Elkford leads way in Columbia Basin climate adaptation

Initiative to address climate adaptation in the Columbia Basin has come to an end. District of Elkford being recognized for its cooperation.

An initiative to address climate adaptation in the Columbia Basin has come to an end with the District of Elkford being recognized for its cooperation with the program.

Since 2008, the Columbia Basin Trust’s Communities Adapting to Climate Change Initiative (CACCI) has helped 14 Basin communities and supported over 30 projects to pioneer work on climate adaptation.

“We wish to thank all the communities, individuals and organizations that helped make CACCI a success,” said Neil Muth, Columbia Basin Trust president and CEO. “Not only have the efforts improved the resilience of participating communities, but they have been recognized provincially, nationally and internationally for their innovation and achievements.”

Elkford was the first municipality in the province to address climate adaptation in its Official Community Plan (OCP) and has also created a bylaw that reflects changes in storm water flows due to climate conditions.

Their innovative approach even landed the district in the United Nations guidebook for assessing various climate adaptation options.

“By working with CACCI, we have developed three goals when it comes to managing storm water,” said Dean McKerracher, mayor of Elkford, in a release. “The first is to reserve and improve the environment and natural resources for present and future generations. The second is to reduce the risk of health hazards, loss of life and property damage. The third is to conserve social and financial resources by treating storm water as a resource rather than a waste product.”

Though CACCI has reached completion, the Trust said it will continue to work on building awareness, providing information and supporting science and tools to help communities in the basin adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.