The merits of classifying climate change as a “moderate” risk to Chapman Creek were discussed July 5, when directors with the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) held a special committee meeting to consider potential refinements to the draft response plan.
Unknown elements associated with climate change could increase the severity of better-understood hazards impacting the Chapman, warned the SCRD’s consultant on the topic, Brad Minnes of Urban Systems.
“There’s been a lot of discussion around climate change and … what potential effects there might be,” he said. “I think having it as moderate is appropriate.”
The highest risks identified in the latest draft include birds and wildlife, excessive precipitation and the associated run-off, as well as future forestry activities.
The source assessment response plan (SARP)’s purpose is to identify risks to Chapman Creek while also suggesting a methodology to meet the threat.
As a moderate risk, climate change was listed among the likes of recreational activities and future gravel mining.
“To me, this moderate isn’t a problem because we’ve got all these actions, that’s the important piece. It’s not whether it’s characterized as a moderate risk or a high risk,” said Roberts Creek director Donna Shugar.
As the SARP stands, five short-term and two long-term responses are listed as potential ways to mitigate the negative effects climate change might have on a water source like Chapman Creek.
In addition to calls for more source-specific research as it related to climate change, the draft plan recommended that officials “review assumptions and risks of climate change regularly.”
The committee meeting was also a chance for SCRD directors to review the latest public comments on the draft response plan.
“Some of these are from people who thoroughly went through the document in detail and some are from people who may have just come to our presentation,” commented Bryan Shoji, general manager of infrastructure services.
The staff report is available online at www.scrd.ca as part of the special committee’s July 5 agenda.