New research from GHD reveals C$139 billion impact of water risk in Canada by 2050


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TORONTO, Aug. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new study, launched today by global professional services firm GHD, titled Aquanomics: the economics of water risk and future resilience reveals that droughts, floods and storms could lead to total loss of 139 billion Canadian dollars for the Canadian gross domestic product (GDP) between 2022 and 2050. This equates to an average annual GDP loss of 0.2%.

This study represents the first time that the economic impact of water risk has been calculated at GDP and sector level. The research combines insurance data with econometric modeling to demonstrate the broader economic impact of increased future water risk. It focuses on seven key countries across GHD’s footprint – Australia, Canada, China, Philippines, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States (country data provided below )

Canada’s large land mass, combined with low population density, contributes to water-related risk being less impactful than many other countries in the study, but there are still risks. Flooding alone is projected to cost the Canadian economy over C$40 billion in the years leading up to 2050, which is almost half of the country’s estimated total direct losses.

Estimation of total direct losses by type of event

Total direct losses from 2022 to 2050 Attributed to flooding Attributed to storms attributed to drought
88 billion Canadian dollars 40 billion Canadian dollars C$34 billion C$14 billion

The study also presents the potential impact on five critical economic sectors: agriculture; Bank and insurance; energy and utilities; fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and retail; and manufacturing and distribution. It reveals that the Canadian manufacturing and distribution sector could suffer total losses of C$64 billion by 2050, which is equivalent to an average annual output loss of 0.3%. The agricultural sector, on the other hand – the most water-intensive industry – faces projected losses of $4 billion by 2050, which equates to average production losses of 0.1% each year.

Estimation of the total loss of the sector

Sector Total production losses from 2022 to 2050 Average production loss per year
FMCG and retail 26 billion Canadian dollars 0.3%
Manufacturing and distribution C$64 billion 0.2%
Bank C$21 billion 0.2%
Agriculture 4 billion Canadian dollars 0.1%
Energy and Utilities 14 billion Canadian dollars 0.1%

Don Holland, Canada Water Market Leader at GHD, says: “The Aquanomics report not only reveals the threat that increasingly frequent and severe water-related events pose to global economies, but also to the communities and natural ecosystems that depend on a balanced water cycle. for their survival.

Canada may not be a water-stressed country, but it is a country of extremes, and those extremes are becoming more and more pronounced. With the Canadian government Estimated that the country is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, a growing number of municipalities have declared climate emergencies and are implementing policies to build resilience. It is up to the water industry to help customers implement a risk-based management approach to provide communities with the resilience they need to grow and thrive in these uncertain times. In addition to providing the required resilience, it also gives us the opportunity to improve our communities and our environment..”

Estimated GDP loss by country between 2022 and 2050 (USD)

Country Total loss of GDP Average annual GDP loss
WE $3.719T 0.5%
China $1,144,000 0.2%
Australia $312 billion 0.6%
UK $153 billion 0.1%
Philippines $124 billion 0.7%
Canada $108 billion (CA$139) 0.2%
United Arab Emirates $27 billion 0.1%

About GHD As a leading global professional services firm with engineering and architectural skills and experience, GHD is committed to solving the world’s greatest challenges in water, energy and urbanization. . Our innovative and forward-looking approaches produce extraordinary social and economic results for communities around the world.

Efficient water use is part of all commercial, industrial and community activities. GHD has a powerful global network of water skills and experience that we can apply to local scenarios. We offer a wide range of services covering feasibility studies, planning, design, project management, construction and asset management services as well as operational optimization. To learn more about GHD, visit

About GHD in the Americas GHD has longstanding customer relationships, a significant project and geographic footprint in the Americas and employs 40% of GHD’s global workforce with nearly 4,000 professionals in over 100 offices in the United States, Canada and Chile. GHD ranks 9th among international design firms operating in the United States and 8th in Canada according to News-Record Engineeringof the 2020 annual survey of the main market segments. These rankings reflect the size and importance of our growing business in the Americas. Find a local office here.

Notes to Editors: Aquanomics: the economics of water risk and future resilience used a three-phase methodology to estimate the direct losses, sectoral losses and GDP losses that will be attributed to water-related risk (droughts, floods and storms) between 2022 and 2050. The study focuses on seven key countries across GHD’s footprint – Australia, Canada, China, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States – and three regions of the United States – the Northeastern United States – United States, Southeastern United States and Southwestern United States. For more details, please refer to the full report and the methodology.

The modeling was built by Cambridge Econometrics – an independent organization of economists specializing in data and providing credible and robust evidence on a wide range of complex 21st century challenges facing our economies, societies and the natural environment.

For more information, please contact:

Sarah HowellGHD, Communications and Media Manager, North America[email protected]Cell: +1 224.234.6389 Angela PinzónPilot PMRCommunications Consultant (English Canada)[email protected]Cell: +1 647-295-0517 Lamia CharleboisPublic Relations Consultant (Quebec)[email protected]Cell: +1 514 581.5831

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Source: GHD


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