Portage la Prairie selected for climate change study

    - Engineers to evaluate impact on water resources infrastructure -

    PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, MB, June 20 /CNW Telbec/ -The City of Portage la
Prairie, Manitoba, in partnership with Engineers Canada, has selected GENIVAR
and TetrES Consultants Inc. to conduct a pilot project on the vulnerability of
water resources infrastructure to changes in climate conditions. The project
is part of a three-phase national assessment of the impact of climate change
on Canada's public infrastructure. GENIVAR is a leading Canadian engineering
and environmental consulting company, and TetrES provides a broad range of
environmental consulting services to facilitate the planning, analysis, or
regulation/approval of proposed development.
    This pilot project is managed by the Public Infrastructure Engineering
Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC), an initiative of Engineers Canada that aims
to identify and prioritize the most vulnerable types of infrastructure to
climate change in the first National Engineering Vulnerability Assessment.
Results from this assessment will lead to the adjustment of design codes,
standards and practices, enabling engineers to enhance the safety and security
of Canadians by incorporating strategies into their designs to better absorb
the negative effects and benefit from the positive effects of changes in our
    As part of phase I, a draft protocol was developed to evaluate the
growing impact of changes in climate on the design and operation of water
resource systems, buildings, roads and associated structures, and storm and
wastewater systems. Phase II will now evaluate the effectiveness of this
protocol by using it in the water resources pilot project in Portage la
Prairie. The community was selected due to its location on a flood plain and
the size of its water resources system.
    "We are pleased to be the first municipality to be chosen for such a
study," said Ken Brennan, Mayor of Portage la Prairie. "The nature of our
water infrastructure makes Portage la Prairie a suitable and representative
location to evaluate the draft protocol for water resource systems in Canada.
We are proud that through this project, we are providing information and
experience that will help building and renewing water resource infrastructure
systems in other communities."
    Phase III will bring together the findings of all of the studies into
PIEVC's final National Engineering Assessment of the Vulnerability of public
infrastructure to Climate Change report, which is expected to be finished by
March 2008.
    "The protection of the public interest with regards to safe and
cost-effective infrastructure is paramount," said Darrel Danyluk, P.Eng.,
PIEVC chair and Past-President of Engineers Canada. "Canada's infrastructures
face new challenges because historical climatic data is no longer
representative of the conditions for which the systems were designed. Extreme
weather events such as droughts and floods can have similar impacts
nationwide. By understanding the resilience capacity of existing
infrastructures and improving design codes and standards we will enhance our
ability to cost-effectively improve them to deal with these extremes, hence
enhancing the well-being of our communities."

    Co-funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Engineers Canada, PIEVC
is a major Canadian initiative involving all three orders of government and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It is looking broadly and
systematically at infrastructure vulnerability to climate change from an
engineering perspective. The Committee's work will result in the first
National Engineering Vulnerability Assessment.

    Engineers Canada is the national organization of the 12 provincial and
territorial associations/ordre that regulate the practice of engineering in
Canada and license the country's more than 160,000 professional engineers.
    Engineers Canada is the business name of the Canadian Council of
Professional Engineers.

    The City of Portage la Prairie is located within the heart of the richest
agricultural belt in Manitoba. The economy is driven by a vibrant and
progressive agricultural community, and the city's location has been ideal for
transportation, trade and growth. Its name is derived from the French word
portage, which means to carry a canoe overland between waterways. In this case
the "portage" was between the Assinboine River and Lake Manitoba, over la

For further information:

For further information: David Lapp, P.Eng., Manager, Professional
Practice, Engineers Canada, (613) 232-2474, ext. 240,
david.lapp@engineerscanada.ca; Marc Bourgeois, Director, Communications,
Engineers Canada, (613) 232-2474, ext. 238, marc.bourgeois@engineerscanada.ca;
Kelly Braden, P.Eng., Director of Operations, City of Portage la Prairie,
(204) 239-8350, kbraden@city-plap.com

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