Vancouver, BC – May 29, 2014. Local governments need innovation and creativity to find funding to update or create floodplain maps, according to the Floodplain Mapping Funding Guidebook for BC Local Governments, published today by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA).
Floodplain maps provide visual information on where floodwaters are expected to go, and help local governments make decisions about how and where communities grow. Floodplain maps are the most logical first step in flood management and must be updated periodically. Unfortunately, most floodplain maps in BC are at least 20 years old, putting communities—and their residents—at risk.
“Maps need to be updated regularly to keep up with changes in climate, hydrology, land use and technology,” says Tamsin Lyle, principal with Ebbwater Consulting and a contributor to the research. “Each BC community that has undertaken this work since 2009 has used multiple funding strategies, including grant programs and collaborations.”
Finances can be a major barrier to carrying out floodplain mapping projects, so BCREA commissioned the guidebook to help local governments identify funding strategies available now. Research into funding programs and floodplain mapping activities across BC, Canada and other countries has resulted in a short list of options, including creative funding options such as civic crowd sourcing, creating floodplain authorities or a flood protection utility.
The guidebook offers examples of how some communities have funded floodplain mapping projects, and can serve as a starting point for those that are contemplating similar studies.
This project received financial support from the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, and is just one piece of the Floodplain Maps Action Plan that resulted from a stakeholder workshop BCREA held in 2013. The Floodplain Maps Action Plan consists of activities designed to ensure existing floodplain maps are updated and remain current.
“There has been a groundswell of interest and support for BCREA’s floodplain mapping initiative,” says Jack Wong, CEO of the Real Estate Foundation of BC. “Floodplain maps are critical tools for land use planning, and BCREA has shown leadership in harnessing available expertise to create a timely resource for BC communities.”
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