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: