Flood maps in Canada
Provinces and territories are responsible for undertaking flood mapping, and many roles related to addressing flood hazards. Some provinces undertake engineering studies and flood mapping in-house, while others contract flood mapping to private industry. Others delegate authority for flood mapping to other entities such as municipalities and/or conservation authorities. In addition, the federal government funds flood mapping activities to advance flood mapping across Canada.
Currently, some provinces provide flood risk and hazard information, such as Quebec and Alberta. Depending on the province or territory, it might be the responsibility of the local authority to undertake flood mapping. This is explained on our flood mapping community webpage where we maintain links to flood mapping websites under drop-down menus at the bottom of the webpage. Additionally, data related to the flood mapping page can be found here.
While the capability to share flood information is not yet available nationally, the Government of Canada is advancing a mandate commitment to creating a flood risk portal for the public as an initiative with the upcoming National Adaptation Strategy. This commitment is meant to provide accessible and easily understood flood risk information on a national scale. High-quality flood mapping that is current and accessible will help governments, communities, and individuals understand flood risks and implement effective mitigation strategies to reduce the impacts of flooding.
The development of Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy is happening in two phases:
- Phase I developed the framework of the Strategy, including long-term transformational goals, and medium-term objectives, working with experts and reflecting the input of provinces and territories, national Indigenous organizations and representatives. (Completed March 2022)
- Phase II will seek broader public, partner and expert input on specific measurable and achievable action, finalizing the National Adaptation Strategy by the end of 2022.
Five expert advisory tables worked together in Phase I focussing on:
- Health and Wellbeing;
- Resilient Natural and Built Infrastructure;
- Thriving Natural Environment;
- Strong and Resilient Economy; and,
- Disaster Resilience and Security.
Each Advisory Table is co-chaired by a federal department along with an external partner or stakeholder and includes diverse membership representing Indigenous peoples, youth, professional associations, the private sector, environmental organizations, academia, adaptation experts, and others. The tables proposed transformational goals and concrete objectives for each of the thematic areas.
The Government of Canada is investing over $63.8M in its Flood Hazard Identification and Mapping Program (FHIMP) to help Canadians better plan and prepare for future floods. In partnership with provincial and territorial governments, the FHIMP aims to complete flood hazard maps of higher-risk areas in Canada and make this flood hazard information accessible. Maps from this program will start to be available for the public in 2023.
For more information on flood mapping, please review our web pages under the flood mapping site.