Central Okanagan Floodplain Management Plan being developed

Image Credit: Contributed/Central Okanagan Regional District

CENTRAL OKANAGAN - Work is underway to develop a plan to better understand the risks and what can be done to reduce potential damage from flooding in the Central Okanagan.

The Regional Board has heard from the consultant who prepared the first phase report of the Regional Floodplain Management Plan which has identified and prioritized the criteria for further study of flood hazard areas.  

Among the findings, the report identifies that only a few floodplain maps have been completed (Peachland to West Kelowna, Mission Creek and Mill Creek) and only five watercourses have permanent emergency flood protection infrastructure. 

As well, based on available climate change research, the report says the magnitude of extreme peak flows is projected to increase which could cause an increase in flood and natural hazards within the region.

The Regional District hopes to begin the second phase of the Floodplain Management Plan later this year. This includes assessing the flood hazard and risk in identified high priority areas. It’s proposed the third and final phase of the plan will further develop and expand upon existing flood risk mitigation strategies for the Central Okanagan.

“The overall goal of the project is to reduce the risk of flooding while improving emergency response and increasing various aspects of preparedness of potential flooding that may be due in part to climate change," regional district chair Gail Given says. "When complete, the plan will be extremely useful for planning staff in every local government and First Nation; will be an important component of our region’s excellent Emergency Response Flood Plan and may provide some suggestions that will help guide future flood protection infrastructure work projects.”

Funding for Phase one and Phase two of the plan has been provided through two grants from the Okanagan Basin Water Board Water Conservation and Quality Improvement Grant Program (Phase 1 - $20,000 / Phase 2 - $25,000), the Federal Gas Tax Fund and the Regional District.

Information on the project and plan can be viewed at https://www.regionaldistrict.com/your-services/planning-section/projects.aspx

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