08/17/2012 05:37 EDT | Updated 10/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Victoria Sea Levels: Climate Change Could Bring High Water, More Storms, Says City Report

The British Columbia Legislature is seen reflected in the waters of Victoria Harbor as its exterior is outlined in lights in Victoria, British Columbia, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The building was opened in 1898 and over 3,000 lights cover the structure. (AP Photo/THE CANADIAN PRESS, Jonathan Hayward)

VICTORIA - A risk assessment on climate change for the City of Victoria says it needs to start work now to prepare for rising sea levels, more storms, wetter winters and drier summers.

The assessment looks at the projected risks the city will face with changes in climate conditions by 2050.

Roy Brookes, the director of Victoria's Sustainability Department, says preparing for the impacts of climate change could mitigate damage and save the city money over the long term.

The report predicts temperatures in Victoria could rise by more than two degrees by 2050, the amount of summer rain could drop by 32 per cent, while winter precipitation may jump 14 per cent, along with a similar increase in the number of intense storms.

It says the sea level could rise by 45 centimetres during winter high tides, and that combined with more storms would cause flooding and other storm-related damage.

The report says one of the city's greatest risks from climate change are heat waves, which could pose a danger to the city's older residents.

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