June 4, 2014 4:41 pm

Mother nature’s original design is proving more flood resistant

Toronto – A restoration project in Brampton has received a partnership grant from a joint project with University of Waterloo and Intact Financial Corporation.

The $25000 grant will help cover the million dollar cost to remove concrete that lines the banks of Spring Creek.

The restoration project is spearheaded by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). “We are realizing that we don’t want to repeat what was done before”, says Christine Tu, a Sr. Aquation Ecologist with the TRCA. “We need to re-access nature.”

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READ MORE: Anti-flood projects target 5 cities across Canada

In Spring Creek’s case that means a phased project to remove concrete walls and allow rainfall from extreme weather events to flow into the natural watershed.

“What we need to do is prevent that water, divert that water any way possible from getting into the system”, says An expert in the economics of extreme weather with the University of Waterloo, Jason Thistlewaite. It has to be absorbed or “diverted on contact”, he continues.

Insurance company, Intact financial Corporation, is footing the bill for five grants that have been awarded to municipalities across the country.

READ MORE: Heavy rains bring floods to parts of Toronto

The projects are set for Calgary, Mississauga, Peterborough, Kingston and Ottawa.

The program is called “Depave Paradise” and will see asphalt and concrete torn up to help mitigate flooding, “by reducing the asphalt and the concrete, you increase the impermeability of the ground, so you put less stress on the infrastructure,” says Intact’s VP of Communications, Gilles Gratton. “What used to be events that happened every forty years, are right now, every six years.”

In the case of Spring Creek, adapting, means going as closely back to the way Mother Nature had originally intended the creek to flow and says Tu, “waters will more slowly recede and move back into the water course once larger volumes have already passed.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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