The network of dikes protecting Metro Vancouver will require billions of dollars in upgrades in coming years because of rising sea levels, according to a new report issued by the B.C. government.
The cost of dike improvements over the next 90 to 100 years could hit $9.5 billion, according to a report released today by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
The study looked at 250 kilometres of coastline around Metro Vancouver and shoreline along the Fraser River downstream from the Port Mann Bridge — an area that encompasses 12 major municipalities with a population of over two million people.
It followed a 2011 report which predicted a sea level rise of one metre along B.C.'s coast by the turn of the next century.
The report, entitled Cost of Adaptation – Sea Dikes and Alternative Strategies, is intended to help communities plan how to minimize the long-term impact of rising sea levels.
"Increasing sea levels linked to climate change are a serious issue that will be faced by coastal communities around the globe in the coming decades," said a statement issued by the ministry.
"Important next steps will involve the B.C. government and local governments working together to develop a regional flood protection strategy that prioritizes high-risk areas."