public to conserve water and reduce sewer use to help reduce overflows and protect the environment," said president and CEO of Utilities Kingston president and CEO Jim Keech. Keech said Thursday afternoon they still didn't know what caused the pipe to break.
The Okanagan Basin Water Board has approved more than $318,000 in funding to 17 projects that will help conserve and protect water in the valley while addressing the larger issues of climate change. Directors approved the Water Conservation and Quality Improvement grants at their last board meeting, April 2. Recipients have now been notified. In total, there were 31 applications with a total ask of $688,281.