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Disaster mitigation will make communities safer

April 26, 2023 at 3:17 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Projects under the National Disaster Mitigation Program totalling more than $10.8 million have been completed throughout the province.

Stream 1: Risk assessments

District of North Vancouver – Upper Seymour River flood-risk assessment
Total value: $125,000
Flood-risk assessment completed for the Upper Seymour River to allow the District of North Vancouver to plan for structural and non-structural flood mitigation measures for the reach of the Seymour River. The risk-assessment findings support decision-making on how best to address mitigation obstacles, including lack of right-of way for structural mitigation and slow pace of redevelopment in the area.

District of Tofino – West Coast earthquake and tsunami assessment
Total value: $494,000
This project identified the seismic hazard setting in Tofino and included a minimum of three plausible earthquake scenarios. The selected earthquake scenarios helped to shortlist tsunami sources for the probability-based tsunami risk assessment and the results of the seismic risk assessment will establish the initial structural conditions to determine the consequences from a tsunami.

Regional District of East Kootenay – East Kootenay flood-risk prioritization
Total value: $420,000
This project provided a flood and steep creek debris flood-risk prioritization for the Columbia Basin. It considered the future effects of climate change, and systematically characterized clear-water flood and debris flood hazards and elements at risk across the East Kootenay region.

Squamish-Lillooet Regional District – Identification and risk-based prioritization of flood hazards within the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District – Phase II
Total value: $320,625
Completed risk assessment fills gaps in the existing flood-risk prioritization study completed by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District in 2020. The gaps addressed included flood-related effects of wildfires, identification of road networks critical for use in geohazard-related emergencies, and assets exposed to hazards on First Nations reserves and within traditional territories.

Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality – Sun Peaks flood hazard risk assessment
Total value: $75,000
Flood hazards identified that have the potential to affect the area defined by the municipal boundary of Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality. The dominant drainage feature of the community is McGillivray Creek that flows through the centre of the municipal boundary. The risk assessment identified flood hazards in the area and established risk thresholds and tolerances for identified hazards.

Stream 2: Flood mapping

Nisga’a Lisims Government – Adaptation of the Nisga’a Nation to the impacts of climate change|
Total value: $680,449
This project developed flood mapping for three First Nations villages in the Nisga’a Nation (Gitwinksihlkw/Canyon City, Laxg̱alts’ap/Greenville, and Ging̱olx/Kincolith) on the Nass River and Nass Bay, and a low-lying coastal highway. Comprehensive river and coastal flood mapping was developed along with coastal flood mapping for the only road connecting Ging̱olx and Laxg̱alts’ap. Also developed was an understanding of the system through targeted data collection to accurately model the flood plains of the relevant watersheds, including interaction with water levels from Nass Bay.

City of Vancouver – Coastal flood plain subsidence study
Total value: $230,000
This project determined subsidence rates to the year 2100 for all flood plains within Vancouver. The area is susceptible to various natural hazards including seismic activity, liquefaction and flooding. The City of Vancouver Floodplain Subsidence Study built on past regional studies, and includes the Musqueam Indian Band and Squamish Nations.

Cowichan Valley Regional District – Chemainus River flood mapping
Total value: $510,500
Project focused on developing updated flood maps for the Chemainus River flood plain for the Cowichan Valley Regional District and Halalt First Nation. Flood maps showing flood depth and flood construction levels were produced to federal and provincial standards to develop ongoing mitigation and flood-relief programs.

Fraser Basin Council – Thompson River watershed flood mapping
Total value: $2,508,650
Led by the Fraser Basin Council, this project provided detailed flood mapping for priority areas and built on a previous project that produced screening level flood mapping for the entire Thompson watershed. The goal is to reduce the risk of damage to people and property through improvements in the flood hazard mapping used in hazard and risk reduction decision-making.

City of Langley – Nicomekl River flood mapping
Total value: $120,000
This project mapped Langley city’s flood plain for the Nicomekl River by updating the city’s hydraulic model and completing a comprehensive survey of the watercourse tributaries and cross sections. Having a better understanding on the extent of the flood plain will help to allow responsible developments and prepare more robust flood-mitigation plans and projects.

Okanagan Basin Water Board – Flood risk mapping for the Okanagan mainstem
Total value: $630,000
This project updated the existing flood depth and hazard maps with risk and vulnerability information, and provided detailed technical reporting and map layers to Okanagan communities and provincial and federal agencies. Detailed risk mapping helps produce flood-risk maps for the entire valley bottom that was exposed to extreme flooding in 2017 and 2018.

Okanagan Basin Water Board – Okanagan mainstem bathymetry flood mapping
Total value: $320,000
Digital bathymetric maps – which show depths of landforms under water – were obtained for nearshore areas of the Okanagan mainstem for future mitigation of floodings, and to develop more accurate flood construction levels at the scale of individual shoreline properties. The project focused on areas of the lakes adjacent to shorelines that are already developed or could be in the future.

