Considering Climate Change on Infrastructure Projects: Resilience through Adaptation

COLE, through its work in the Water/Wastewater Sector in the Caribbean has made a major commitment to assisting local water authorities in transferring knowledge on key engineering challenges that apply in the Caribbean context. One such challenge is the existing preparedness of the water/wastewater sector to natural disasters. As part of this endeavor, a workshop was held on November 2, 2017 on infrastructure resilience to climate change at COLE's office in Markham, Ontario. The workshop was well attended by engineers and policy-makers from the National Water Commission (NWC) of Jamaica and senior water/wastewater engineers, climate change specialists and environmental professionals from COLE. The workshop focused on procedures for identifying infrastructure vulnerability and developing adaptation measures for the purposes of long-term planning for a future not adequately represented by historical climate data.  The presentation included an overview of a user-friendly guidance tool for designers, engineers and managers (when designing, constructing or operating an asset) to assess risk (related to climate change) and rank and prioritize adaptation measures to build-in resiliency, redundancy or contingency plans, without indiscriminate overdesign.  
 
The timing of the meeting was appropriately aligned with COLE’s upcoming assignments in the Caribbean, notably, water security planning in Tobago and disaster management planning for Trinidad & Tobago.