BC Floodplain Mapping Initiative

The Province of BC is seeking to create high-quality floodplain maps for BC communities that are exposed to riverine, lakeshore and/or coastal flood hazards.

The Fraser Basin Council is managing and coordinating a new floodplain mapping initiative on behalf of the Province of BC, with guidance from a Technical Committee and direction from a Steering Committees. The technical work is being undertaken by consulting professionals, in collaboration with communities.

Communities to Be Mapped

Communities in six regions of BC where there is a high risk of flood (but a lack of updated flood maps) have been invited to take part in the new floodplain mapping initiative, with work beginning in 2022.

With the agreement and collaboration of participating communities, several regions will be mapped in the first two years (2022-2024) of this multi-year, co-funded (federal-provincial) program. These are:

  • Lower Fraser and Coquihalla Rivers
  • Nicola and Coldwater Rivers
  • Upper Fraser and Nechako Rivers
  • Bulkley and Skeena Rivers
  • Shuswap Lake Region
  • Upper Columbia River

The initiative will generate floodplain maps that are of high quality and of a standard appropriate to support Indigenous governments and local governments in their regulatory and decision-making responsibilities.

The new maps will identify and describe flood hazard areas and help assess potential impacts to people, critical infrastructure and other assets and values. Communities can use them to:

  • support land use planning policies (e.g., floodplain bylaws and flood construction levels) and development decisions
  • prepare and update emergency response plans, and
  • plan disaster mitigation and climate adaptation measures

The maps will also be accessible to the public through a web portal. The hydraulic models will be available for future map updates or for additional flood assessments.

Scoping Studies

As part of the broader initiative, scoping studies have also been initiated for the Lower Mainland and coastal BC to:

  • better understand community flood mapping interests and needs
  • identify available data, models and data gaps
  • identify priorities and develop a work plan for future flood mapping projects.

Scoping studies in other regions of BC are also expected under the program.

Learn More

This work is being funded by the Province of BC and the Government of Canada through the Flood Hazard Identification and Mapping Program.

For more information, contact:

Steve Litke, Director, Water Programs
Fraser Basin Council
E: slitke@fraserbasin.ca