In order to prepare effectively for climate change and its impacts, decision-makers need regionally relevant tools and knowledge to work closely with local stakeholders and resource managers. The British Columbia Regional Adaptation Collaborative (BC RAC), entitled Preparing for BC’s Water Future, will advance adaptation decision-making in such a manner.
The $6.9-million BC RAC aims to improve the ability of British Columbians to prepare for climate change and its impacts on water through four interrelated initiatives.
The water allocation and use initiative will help agricultural producers reduce water use, and guide water management planning in regions where climate change will result in reduced water supply and potential conflicts over water use.
The forest and watershed management initiative will develop tools and improve existing regulations to help developers and resource managers maintain aquatic values of fisheries sensitive watersheds and streams in forested and urban watersheds affected by climate change.
The flood protection and floodplain management initiative will take climate change into account in updating provincial guidelines and in developing tools and standards that engineering, planning and other professionals use to inform decisions in flood-prone areas.
The community adaptation initiative will generate knowledge and tools to help municipalities, regional districts and First Nations respond to climate change by incorporating adaptation into community planning processes and decision making.
The BC RAC will integrate climate change adaptation into a variety of existing planning and decision-making processes. Its activities will include consultation, risk assessment and knowledge transfer.
The BC RAC program involves extensive collaboration and $3.3 million over three years from Natural Resources Canada, as well as matching or in-kind funding from 18 regional partners including the Fraser Basin Council, the Okanagan Basin Water Board, the Government of British Columbia, the BC Conservation Foundation, the Columbia Basin Trust, the World Wildlife Fund and the University of British Columbia, as well as many other organizations that will contribute to the RAC projects.
The Fraser Basin Council and the B.C. Ministry of Environment co-lead the BC RAC, which builds on the findings of the British Columbia Chapter of From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate, the scientific assessment produced by Natural Resources Canada in 2008. The BC RAC is one of six regional adaptation collaborative projects planned under Natural Resources Canada’s Regional Adaptation Collaborative funding program.
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