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Stormwater Asset Management Plan (AMP)

This page highlights information contained in the Stormwater AMP published in January 2021. The document outlines the current state of Barrie's stormwater infrastructure, and highlights the costs associated with the City's responsibility to mitigate flooding and protect bodies of water from any harmful stormwater runoff. An addendu​​m to the Stormwater AMP was published in May 2022 to capture Level of Service requirements omitted from the original document.

Following the release of the 2021 Stormwater AMP, the City continues to review options for a more sustainable, reliable and equitable source of stormwater funding. By July 1, 2025, the City is required by the Province to outline the costs, risks and benefits of providing different levels of stormwater management service.

On February 14, 2022, City Council approved change to stormwater funding to help improve the City's resiliency against climate change impacts, mitigate flooding, protect Lake Simcoe and ground water sources. Learn about the Stormwater Climate Action Fund.

Stormwater Assets

The City's stormwater assets allow us to better manage extreme storms and rainfall, as well as the runoff from hard surfaces (e.g. roofs and driveways) created by our urban environment. As of 2020, the City owns $1.25 billion in stormwater assets, including approximately:

  • 880 culverts
  • 400 km of storm sewers
  • 150 km of ditches
  • 100 km of watercourses
  • 95 stormwater ponds
  • 71 manufactured treatment devices
    prefabricated structures that use technology to help remove pollutants from stormwater runoff

The State of our Stormwater Assets

As of 2019, 79% of stormwater assets are in either fair or good condition. This means the City has some time to plan before many of our stormwater assets need major maintenance or replacement, and before we see greater impacts from climate change. Some areas of concern:

  • The remaining life of our stormwater ponds is estimated at less than 25%. The City will need to continue to do significant work to ensure our stormwater ponds can keep functioning properly.
  • The City owns a significant amount of stormwater assets that do not meet current standards. For instance:
    • Only 41% of Barrie's stormwater ponds are capable of improving water quality. There is an increased risk that stormwater from these ponds could carry higher levels of pollutants into creeks, streams and lakes.
    • Only 62% of our culverts meet the City's current design requirements; this poses a capacity risk that may become greater with climate change.

The Cost of Stormwater Management

To maintain proper stormwater management, the City should ideally spend more money on stormwater assets than what is available in the budget. There is a gap between the amount available for spending and the amount needed to properly maintain our stormwater assets and the services they provide.

Stormwater Asset Funding (2020–29)

Budgeted City of Barrie funding:$33.4M / year
Actual funding needed to sustain assets: $45.1M / year
Funding gap:$11.7M / year

Breakdown of Stormwater Spending (2020–29)

Lifecycle ActivityBudgeted FundingSpending NeededFunding
Growth & Upgrades
New infrastructure projects are required to support growth, while certain upgrades are needed for infrastructure to meet current standards.
$15.3M / year$23.2M / year$7.9M / year
As assets near the end of their life, they need to be rehabilitated or renewed.
$10M / year$13.8M / year$3.8M / year
Operations & Maintenance
Assets need ongoing operation and maintenance work to function.
$5.5M spent in 2020**$8.1M / year (avg)** N/A
** A 10-year budget for operations & maintenance (O&M) is not available; regarding annual O&M spending needs, the amount increases from $7.5M in 2021 to $9.3 million in 2029.

The City created a Dedicated Infrastructure Renewal Fund (DIRF) in 2015 to help bridge the gap between the municipal money available and the money needed to keep all of the City's infrastructure in good repair. However, additional funding resources are needed to properly close the gap. The proposed Stormwater Climate Action Fund would serve as a dedicated fund.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals of stormwater management?

The City of Barrie is responsible for a broad portfolio of assets that support the goals of stormwater management. These goals, provided in the City's 2010 Official Plan, include environmental protection and public safety objectives such as:

  • Ensuring the health and safety of area residents and preventing the loss of life and minimizing property damage due to flooding, erosion, steep slopes and unstable soils.
  • Protecting and enhancing the water quality and environmental, aesthetic and recreational potential of the City's watercourses, Little Lake and Kempenfelt Bay.
  • Ensuring stormwater management practices minimize stormwater peak flows and contaminant loads and maintain or increase the extent of vegetative and pervious surfaces.
How does the condition of Barrie's stormwater assets compare with those belonging to other Canadian municipalities?

The Canadian Infrastructure Report Card (CIRC) assesses the overall health of municipal infrastructure as reported by cities and communities across Canada. Using the CIRC assessment, comparisons between the City of Barrie and the national average can be made.

Linear Assets

Linear assets are those that can be measured in linear units (e.g., metres), like roads, sidewalks and pipes. The City's stormwater linear assets tend to be in much better condition, when compared with the national average. This is due to Barrie's more recent growth, as well as its relatively young storm sewer system. At the same time, these assets will deteriorate in the future and it is important to build healthy financial reserves now to support their renewal.

Non-Linear Assets

These assets tend to have a fixed address, and include assets such as buildings, facilities, parks and stormwater ponds.

See also: general FAQs about asset management plans

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