‘1 in 100 year’ flood disasters could happen every other decade

Catastrophic flood events normally expected once a century – similar to those witnessed recently in Pakistan and Australia – can now be expected every 20 years.

This is the view of around 300 scientists, policy-makers, economists and business people who have gathered in Ottawa, Canada for an international conference hosted by the Canadian Water Network (CWN).

The conference aims to highlight Canada’s position as an environmental leader in the water industry. The surface of Canada is covered by freshwater lakes and rivers roughly equal to the entire area of Spain, Germany and Belgium combined. And, as a result, the experiences of Canada’s engineer’s means the country is ‘uniquely’ placed to help out across the world.

According to CWN executive director, Bernadette Conant, said: “A number of northern British Columbia communities – the town of Smithers, for example – have endured ‘1 in 100 year’ floods three times in the past two decades — disasters underscoring the need for new techniques and ideas in municipal planning and road design”.

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