GRCA continues to work alongside province on building flood resiliency

CAMBRIDGE – The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) continues work with the province of Ontario on building flood resiliency with a focus on protecting people and property within the watershed.

A Nov. 28 report on flooding in Ontario conducted by Doug McNeil, special advisor on flooding, outlines 66 recommendations to improve the province’s resiliency to flooding.

During his review, McNeil met with GRCA and other conservation authority staff, as well as municipal and provincial government officials, soliciting feedback on flooding challenges and opportunities before touring various areas, including the flood mitigation infrastructure in Cambridge and Brantford.

“Flood management remains a top priority for the GRCA with a focus on helping protect the lives and property of close to one million watershed residents,” says GRCA chief administrative officer Samantha Lawson.

“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to provide input to McNeil, and we welcome his report shared by the province. The recommendations reinforce the importance of a focused, collaborative approach in flood preparedness and responsiveness.”

A recent example of that collaboration involves the completion of bathymetric LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) surveys by the GRCA across large portions of the watershed.

This technology creates a detailed picture of local river and stream beds.

When this information is combined with surface LiDAR data collected by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, it becomes an important tool in developing floodplain mapping in the watershed.

This work will greatly enhance how quickly and effectively people and agencies can prepare for and respond to local flood emergencies.

The flood management program in Ontario has a long history of success. Conservation authorities, the province and municipalities all have a role in flood mitigation and preparedness.

The GRCA will review the report and looks forward to continuing to engage with its partners to improve flood resiliency and responsiveness throughout the Grand River watershed, officials said.