The City of Calgary retained Associated Engineering to perform a water supply infrastructure climate change vulnerability assessment. This included the entire potable water supply system from the watershed to the distribution system including dams, pump stations, treatment plants, reservoirs and piping. The study was conducted using the Engineers Canada Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC) protocol.
The purpose of the study was to identify components of the potable water supply system that are vulnerable to future (years 2020 and 2050) extreme climatic events or significant changes to baseline climate design values compared with the past data used for design. This included assessing sensitivities of infrastructure to the changes, in terms of positive or negative consequences of changes in applicable climatic conditions and, also assessing the built-in capacity of infrastructure to absorb any net negative consequences from the predicted changes in climatic conditions.
The basis of the methodology involved assessing various climate change models and superimposing that data over the design and operational characteristics of the water supply system to identify and assess risks to the infrastructure, its expected life and performance.