Many floodplain maps in BC are 25 years old, despite the fact that experts indicate they should be updated every ten years. That means communities around the province are making critical decisions about growth and development without having the most current information at hand.
Since 2003-2004, local governments in BC have had primary responsibility for land use management in flood hazard areas, though their capacities and expertise vary considerably, which contributes to the problem. Increasingly volatile weather, resulting from climate change, is also expected to increase the likelihood of flooding in the future.
In recent years, the provincial government has demonstrated welcome leadership in the area of coastal floodplain mapping and sea level rise, but existing floodplain maps don’t seem to be on the agenda.
Because of these concerns the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), with generous funding from the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, is organizing a meeting of stakeholders to discuss how existing floodplain maps can be updated, kept current and made available to the public. Planning ahead to avoid flooding is less expensive and less disruptive than responding to flood events.
This is a very complex issue, involving a large number and wide variety of stakeholders. BCREA believes this stakeholder meeting, being planned for early March 2013, will be the beginning of a process that provides greater certainty and flood protection for citizens and communities around the province—and helps preserve the exceptional quality of life enjoyed in BC.
If your organization would like more information about this meeting, please contact BCREA Policy Analyst Norma Miller at [email protected]