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The Times They Are A Changin’: A Structured Decision Making (SDM) Approach to Managing Coastal Flood Risks from Sea-Level Rise In Vancouver, British Columbia

Presenter: Christian Beaudrie, Compass Resource Mgmt. Additional authors: T. Lyle (Ebbwater Consulting), G. Long (Compass Resource Mgmt.), T. Mills (City of Vancouver)

Presented at the 2018 DAAG Conference in Vancouver.  In Session 6: Involving Communities of Interest in the Decision Process

Abstract: Rising sea levels pose increasing flood risks for coastal communities, particularly major population centers along the British Columbia Coast. With a projected sea level rise of 1m by 2100, BC communities face the challenging task of understanding hazards, vulnerabilities, and consequences from flood events, and identifying suitable measures to protect multiple interests over large areas.

This talk highlights the application of a Structured Decision Making (SDM) approach to evaluate the impacts of sea level rise and select mitigation options to reduce flood risks for Vancouver, British Columbia. The process involved decision analysis and stakeholder workshops to identify interests that may be impacted, develop suitable mitigation alternatives, review performance of alternatives, consider trade-offs, and finally to develop recommendations for a suite of mitigation alternatives to protect vulnerable neighbourhoods across the city.

Several methods were used to communicate complex risk information and inform decision making, including the use of multiple sea level rise and flood scenarios, spatial illustrations of flood extent, flood probability curves, and interactive decision support tools. Stakeholder values were considered in developing a short list of preferred alternatives, and risk tolerances were elicited to establish required in-service dates and prioritize areas across the city.

This work breaks new ground in evaluating and communicating the implications of sea level rise on coastal communities, and provides a model for incorporating diverse stakeholder values when managing flood risks from a rising sea.

Keywords: sea level rise, climate change, risk and uncertainty riskunc, framing and structuring framestruc, societal decision socdec, value focused thinking vft

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