Simonovic continues work to develop climate change adaptation polices

Slobodan Simonovic

Western Engineering News | August 21, 2013

Civil Engineering professor, Slobodan Simonovic and his research team conduct research devoted to: (i) the development of an appropriate methodology for the assessment of climate change impacts; (ii) the implementation of the developed methodology to the process of development of intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves under changing climate; and (iii) verification of the developed methodology using a number of municipalities across Canada. 

In consultation with the municipalities of Halifax, London, Hamilton and Coquitlam, Simonovic has identified the following:

  • There is a need by almost every municipality in Canada for the update of IDF curves, which will address the changing climatic conditions.
  • There is a lack of necessary expertise within the municipalities for the implementation of the current research to the practical needs of IDF update process.
  • There is an opportunity to generalize (even standardize) the IDF update process and democratize the results of previous research.
  • The potential existence of generalized tool for IDF update will be helpful in the selection of effective adaptation options that can save money and minimize damage (human and material) from the extreme consequences of climate change.
  • There is an opportunity to obtain the feedback from practice that may lead to further research and innovation in the process of adaptation to changing climatic conditions.

To further explore this development research and verification work, Simonovic submitted a proposal entitled, “Computerized Tool for the Development of Intensity-Duration-Frequency Curves under Climate Change” to the Canadian Water Network under their new program - Evolving Opportunities for Knowledge Application.

The proposal was accepted for funding ($130,000 for 18 months) which means Simonovic and his team can start responding to the needs identified above by achieving the following objectives:

  • Improvement of the procedure for updating IDF curves (integration of climate information, sophisticated downscaling mechanism and observed precipitation);
  • Development of completely computerized tool for the implementation of the IDF updating procedure;
  • Documenting the tool; and
  • Distributing the tool and providing the necessary training to maximize application and uptake of knowledge.

“In my opinion, this work will be a real attempt of democratization of knowledge,” says Simonovic. “Through the web-based tool to be developed, every municipality in Canada will have an open access to the tool that can assist in the development of climate change adaptation polices.”