Capital Regional District launches extreme heat information portal

Capital Regional District launches extreme heat information portal
File photo.

The Capital Regional District (CRD) is launching a new Extreme Heat Information Portal to help residents and community planners better understand the region’s vulnerability and exposure to extreme heat.

According to the CRD, the capital region is experiencing hotter summer temperatures, with more extreme heat days and heatwaves.

In summer 2021, B.C. experienced an extreme heat wave that claimed more than 700 lives, with 24 of those in the capital region.


“As a result of climate change, we can expect our region to continue to be at risk for extreme heat events,” said CRD Board Chair, Colin Plant.

“Preparing for and learning how to adapt to these events requires immediate actions. This initiative is an excellent example of working together with our local governments to develop regional resources to address climate impacts now, and into the future.”

The CRD worked with local government climate/sustainability and emergency management staff, as well as Island Health and provincial representatives to create the portal, with funding through a $150,000 grant from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Community Emergency Preparedness Fund.

With the aim of supporting the integration of extreme heat disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation planning, the project undertook a holistic analysis through a comprehensive process of data collation, engagement and validation.

This included an analysis of how extreme heat is distributed across the region and the development of two indices that examined the impact of various socio-demographic and building-specific factors on heat vulnerability.

The results from this analysis were used to create an interactive mapping dashboard and accompanying report that provides a highly localized picture of vulnerability to heat in the capital region.

“This valuable resource will help communities deal with extreme heat,” Barb Desjardins, CRD environmental services committee chair, said. “The portal provides tools and information to help planners and emergency managers identify areas of risk in our region and better plan for extreme heat now and in the future.”

In addition, the CRD and the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium have released an updated version of Climate Projections for the Capital Region report, to provide the most up‑to‑date information on how the region’s climate may change by the middle and end of this century.

These resources will support local and regional planners, engineers, land managers, policymakers and decision makers to make better-informed decisions.

Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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