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Flood Management

Lakehead Region Conservation Authority watershed

Lakehead Region Conservation Authority watershed

Dodging the Perfect Storm

2013 Conservation Ontario Flood Business Case

Ontario’s Conservation Authorities need strategic investments into their flood programs in order to build resilience and adapt to more frequent flood events; and to reduce the costs of flood events today.

flood sidebar graphic

Currently, Provincial investment in Conservation Authority flood programs and services cost Ontarians $0.77 per person per year.

Increased investment is needed in:

  • floodplain mapping;
  • ongoing Flood Management Operations (monitoring, regulation, facility operations, watershed planning, technical studies, and, resourcing);
  • existing flood and erosion control infrastructure; and
  • ongoing program support for Green Infrastructure including low impact development, stormwater management, and watershed stewardship best practices which reduce runoff, improve water quality, protect water supply and build watershed resilience.

Phased-in Approach to Address Challenges Around Ontario’s Aging Flood Management Programs, Services, and Structures

Addendum to Conservation Ontario’s September 2013 Business Case December 2, 2013 (PDF)

Dodging the Perfect Storm
Conservation Ontario’s Business Case for Strategic Reinvestment in Ontario’s Flood Management Programs, Services, and Structures September 2013 (PDF)


Conservation Ontario's Flood Business Case

Flooding is the leading cause of public emergency in Ontario.

Flood management is a shared responsibility in Ontario and Conservation Authorities are on the front lines of the Provincial Flood Forecasting and Warning program.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority watershed

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority watershed

Conservation Authorities:

  • Undertake floodplain mapping, modelling, and monitoring streamflow, rainfall and snowpacks
  • Regulate development in flood prone areas in cooperation with municipalities and the Province
  • Provide planning support & advice to municipalities to minimize flood impacts and issue warnings
  • Acquire important floodplain lands and flood vulnerable structures
  • Operate over 900 dams, dykes, channels and erosion control structures (asset replacement value: $2.7 billion)

Conservation Authorities bring added protection and benefits through watershed planning, watershed stewardship/natural heritage system management, stormwater management, low impact development, stewardship, monitoring and many other programs they deliver.

Together, Conservation Authorities prevent more than $100 million/year in flood damages.

Protecting People and Property

Climate change impacts, intensified development, and long term lagging investment in natural hazard structures, tools, and programs serious challenge the Conservation Authorities’ ability to continue to provide a high level of safety.

To keep water away from people, Conservation Authorities own and operate $2.7 billion dollars worth of infrastructure including 900 dams, dykes, channels, and erosion control structures.

Other nonstructural measures such as floodplain mapping, flood forecasting and warning, regulations, natural hazard management policies and other programs help to keep people away from water.

Building Local Watershed Resiliency

All of these contribute significantly to build local watershed resilience and enable Ontario communities to meet today’s needs and escalating future challenges. Conservation Authorities increasingly play an important role in designing and implementing these initiatives, often in partnership with landowners, municipalities, the Province of Ontario and other agencies.

Flood Management: Risk to Resiliency Backgrounder