CBC reports on a new tool to help municipalities set priorities in spending on stormwater sewers

After a year in which it paid nearly $1 billion in claims in Ontario and $1.7 billion in Alberta because of natural disasters, the insurance industry is testing out a new tool that will help identify where municipalities might direct their money so future flooding does not do as much damage.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is testing out a system called Municipal Risk Assessment Tool (MRAT) that will identify the streets that will be hardest hit in a storm. Created with the help of engineers and geologists, it combines information about the age and condition of municipal infrastructure, current and future climate, soil quality and past insurance claims.

Three cities —? Coquitlam, B.C., Hamilton, Ont., and Fredericton, N.B. — are participating in a pilot with the tool this year. The idea is to test whether MRAT – essentially, a series of maps that highlight areas where basement flooding is most likely — is effective in giving city engineers a new picture of where infrastructure is vulnerable today and where it will be vulnerable in 2020 and in 2050.

According to Bill Adams, IBC vice-president for the Western and Pacific region, IBC aims to roll the diagnostic tool out to cities across Canada once it has been tested and refined and will not use it as a way of deciding where premiums should rise.

Read the full article here.