In part, these are spurred by climate change – heavy rainfalls are becoming more frequent in many areas – and in part by growth and development that creates more runoff. Existing infrastructure is often hard-pressed to cope with the increase.
However, those changes are seldom matched by increases in funding or capital.
While most Canadian municipalities fund their stormwater facilities through property taxes, many are turning to additional stormwater fees to help pay for rising infrastructure and operational costs.
In a report to the Credit Valley Conservation Authority (1), consultants Zizzo Allan wrote:
Recent flooding events in Ontario have brought significant attention to stormwater management. As flooding-related damage increases, interest in the legal liability associated with flooding and other stormwater events has grown as well. In light of predictions that climate change will make extreme weather events more frequent and intense, physical damage and liability concerns may prompt municipalities to ask whether, and to what extent, they should adapt their stormwater management policies and infrastructure.