Municipal Risk Assessment Tool

The insurance industry has had a front-row seat to the effects of climate change. Thirty years ago, insured losses for extreme weather events averaged $400 million a year. In the last decade, these losses have skyrocketed to $1 billion or more every year but one.

Municipalities are also experiencing the financial impact of the changing weather. Climate change is causing sudden, intense rainfall that overwhelms municipal sewer and stormwater infrastructure, causing floods, destroying roads, damaging sewer systems and causing economic disruption. These torrential rainstorms can cost communities millions of dollars.

To help municipalities assess the impact of climate change on their sewer and stormwater infrastructure, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) developed a ground-breaking technology known as the municipal risk assessment tool, or MRAT.

What is MRAT?

  • MRAT is a web-based assessment tool that calculates the probability of municipal sewer and stormwater infrastructure failures.
  • It allows communities to rapidly adapt to the extreme weather events caused by climate change, thereby reducing damage from sewer backups and basement flooding now and in the future.
  • MRAT helps communities prioritize their capital infrastructure investments, adjust service levels and support requests for municipal infrastructure dollars.

How MRAT works

  • MRAT creates a risk model unique to each municipality by combining data on:
    • Municipal infrastructure
    • Current and future climate
    • Actual weather events.
  • Based on this risk modelling, MRAT provides detailed risk maps to help municipalities identify their greatest sewer and stormwater vulnerabilities.

How MRAT was developed

  • In 2009, IBC envisioned and developed MRAT in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada and in-kind contributions from municipalities across the country. Then from 2010 to 2015, Tesera Systems Inc. and Dillon Consulting Limited provided technical expertise.
  • MRAT was introduced as a pilot initiative in Fredericton, Hamilton and Coquitlam, BC. Political and technical feedback from the three pilot sites indicates a high level of satisfaction and support for the tool.