Finding Floodplain Maps

Nov 24, 2020

Posted by
Norma Miller
Senior Policy Analyst


While COVID-19 may pose the greatest risk right now, floods also do significant damage regularly in BC and across the country. Economic, social and environmental impacts can take many years to reverse and BCREA believes smart planning to avoid, or at least minimize, flooding is a better approach.

Floodplain maps can support local government decision making by demonstrating the risks to both existing and proposed developments and infrastructure and, in the process, help foster resilient community growth and emergency planning. To be effective, however, floodplain maps must be updated regularly to account for many factors, including changes in development, the environment and climate.

BCREA is working with the University of British Columbia (UBC), Okanagan Campus, to update a provincial inventory of floodplain maps. We carried out a similar project in 2015 and found that only 15 floodplain maps had been updated within the previous ten years.

Since 2015, federal and provincial funding programs have been available to local governments. While we know there have been many mapping projects, no government or other organization has published a list. BCREA is updating its inventory of floodplain maps to help keep property owners, potential real estate buyers and others informed.

The first phase of the project – currently underway – involves a survey of all BC local governments and First Nations to learn more about their mapping projects and data they have available. In the second phase, UBC will develop a localized flood vulnerability index to help communities assess flood-induced risks.

If your local government or First Nation would like to participate in the survey, please contact Norma Miller no later than December 15, 2020.

This project is made possible with funding from the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia.

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