Natural Infrastructure Solutions

Lake Ontario and the Greater Golden Horseshoe are grappling with climate change made real by flooding, and made worse by all that rain-resistant pavement and concrete. Disruption of daily life, emergency services delay skyrocketing insurance rates: flooding affects everyone. But there’s hope. Natural infrastructure can lessen the effects of flooding and increased rain. Effectively, And many solutions are just a shovel and a buddy away.

Unflooding Ontario with Natural Infrastructure

Learn About Natural Infrastructure Solutions

Unflooding Ontario with Natural Infrastructure

Stormwater runoff is a leading cause of water pollution in urban environments. Traditional infrastructure, such as curbs, gutters, drains, piping, and collection systems, collects and carries stormwater away from the built environment into local bodies of water, picking up pollutants and toxins along the way.

Natural infrastructure mimics nature by capturing and absorbing rainwater where it falls and treating stormwater at its source, while providing many other benefits to communities and residents such as:

  • Reducing localized flooding
  • Improving community aesthetics
  • Encouraging neighbourhood socialization
  • Increasing property values
  • Decreasing the economic and community impacts of flooding

The choice also comes down to this: make the infrastructure try to control nature, or let it use its own natural processes to design solutions.

Saving Green

Natural infrastructure is a notably cost-effective way to reduce the flow and volume of storm-water that could otherwise lead to flooding.

A 250-metre naturalized channel in Oakville, Ontario provides $1.24 to $1.44 million in stormwater conveyance and storage every year

Naturally occurring ponds in the coastal town of Gibsons, British Columbia provide $3.5 to $4 million of storm water storage services annually

Naturally occurring wetlands in southern Ontario reduce flood damage costs to buildings by $3.5 million (29%) at a rural pilot site, and $51.1 million (38%) at an urban pilot site

A restored and engineered wetland in Manitoba is valued at $3.7 million for the flood reduction, water quality improvement, carbon sequestration and other benefits it provides