International Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Study Board Publishes Report on Handling Climate Uncertainty Around Flooding


The International Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Study Board has published a new technical report, A Strategy for Addressing Climate Uncertainty Affecting Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Flooding.

As part of the study board’s work identifying the causes and recommending solutions to the impacts of flooding in the basin, it was necessary to consider how climate change will affect precipitation and weather patterns in the lake and river system – and how more extreme weather may impact flood risks.

The Decision Scaling Process used for the LCRR basin, which combines four different  angles to how climate change may affect water levels and flooding in the basin.

To do this, the study board followed the International Joint Commission (IJC)’s Climate Change Guidance Framework, which can help understand how changes in temperature and precipitation patterns in the basin may occur under different climate scenarios. In the case of the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River basin, the study board used a method termed “decision scaling” which approaches the uncertainty of climate variability by approaching it from four angles. First, to look at trends in the historical climate data in the basin, then to determine the potential maximum flood level that could happen in the basin. The third lens is to run a stress test by generating a range of weather conditions to assess their effects on water levels and flood risk in the basin. Lastly, a model of the basin was created using data from global and climate model projections based on different greenhouse gas emission scenarios for the 21st century.

To learn more about how this process was used to develop the study board’s overall flood mitigation recommendations, you can read the report itself at this link, a fact sheet that describes the strategy or view a recently recorded webinar here.

For more information contact:

Christina Chiasson          Canadian Section            (613) 293-1031               

Kevin Bunch                    US Section                        (202) 632-2014