Helping Communities Adapt for Flooding

cestrategies All Projects, Community Planning, Featured Projects, GIS & Mapping, Traditional Knowledge

The realities of climate change are being seen and felt on a global scale. For many communities, especially in Northwestern Ontario, flooding has become a regular occurrence. Shoreline erosion, habitat destruction, and loss of land are some of the harsh effects that continue to impact communities.

Knowing that your community will be impacted by future flooding is essential for pro-active planning, but understanding how your traditional lands, infrastructure, and people could be be affected can help prevent or lessen any potential damages. To help identify these challenges and determine solutions, we have partnered with a number of communities to conduct Flood Vulnerability Studies.

Combining the traditional knowledge from community interviews with the power of GIS, we create impactful tools and visuals that can paint an accurate picture of what the damages of flooding might look like in the future. Showing communities how they could be impacted really made the realities of major flooding sink in. Some people were shocked to see that their house could be completely washed out in a flooding event.

By using visual models that demonstrate significantly high water levels, we can show the devastating realities that communities could face. Using the Flood Vulnerability Study, we can then create an Adaptation Strategy that provides actionable steps for protecting existing infrastructure while also guiding future planning and development by determining safe areas to build.

We recently had the opportunity to develop a larger scale Flood Vulnerability Study for the entire Winnipeg Drainage Basin. We partnered with Grand Council Treaty #3 on the project to support the communities in the region determine their own flooding adaptation strategies.