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Local Conservation Authorities support recommendations in Ontario’s independent review of 2019 flood events

Local Conservation Authorities are pleased with the findings of the independent review of the spring 2019 flood. Retained by the Ontario Government, Special Advisor on Flooding Douglas NcNeil recognizes Ontario’s unique watershed-based Conservation Authority model and its success in minimizing flood risks and mitigating flood impacts.

Ottawa area Conservation Authorities (Mississippi, Rideau and South Nation) met with McNeil and other agencies in September to review the spring flood and discuss local experiences.  Ideas were shared on how to improve protection of Ontario residents and their properties from flooding. The McNeil report contains 66 actions, and the three Conservation Authorities are pleased to see recommendations raised during those consultations in the report, including the need to:

  • update provincial guidance,
  • increase attention to floodplain mapping and the impacts of climate change,
  • to conserve and restore green infrastructure like wetlands and forests that store water and reduce flooding, and
  • continue support for the role of Conservation Authorities in coordinating planning and action.

Specifically, the report, available at ontario.ca/floodreport, encourages the Province to “consult with Conservation Authorities on their application of the natural hazards-based approach and the risk-based approach to managing flooding.”

Flood management is a shared responsibility among municipalities, emergency management officials, the Province, and Conservation Authorities. Authorities work closely with member municipalities to identify flood risk areas and to guide development activities outside of floodplains. The watershed-based approach has protected Ontarians for decades and has avoided millions in flood damages.

This approach has also built resilient communities that not only have flood control infrastructure but also important “green infrastructure” that reduces the impacts of climate change and flooding.

Local Conservation Authorities say they look forward to maintaining and improving flood management programs and are eager to assist the Province in implementing all of the recommendations outlined in the Flood Advisor’s report.

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One thought on “Local Conservation Authorities support recommendations in Ontario’s independent review of 2019 flood events

  • December 18, 2019 at 3:34 pm
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    The review confirmed the cause of the flooding to be due to too much water entering the system from higher than normal snow and rain……Surprise.
    It gave the analogy of a funnel……thank you
    There were some 60 recommendations given, none of them relating to the funnel. What a waste of time and money.
    How about looking at ways to increase flow at the constrictions to minimize the back up at the reservoir.
    Perhaps not all the watersheds mentioned could benefit from the above but you won’t know if you don’t look at these areas.
    Bala Dam can be opened at least 11 feet iirc below the July water level. I dare say that the March water level of Lake Muskoka could be quite lower than the current target low they draw the lake down to now. When they say it was drawn down to one of its lowest levels they fail to mention that it was only 1 inch lower than the previous March level of 2018. Drawing it down further would directly affect my convenience to draw water from the lake in March but perhaps save others costly repairs due to the damage from April flood levels.
    To say nothing can be done than what was done this year in the Muskoka watershed is lacking common sense.
    Let’s identify 64 ways to shove the issue around, map out new flood areas, use satellite imaging, or do other things that will make it seem like we are doing something but accomplishing nothing.

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