The agricultural community of Delta, BC lies at the mouth of the Fraser River and is bordered on three sides by water. The majority of the agricultural land is both relatively flat and low, with half the land lying 1.5m or less above sea level. Given its proximity to water and the flat topography, in order to defend the land from high tides, storm surges and high river flows the community relies on robust network of river and sea dikes. However, even the most advanced diking structures can fail, especially when repeatedly impacted by high water levels and large wave and surge forces. This is an increasing concern for the community as the sea level rises with climate change. A potential dike failure poses a hazard for people, livestock and infrastructure.
In light of this hazard, the Delta Farmers Institute along with partners (the BC Ministry of Agriculture and the Corporation of Delta) retained Sustainability Solutions Group, Upland Consulting and Ebbwater Consulting to develop materials for farmers to help them increase their resiliency to a potential flood. These included background case studies of different structural and non-structural mitigation options as well as a workbook to help farm-owners consider their own personal hazard and risk. Ebbwater Consulting provided technical and research services for this project, specifically related to sea level rise in southern BC, the hazards associated with dike breach flooding, and structural and non-structural mitigation options.
Delta Farmers Institute
BC Ministry of Agriculture
Corporation of Delta
December 2013 – April 2014