Alberta has identified areas at high-risk of future flooding, and will use the information to shape future development in the province. Areas at high risk have been designated as in the floodway, or red zone, or the flood fringe, or pink zone.

Flooding in Alberta. Photo: Sean Esopenko

The new zoning particularly affects homeowners living in the floodway. They have been given the option to either stay at their current location and repair the damage done to their property, or to relocate. If they decide to stay, they will be ineligible for future Disaster Recovery Fund assistance, whereas the province will provide assistance should they decide to leave.

The situation is slightly less dire for those in the flood fringe zones. They have been told to undertake some flood-proofing measures in order to be covered in the case of future disasters, and will be eligible for slightly more Recovery Fund money in order to complete the proofing.

“We’re going to need to work with communities and homeowners to find the best solution for their situation, and we promise to do that,” Alberta’s municipal affairs minister Doug Griffiths told CBC. “We would prefer that people move out of the floodway. If they stay there, that’s all they get.”

With the new flood-mapping standards will come provincial efforts to ensure that no new development takes place within the floodways.

Are you in a flood zone? Use this map to find out.

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