Flooding is the leading cause of public emergency in Ontario. Conservation Authorities prevent more than $100 million per year in flood damages.
Flood management is a shared responsibility in Ontario and Conservation Authorities are on the front lines of the Provincial Flood Forecasting and Warning Program.
Conservation Authorities learned two simple, but important lessons from the devastating 1954 Hurricane Hazel flooding that helped shape flood programs today: 1. We need a good warning system. 2. We need to avoid building in floodplains in the first place.
Conservation Authorities rely on an integrated approach to flood management which includes the five pillars of Emergency Planning and Management.
Roles and responsibilities of Conservation Authorities for Flood Management
- Undertake floodplain mapping, modeling, and monitoring streamflow, rainfall and snowpacks
- Regulate development in flood prone areas in cooperation with municipalities and the Province
- Provide planning support and 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
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. Read the Flood Management Fact Sheet and Flood Business Case.