Only 21 per cent of B.C. communities and First Nations have access to a floodplain map that is 10 years old or less, according to the B.C. floodplain map inventory report published by the B.C. Real Estate Association.
Nearly 31 per cent reported they have no access to floodplain maps at all.
“Floodplain maps support decision making by showing risks to existing and proposed developments and infrastructure, and help support resilient growth and emergency planning,” said Catherine Parsons, researcher and community planner.
“But, to be effective, floodplain maps must be updated regularly to reflect changes in land development, the environment and climate.”
The B.C. floodplain map inventory report identifies the B.C. floodplain maps created or updated in the last 10 years.
It also describes how floodplain maps are used, the public availability of maps, availability of supporting data, and challenges and opportunities communities have experienced with floodplain mapping projects.
This report helps to identify gaps in floodplain mapping and highlights the need for up-to-date floodplain information in B.C.
Seventy-two B.C. local governments and First Nations participated in the research, which consisted of a survey and follow-up interviews.
“Communities around the province are grappling with many challenges, and floodplain mapping is just one example,” said Nathan Vadeboncoeur, president of the not-for-profit Community Risk Network and a contributor to the research.
“Many communities, in particular small and rural municipalities, lack the time and resources required to update their floodplain maps. Developing a clearer picture of what needs to be done around B.C. to build flood resilience is an important step toward helping communities manage flooding.”
According to the BCREA, the report results suggest that better information about floodplain maps, guidelines for their development, data standardization, and stronger funding mechanisms will all improve the state of floodplain mapping across the province.
The agency also states that better floodplain maps will make communities, First Nations and the entire province more resilient.
Visit www.bcrea.bc.ca/docs/government-relations/2015floodplainmapinventory.pdf to read the full report.
The following additional resources are available to British Columbians at www.bcrea.bc.ca/government-relations/flood-protection:
– Floodplain Mapping Funding Guidebook for B.C. Local Governments
– Floodplain mapping backgrounder
– Floodplain maps action plan
BCREA is the professional association for more than 18,500 realtors in B.C., focusing on provincial issues that impact real estate.