Not only is this crucial to avoiding worst-case flood scenario’s, it would also save money in the long run says flood management specialist Tamsin Lyle.
“Having flood plain maps is incredibly important because they are the basis for any sound planning decision that will reduce damages, losses and stress to people over time when there is a flood,” she explains. “We can plan smart [so that] we can build houses that are higher in places so that if we do get an event, we have a really good plan to get people out of the area. It’s the basic tool we need to use for flood management.”
Lyle believes the big price tag is part of why it isn’t being done. “There is quite a big cost and that is because nothing has been spent on this for the last 20 odd years so we have a lot of catch-up to do.”
She adds this was traditionally done by the province and federal government but a little over ten years ago, it was dissolved into being a municipal level government issue.
Just 21 per cent of the communities surveyed confirm they have updated their floodplain maps in the last decade.