2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

Asset Management of Rural Ontario Core Infrastructure - Drivers and Barriers Asociated with Climate Change Considerations

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Dr. Shawn Kenny, Carleton University (Presenter)
Dr. Kathryne Dupré, Carleton University
Mrs. Amanda McEvoy, Carleton University

Municipalities provide stewardship of infrastructure through asset management plans. These plans are generally focused on service-based outcomes to meet municipal strategic goals. Because uncertainty exists with the potential impact of climate change effects on infrastructure performance, it is important to understand the current state of municipal readiness to address climate change effects, as well as the broader municipal needs, challenges and gaps (e.g. technical, financial, organizational factors). If municipalities do not consider the impacts of climate change in their infrastructure planning, they could experience a greater risk of damage to their infrastructure stock, and there could be significant costs and losses in the future.

A preliminary assessment of climate change considerations within asset management plans for rural Ontario municipalities is explored in this study. Through directed questionnaires with asset managers from rural Ontario municipalities, the general readiness landscape was examined to provide (1) an assessment of the factors that are limiting or supporting the integration of climate change considerations in infrastructure planning and design in rural communities (e.g. funding, expertise, awareness, leadership, tool and resources)”, and (2) an understanding of how rural communities perceive the costs and benefits to their infrastructure associated with climate change impacts.

The questionnaire also explored 4 key elements of the asset management framework for rural municipalities with respect to the state of local infrastructure (i.e. data), levels of service (i.e. metrics), asset management strategy (i.e. planned actions) and financing strategy (i.e. revenue, expenditures and debt management). The questionnaire explored barriers that may limit the integration of climate change considerations within asset management plans for rural communities. Barriers could have a positive influence on asset management framework that may be limited or constrained by other factors. Results of this study are presented.