Climate change tool gets widespread usage in PEI

Special to Western News

Moving forward, all municipalities in Prince Edward Island (PEI) developing new subdivisions will now be required to use a tool created by Western professor Slobodan P. Simonovic for incorporating climate change as part of their design and site evaluation processes.

The PEI Department of Communities, Land and Environment and its Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy informed Simonovic and his collaborators at Canadian Water Network (CWN) of the decision last week.

Last year, Simonovic, an award-winning professor in Western’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, completed a project funded by CWN and titled, A Web-Based Intensity-Duration-Frequency Tool to Update and Adapt Local Extreme Rainfall Statistics to Climate Change. Already, more than 400 registered users, including municipalities, governments, consultants and academics, have subscribed.

The web-based user tool assesses potential shifts in extreme rainfall at the local level using a combination of global climate modeling outputs and locally observed weather data. Global climate models are used to capture a range of potential changes in climatic conditions. The tool uses multiple climate change scenarios, representing the range of possible future climate conditions for each potential development.

“This is great recognition for our work and emphatic confirmation of the practical impact of this tool that will be shaping development in Canada for years to come,” said Simonovic, who also serves as Director of Engineering Works at Western’s Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.