Making decisions about how to prepare for the impacts of climate change can be complex, expensive, and have long-term implications. Therefore, it is important that these decisions are based on the best available evidence. Below you will find information on the Risk and Return on Investment Tool (RROIT) to help with your decision-making.

Risk and Return on Investment Tool

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The Risk and Return on Investment Tool (RROIT) is a multi-flood hazard decision-support tool that helps municipalities, property owners, investors and watershed agencies manage their flood-related risks. RROIT uses data many communities already have at their disposal to identify flood and erosion risks under current climate conditions and for a range of future climate change scenarios. RROIT calculates the potential financial losses associated with flood- and erosion-related impacts and produces maps and supporting information to prioritize areas for attention. RROIT can also compare financial impacts with and without specific management options, to identify cost-optimized strategies for community resilience.

Why RROIT is Needed

Municipalities and watershed management authorities across Canada are responsible for helping to ensure the resiliency of communities to flooding and related impacts.

Risks associated with flooding, and with linked hazards like erosion, are markedly increasing as the result of climate change. Communities across much of Canada will face increasingly severe social, environmental, financial, and economic consequences as the result of more frequent and severe flood-related events. Yet, investments today in well-informed adaptation can substantially reduce the impacts and costs of flooding tomorrow, and into the future. Every dollar invested in climate risk mitigation saves on average $3 to $5 in recovery costs.

Time is of the essence. Governments must invest early to develop flood-resilient infrastructure. To do so, they require better financial and economic analyses of the comparative benefits of different risk mitigation measures they have at their disposal. To help governments with these analyses, the Climate Risk Institute, Credit Valley Conservation and Risk Sciences International developed the Risk and Return on Investment Tool (RROIT).

How RROIT Works

Designed to be flexible, RROIT has the ability to assess several natural hazards and has built-in components that can be run regardless of geographic size and scale across Canada. As an example, financial analysis can be evaluated on any of the following:

  • Riverine flooding;
  • Erosion;
  • Urban flooding;
  • Basement flooding due to sanitary sewer backup and/or high groundwater;
  • Health, safety, and social vulnerability analysis; and
  • Management options to address flooding and future climate scenarios

This page describes the Risk and Return on Investment Tool, including presentations and sample outputs.

This short video by Credit Valley Conservation shows a demonstration of how the tool works, including required inputs and default data.

This one-hour webinar was presented by Christine Zimmer and Anna Tariq of Credit Valley Conservation in 2021 on the tool. The recording and presentation slides are available.

What has RROIT been used for?

Credit Valley Conservation, Risk Sciences International and the Climate Risk Institute partnered in 2021 to evaluate the use of RROIT across Canada with different decision-making contexts and data availability.


  • To address frequent historical flood complaints and direct flood mitigation planning
  • To identify high risk urban flooding areas and inform stormwater master planning
  • To identify areas and opportunities for reducing urban overland flood risks
  • To understand maintenance needs to inform asset management planning and design a monitoring program
  • To assess the rehabilitation of an existing stormwater management pond


The flexibility of RROIT allows users to interpret and apply results in different contexts depending on factors such as quality and availability of existing data and resources (including time, personnel, and budgets) to complete the analysis. Figure shows how the input data can inform how the tool is used.

Interested in using RROIT?

RROIT is currently being (re)developed and will soon be provided as an open-source, free, desk-top software, supported by the Climate Risk Institute.

Please contact Kirsten MacMillan (Kirsten.MacMillan @ if you would like to set up a call about accessing and using RROIT.