- Climate change has an unavoidable impact on the ecology of California, and this advancing vulnerability is a cause for concern to real estate investors of all stripes. One need not look any further back than February when a landslide destroyed a stretch of the iconic Pacific Coast Highway.
While this certainly isn’t the first time California Rt 1 has closed, the specific cause of this closure can be traced to especially heavy rainfall and recent wildfires, both hallmarks of climate change. Unfortunately, these issues are not going away, and the impacts of these sorts of problems will continue to advance.
Currently, the state of California warns against five types of landslide:
- Earth flows
- Debris flows
- Debris slides
- Rock falls
The various types of slides exist on a spectrum of material size – small-grained sand to large boulders and rock bed – and movement. However, all of the landslide varieties have in common the capacity and likelihood of causing significant damage to structures, including homes and businesses.
Are there ways to mitigate these risks?
As an overall risk, some landslides and land instability are natural and impossible to avoid. That’s one of the few risks of real estate investment. That does not mean that investors and developers are entirely at the mercy of nature. Proper landscape engineering and land use can allow for a more cooperative existence with the property itself.
With correct drainage strategies and systems, you can go a long way to prevent property damage and mitigate large-scale land instability issues. As we move forward, understanding this sort of approach to land development should become standard practice.
Beginning that practice today may make for a better, more profitable future for your investments.