Climate Change Adaptation Project

What is the climate going to be like in Rossland in 2050?  What are our key vulnerabilities and risks associated with climate change?  How will that affect how we live?  What can we do now to prepare?  These were some of the key questions addressed in the climate change adaptation project.

The Climate Change Adaptation Steering Committee has completed and voted to approve their final Climate Change Adaptation Report and Recommendations for submission to Columbia Basin Trust. This report has been approved by the Sustainability Commission and was presented by the Commission to City Council in October. The Sustainability Commission will make decisions regarding the implementation of priority actions and recommendations to Council in November.

Below are many key documents associated with the Climate Change Adaptation project.  The Final Report can be downloaded here.

Download Final Report | Download Executive Summary

Download the Case Study (Overall Summary of the Project)

Background on the Climate Change Adaptation Project

The Climate Change Adaptation project was funded by the Columbia Basin Trust through their Communities Adapting to Climate Change Initiative.  It was managed by the Sustainability Commission and ran from October 2009 to September 2010.

The goals of the project were to research potential climate change impacts in Rossland, establish community priorities for adapting to climate change and develop action plans in association with those community priorities. The project consisted of six steps:

  1. Get Started – Establish local coordinator and Steering Committee, and develop workplans (Oct 2009 – Dec 2009)
  2. Learn about Climate Change – Review local climate knowledge and climate change projections (Dec 2009 – Jan 2010)
  3. Identify Priorities in your Community – Identify potential climate change impacts in Rossland and determine community priority areas to be addressed through adaptation plans (February 2010)
  4. Assess Vulnerability and Risk – Conduct sensitivity analysis and probability assessment on priority impacts (March 2010 – June 2010)
  5. Develop Adaptation Strategies and Actions – Develop adaptation strategies and actions for priority areas (June 2010 – September 2010)
  6. Implement and Monitor Plans – Incorporate action plans into existing and future plans and bylaws - Ongoing following the project

A general fact sheet on Climate Change Adaptation can be downloaded here.

Fact Sheet


Step One: Get Started

In Step One, a local Steering Committee consisting of 13 members was established.  The Steering Committee was established to provide oversight to the process to provide input into the desired outcomes for the process, guide what questions we investigated further, assess the accuracy of the findings and assist in the action planning.  A detailed workplan and Steering Committee Terms of Reference were prepared.  The Steering Committee established a list of research priorities for Simon Fraser University's Adapting to Climate Change Team (ACT), which was contracted to do the preliminary research associated with the project.  The Steering Committee Terms of Reference can be viewed here.

Steering Committee Terms of Reference


Step Two: Learn about Climate Change

As part of Step Two, two preliminary reports were prepared by Simon Fraser University to complete Step 2: Learn about Climate Change. These reports outline the Historical and Future Climate for Rossland and the Economic and Policy Outlook for Rossland. The Economic and Policy Outlook report can be downloaded below. The Historical and Future Climate Change document is too large to download. Hard copies can be requested from Jennifer Ellis at:

Economic and Policy Outlook

In addition, the Steering Committee completed a survey of long time Rossland residents to prepare a Local Observation Survey Summary to identify changes that Rosslanders have observed in the climate and Rossland's ecosystems over the last 30 to 50 years. That report can be downloaded here.

Local Observation Survey Summary


Step Three: Identify Priorities in your Community  

The Steering Committee held a Priority Setting and Impact Mapping Event on March 3rd, 2010. A Backgrounder outlining the impact mapping process, expected changes in Rossland's climate, and Rossland's adaptive capacity and potential vulnerabilities regarding six issue areas was prepared and circulated in advance of the event.  Community members that attended the event were asked to help prepare impact maps for the six issue areas and rank those issue areas in terms of priority for further research as part of the project.

The priorities selected for further analysis at the public event were water availability, infrastructure, food security and energy prices and availability. The even backgrounder and the resulting impact maps for the four priority issue areas are below.

Priority Setting Event Backgrounder

Impact Map - Water Availability

Impact Map - Water Infrastructure

Impact Map - Road Infrastructure

Impact Map - Food Security

Impact Map - Energy Prices and Availability


Step Four: Assess Vulnerability and Risk

In the initial stages of Step Four, it was decided that the Steering Committee would assess vulnerability and risk for food security, and SFU's ACT would work on preparing a Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (VRA) for the other three priority issue areas (water, infrastructure and energy). Thus the Steering Committee proceeded with preparing a food security vulnerability and risk backgrounder and group Vulnerability and Risk Assessment.  Ultimately, the Steering Committee decided that the SFU VRA for water, infrastructure and energy did not contain sufficient local context so this VRA was redone as a backgrounder.  Due to time constraints on the process, a formal group VRA was not undertaken for water, infrastructure and energy as it was for food.  The key outputs associated with this step of the process are below.

The Climate Change and Food Security Backgrounder was prepared to assess regional food security for all three Phase 2 Communities Adapting to Climate Change Initiative communities Rossland, Castlegar and Kaslo/Area D. It reviews the scientific literature with regard to the implications of climate change for global food production and assesses the potential for regional food self-sufficiency from both a biophysical and socioeconomic perspective.

Climate Change and Food Security Backgrounder

The Food Security Vulnerability and Risk Group Assessment was a group VRA undertaken by the Steering Committee and representatives of the Watershed Stewardship Task Force and Rossland REAL Food on June 10, 2010.  It evaluates and ranks vulnerability and risk with respect to climate change impacts on international food production and local food production and served as the basis for the development of the priority actions for food.

Group Vulnerability and Risk Assessment for Food Security

The Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Backgrounder provides a detailed assessment of climatic changes that Rossland will experience to 2050, Rossland's current status with respect to water, infrastructure and energy, and future non-climatic changes that will affect water, infrastructure and energy.  It then considers the implications of climate change for water, infrastructure and energy and provides a summary of Rossland's key vulnerabilities for these three priority issue areas.

Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Backgrounder


Step Five: Develop Adaptation Strategies and Actions

In Step five, Climate Change Adaptation Plans from around the world were reviewed to compile a data base of potential actions relevant to Rossland's four priority issue areas. That data base was reviewed by the Steering Committee and City Staff and comments were incorporated.  City Staff in particular were requested to evaluate whether proposed actions were doable and made sense for Rossland. A final version fo the action planning data base was prepared and is available below.  This data base was made available to the public for review and an Action Planning Public Event was conducted on September 9, 2010.  Actions were reviewed, commented on and ranked by community members.  The results of that event were analysed and a list of 19 priority actions were identified.  Those 19 priority actions underwent further analysis regarding their cost, urgency and potential lead in implementation.  The 19 priority action items and all of the outputs of the process were compiled into a final project report which is available above.  That report was approved by the Steering Committee and Sustainability Commission on September 28, 2010.

Action Planning Data Base


Step 6: Implement and Monitor Plans

The Sustainability Commission and City are now considering their options in terms of implementation of the priority actions.