The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) is eager to continue working with the Province of Ontario on building flood resiliency with a focus on protecting people and property in the Grand River watershed. The 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, Mr. McNeil spent time meeting with the 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 Samantha Lawson, Chief Administrative Officer of the GRCA. “We are grateful to have had the opportunity to provide input to Mr. 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 surveys by the GRCA across large portions of the watershed. This technology creates a very detailed picture of the bed of local rivers and streams. 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.