Fraser Basin Council
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Flood Projects

A look at the Fraser Valley floodplain by air.

The Fraser Basin Council works on a range of flood-related projects. Here are highlights of our work, past and present.

Lower Mainland Flood Management Strategy

Beginning in 2014, FBC is facilitating a new multi-year initiative — involving all orders of government and other interests — to develop a regional flood management strategy for the Lower Mainland. Learn more.

Joint Program Committee for Integrated Flood Hazard Management

FBC hosts and administers the Joint Program Committee (JPC) for Integrated Flood Hazard Management. The JPC brings together 34 federal, provincial and local agencies and other organizations to share critical information, collaborate and build consensus on coordinated flood hazard management strategies. 

Coastal Flood Management

The BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative (BC RAC) program, administered by FBC, recently supported the Province of BC and project partners on flood projects that take into account the impacts of climate change. Coastal flood management has been a priority. Thanks to this work, there are now proposed guidelines for coastal floodplain mapping, sea dike design and coastal flood construction levels. Read about it.

Review of Land Use Policies and Practices in Flood Hazard Areas

In recent years, BC local governments gained the authority to manage land in flood hazard areas. Provided they consider provincial guidelines, municipalities can pass floodplain bylaws or approve developments in floodplain areas without seeking approval of the Ministry of Environment.

In 2007-2008, FBC carried out a review for the Province of BC to learn the approach of local governments after receiving this authority: what was working well, what challenges or concerns arose, and what improvements were needed. For a look at the findings, see: Flood Hazard Area Land Use Management.

Public Meetings on Flood in Prince George

The City of Prince George sits at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers. The City is vulnerable to flood risks from spring freshet and from winter ice jams. During the winter of 2007-2008, ice jams at the confluence of the two rivers prompted multiple emergency response measures. In the wake of that event, the City retained technical consultants to assess flood risks, identify and prioritize relief options and consider public input. The Fraser Basin Council was asked by the City to share the technical reports and to lead consultations with industry, businesses, residents and the general public.

BC Flood Forum

The Fraser Basin Council hosted BC’s first flood forum in 2008, drawing over 130 officials from local, regional, First Nations, provincial and federal governments and utility companies. The event was timely: it had been a challenging year. The City of Prince George was in the midst of a serious winter flood, and many BC communities had faced flood risks during the 2007 spring freshet, prompting dike upgrades, emergency response planning and community outreach. The BC Flood Forum was an opportunity to share those experiences and document lessons learned.

Lower Fraser Flood Model and Changes to Dike Design

The Fraser Basin Council and the BC Ministry of Environment worked on a multi-year study with Northwest Hydraulic Consultants to develop a hydraulic model of the lower Fraser River and update the flood profile.

This flood profile, as calculated by the hydraulic model in 2006, was higher than the previous profile calculated in 1969. As a result, the study found that widespread dike overtopping and dike failures would occur throughout the Lower Fraser River region should there be another major flood equivalent to the 1894 flood of record. The Province of BC adopted the new flood profile for dike design and construction standards in BC. Read more.

In March, 2007, the Province also provided $33 million for diking authorities throughout BC to undertake urgent flood mitigation works that could be completed prior to the 2007 spring freshet. It subsequently announced a $100 million investment over 10 years for flood protection infrastructure and maintenance across British Columbia.

Other Flood Work Highlights

Here are other projects the Fraser Basin Council has undertaken, in partnership with communities:

  • Dike crest gauges — New flood level gauges (dike crest gauges) were installed in various locations throughout BC. FBC oversaw this work in cooperation with 16 local and regional partners and with funding from BC Ministry of Environment (MoE).
  • Digital floodplain maps — At the request of Kent-Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Abbotsford and Mission, FBC managed the development of new floodplain maps for these communities, also with MoE funding.
  • Education and outreach — FBC has published and distributed maps, brochures, newsletter articles and online flood information, and took a lead role in publicly disseminating information on the 2006 hydraulic model of the Lower Fraser.
  • Gravel Management — Over 285,000 m3  of gravel and sand is deposited by the Fraser River each year in the stretch between Hope and Mission. Gravel offers valuable fish habitat, but can also contribute to navigation problems and flood risk. Between 1999 and 2004, the Fraser Basin Council facilitated a process for federal and provincial authorities and other interests to discuss river gravel management. In 2004 those authorities reached a five-year agreement on gravel removal, information and monitoring requirements, and decision-making timelines. Emergency Management BC (BC Ministry of Justice) manages this program and applications for gravel removal.

Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and throughout BC. Established in 1997, FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations) along with those from the private sector and civil society. We work with people in multiple sectors, helping them find collaborative solutions to today’s issues through a commitment to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Our focus is on healthy water and watersheds, action on climate change and air quality and strong, resilient communities and regions.

FBC Project and
Partner Sites

Plug in BC:


ReTooling for Climate Change:

FBC Youth:

Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Contact Us

FBC has offices in Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George. We also have staff located in Abbotsford and Vernon.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff.

Our main office is:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350
F: 604 488-5351