The Water Security Agency (WSA), in partnership with Natural Resources Canada, is committing $9 million to update and expand flood maps for high-risk communities in Saskatchewan. As part of this 50-50 cost-sharing agreement, the Government of Canada and Government of Saskatchewan will each contribute $4.5 million to the Flood Hazard Identification and Mapping Program (FHIMP) until 2027-28.

“This program is essential to advance our aerial lidar and ground survey work in critical areas of the province most vulnerable to flooding,” Minister Responsible for the Water Security Agency David Marit said. “The information we collect will help us identify where risks are, which will lead to a better understanding of the mitigation and protection work required to keep people and communities safe.”

The funding will allow WSA to obtain professional consulting services for the development of flood mapping products. This information can help communities develop flood emergency management plans, develop and implement community plans and zoning by identifying floodplains, and identify flood mitigation needs and options.

WSA will continue working with communities in progress, as well as other communities identified as being at-risk for possible flood damage. The communities with flood mapping projects currently underway at various stages of completion include Moose Jaw, Regina, Melfort, Tisdale, Estevan and Cumberland House.

“Flood maps are an essential part of building resiliency to natural disasters in our urban municipalities around the province,” SUMA President Randy Goulden said. “As the effects of climate change continue to grow, this resilience will enable our members, from the smallest villages to the largest cities, to continue to provide essential services to their residents.”

WSA recently completed a multi-year flood mapping study with the Town of Eastend, collecting data, performing hydraulic analysis, producing flood maps and holding information sessions with the community.

“We appreciate the support from the Water Security Agency, as this process gave us additional insight into the location and size of the actual floodplain and what areas and infrastructure were most at risk,” Eastend Mayor Jesse Gordon said. “WSA was great to work with and has been a huge asset in improving our Emergency Response Plan.”

Developing community flood mapping is one of the 25 measures of resilience in the Government of Saskatchewan’s Climate Resilience Measurement Framework.

WSA’s research shows that every dollar invested in flood prevention saves up to $20 in flood damages for each community.

Natural Resources Canada leads the FHIMP, collaborating with provinces and territories and providing financial support to advance flood hazard mapping in areas at higher risk of flooding.

WSA is responsible for managing the water supply, protecting water quality, ensuring safe drinking water, managing dams and water supply channels, reducing flood and drought damage, and providing information on water. The Agency works to integrate all aspects of provincial water management to ensure water supplies support economic growth, quality of life and environmental wellbeing.

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