Climate Change Adaptation

Climate change adaptation consists of actions that are taken to deal with the occurring and predicted impacts of climate change. This reactive or anticipatory approach causes people and municipalities to adapt to the changes resulting from climate change. Anticipatory adaptation actions are actions that brace for the impacts of climate change, and these actions tend to have a long-term vision and lower long-term costs. Adaptation planning allows a municipality to identify and leverage any potential benefits that may be a result of climate change.

The City of Windsor has undertaken an update to the Climate Change Adaptation Plan to better address climate change and Windsor.

Climate Change Adaptation Plan (2020)

This plan represents an update to the City of Windsor's 2012 Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Updating the adaptation plan allowed the City to identify and build on work already completed; check in on existing stressors, risks, and implementation progress; and advance the community further toward climate resilience of its social, economic, built and natural systems. The 2020 Climate Change Adaptation Plan and Climate Change Impacts in Windsor - A Technical Document were approved by City Council on Monday, June 15, 2020.

Climate Change Adaptation Plan (2012)

The City of Windsor released its Climate Change Adaptation Plan in 2012 with the following technical Appendices as part of our strategy to combat climate change.

The adaptation plan focuses on five potential climate change impacts which pose risk for the City of Windsor and can have the greatest impact on municipal operations:

  1. Increase in operating/maintenance demands to deal with climate extremes
  2. Increased chance of flooding to basements, roads and other infrastructure
  3. Increase in demand to all areas of operations when responding to an increase in severe storms (during and after)
  4. Increase in public health risks due to extreme heat
  5. Implementation of development policies which were created in the absence of climate change considerations, which may increase our vulnerability

To address these impacts, the 2012 plan outlines the following 22 action items:

  1. Mandatory downspout disconnection
  2. Mandatory backwater valves
  3. Enhance sewer maintenance and CCTV program (camera inspection of sewer)
  4. Consideration of additional off-line storage for storm water
  5. Increase the use of flow restrictors on catch basins
  6. Seal manhole covers
  7. Update the rainfall intensity duration frequency (IDF) curves
  8. Initiate flow monitoring of priority sewers
  9. Undertake public education on sewer use and waste water treatment
  10. Targeted education towards homeowners with cross-connections to sanitary sewer
  11. Use social media and other communication tools to warn public of risk of basement flooding
  12. Enhanced maintenance and inspection of roads and sidewalks during snow or extreme weather events
  13. Development of a green roof policy
  14. Develop pilot projects for the use of porous pavement on City properties and develop guidelines for development
  15. Installation of rain gardens as a pilot project to determine effectiveness
  16. Improvement and enhancement of green space to improve rain water retention
  17. Increase tree planting
  18. Increase capital for shade structures
  19. Increase in heat education at community centres and pools
  20. Complete an Urban Heat Island study
  21. Develop clear policies for weather response
  22. Creation of an Extreme Weather Fund reserve

For more information on environmental initiatives:

Phone: For general information, call 311. For detailed inquiries, call 519-255-6100 ext. 6127.