Climate Change Impact on Flood Hazard in Canada


Various sources

Project time

2012 - 2016

Principal investigators

Slobodan P. Simonovic, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Western University

Project Team (UWO)

Slobodan P. Simonovic, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, contact person, email
Abhishek Gaur, PhD Student
Sohom Mandal, PhD Student
Sarah Irwin, MESc Student

Project description

The research under this project aims to estimate the changes in the frequency and magnitude of flooding eventsfor Canadian rivers due to the effects of climate change. The research will address issues related to how climate change, land-use change and other anthropogenic activities affect aquatic ecosystem services. It will provide insight and understanding of the complex impacts that climate change has on flood events of Canadian rivers.

A better understanding of the potential changes in flood events is of particular interest in flood risk assessment, environmental policy and disaster management decision-making. Floods are the most common natural disasters. Their frequency, magnitude, and cost are on the rise all over the world. Riverbanks and floodplains are very attractive for habitation as well as for agriculture, transportation, power generation, recreation, and disposing of wastes. Hence, society is at risk of exposure to extreme flood events. Climate change, and global warming of the atmosphere, will increase the capacity of the atmosphere to hold water, and this will also accelerate many of the processes involved in the redistribution of moisture in the atmosphere. These changes alone suggest that flood generating processes linked to the atmosphere are likely to increase. The research outlined in this proposal will provide an opportunity for advanced multidisciplinary training of personnel in several important and unique areas. While it is clear that good governance requires useful and reliable science for decision-making, it is equally clear that the effects of poor planning could be disastrous. Increased flooding risk caused by climatic change can lead to serious economic and social dangers. We must plan well, and good planning requires understanding and foresight. This research will help identify the change in flood frequency of Canadian rivers and provide the Canadian public and private sectors with scientifically credible information that will connect science, governance, economics, and the environment.

Project Publications


Project Papers

Mandal, S., P. Breach and S.P. Simonovic, (2016) Uncertainty in Precipitation Projection under Changing Climate Conditions: A Regional Case Study, American Journal of Climate Change, 5:116-132.

Mandal, S., R.K. Srivastav, and S.P. Simonovic, (2016) Use of Beta Regression for Statistical Downscaling of Precipitation in the Campbell River Basin, British Columbia, Canada, Journal of Hydrology, 538:49-62.

Project Reports

Abhishek Gaur and Slobodan P. Simonovic (2013). Climate Change Impact on Flood Hazard in the Grand River Basin, London, Ontario, Canada. Water Resources Research Report no. 084, Facility for Intelligent Decision Support, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, London, Ontario, Canada, 92 pages. ISBN: (print) 978-0-7714-3063-3; (online) 978-0-7714-3064-0.

Project Presentations