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary – Flood and geohazard mapping and engagement for the Boundary region
Total value: $585,391
This project built on the findings from the Flood and Geohazard Risk Assessment and completed flood mapping for all priority areas in the Boundary region. The flood maps will be used to modernize the Kootenay Boundary Regional District’s flood plain bylaws and development permits where needed.

Regional District of Nanaimo – Nanaimo River flood hazard mapping project
Total value: $130,000
A hydrologic analysis was conducted and included climate-change forecasting and hydraulic modelling of several flood scenarios to estimate extents, depth and updated flood construction levels. The Regional District of Nanaimo completed a flood-risk assessment and risk assessment information template in 2019, which recognized the growing importance of acquiring the most up-to-date information on flood hazard.

Stream 3: Mitigation planning

City of Delta – Beach Grove seawall structural assessment and conceptual design for raising the wall
Total value: $217,000
This project allowed the City of Delta to undertake a geotechnical, seismic and structural assessment of the seawall. The scope of work included recommendations for short-term remedial actions and preparing conceptual designs for raising the seawall in future. The residents living along the Beach Grove seawall have witnessed many intense storms in recent years, which are anticipated to increase in frequency and severity with climate change.

City of Richmond – Steveston Island preliminary dike design
Total value: $500,000
Preliminary design of the Steveston Island dike was completed by the City of Richmond along with related work to assist with securing the land and obtaining regulatory approvals. As a city surrounded by ocean and river, Richmond is under constant threat of flooding. The current perimeter dike alignment runs through Steveston Village. Raising the dike on the current alignment will have major impacts to the existing properties, businesses and infrastructure in the Steveston area.

District of Squamish – Pre-design seismic and diking options assessment for Siyich’em/Eagle viewing area
Total value: $330,000
The District of Squamish identified a preferred option for upgrading the Squamish River dike adjacent to the Siyich’em Reserve to realign the dike to protect and potentially reclaim historic reserve land cut off by the existing dike alignment. The project included a geotechnical investigation and seismic assessment of the Squamish River dike to support proposed upgrades.

District of Stewart – Bear River flood and erosion planning
Total value: $85,000
A flood mitigation plan for the Bear River has been completed that will help plan for investments to protect critical infrastructure within the District of Stewart. There is risk of flooding of the main townsite should water overtop Highway 37A near the bridge. The district has a cutoff dike west of the highway bridge, but the dike is not high enough to guard against flooding. The bank has undergone erosion during high-flow events and is continuing to erode, putting the water-treatment plant at risk of damage.

Fraser Basin Council – The Pathways to Action Report
Total value: $903,000
This project helped to inform decision-makers about the status of actions to reduce flood risk and improve resilience in the Lower Mainland. It also outlined key areas for further discussion and next steps as the council works with First Nations, local, regional and provincial governments toward a regional flood-risk reduction approach. This project brings together substantial work to date to understand hazards, identify options, and explore regional approaches to address flood risk in a changing climate.

Nuxalk Nation – Nuxalk Nation’s Main Village flood-mitigation planning
Total value: $99,900
This project involved undertaking flood-mitigation planning for the Nuxalk Nation’s main village through the development of a comprehensive plan that assesses existing infrastructure, identifies mitigation options and conducts a multiple accounts evaluation. The mitigation plan is of critical importance to the Nation, as the community experiences impacts from flooding on a regular basis.

Regional District of Central Kootenay – Central Kootenay flood and geohazard mitigation planning
Total value: $590,000
This project identified mitigation options to reduce the risk of previously identified hazards. The project also identified options for mitigation to address hazards identified in a prior risk assessment and previous flood mapping. The project is the next phase in a regional project that began in 2016 to better understand risk from floods and associated geohazards.  

Resort Municipality of Whistler – Van West Creek and Spring Creek flood-mitigation planning
Total value: $169,000
The project resulted in a flood mitigation plan that includes mitigation options and information on flood risk that can help the community make appropriate risk-mitigation decisions. A comprehensive mitigation plan that reflects on previously identified risks was developed. The Resort Municipality of Whistler previously completed a technical review and flood mapping study that determined Spring Creek and Van West Creek would cause extensive flooding of vulnerable communities.

Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band – Whispering Pines IR4 flood-mitigation planning
Total value: $71,500
This project involved flood-mitigation planning for Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band IR4 and determined the level of protection currently provided, established an updated flood-construction level for the dike, identified dike upgrades required to meet provincial standards, and determined non-structural mitigation options for the community. The Thompson Flood Advisory Committee was engaged to ensure flood-mitigation efforts at Whispering Pines IR4 contribute to the broader geographic flood mitigation goals of the North Thompson valley.

Stream 4: Investment in non-structural or small-scale structural mitigation

GeoBC – 2021 B.C Floodplain Foundational Data Acquisition
Total value: $776,820
Led by GeoBC, the project provided consistent data and flood plain map standards for communities that have outdated or no existing flood plain maps. The project acquired foundational data in areas of B.C. that have not been collected in the past and the data will enable an all-hazards approach to modelling and mapping in these unevenly populated and economically viable areas The data will enable communities to better identify high-risk areas and take appropriate measures for identifying and mitigating risk, including land use and community planning.

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