Water Resources Research Report



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The Earth's climate is changing and these changes are documented to have a serious impact on municipal infrastructure. Current infrastructure is designed and constructed based on standards and codes developed decades ago. These standards and codes include historic climate and design storms which are no longer representative of the current climate. With the changes in climate patterns, infrastructure may no longer have the capacity to handle new climate loads. Thus, a region must adapt its policies and procedures to consider climate change and mitigate risks to municipal infrastructure. Climate modeling suggests that the City of London can expect to experience more frequent severe precipitation events in the future as a consequence of climate change. Flooding is therefore a natural hazard event of significance to this region and as such the City commissioned this study to assess the vulnerability of London’s public infrastructure to changing climate conditions.

From a hazards perspective, vulnerability assessments provide insights into responses necessary to prevent loss of life, damages, or in worst cases disasters. From a climate change perspective, capturing the differential elements of vulnerability is a prerequisite for developing adaptation policies that will promote equitable and sustainable development.

Risk is defined in this study as the intersection of a hazard (flooding) with vulnerability. The risk measure enables conclusions and recommendations to be made regarding the reliability of the infrastructure network within the city to adapt to the changing climate conditions.

The study results are meant to identify and prioritize areas of high risk or interest within the city which are recommended for further investigation. These recommendations are meant to aid in policy development as it relates to municipal infrastructure and the future.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Western Ontario


London, Ontario, Canada


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Report no.: 074

City of London: Vulnerability of Infrastructure to Climate Change Final Report