Otonabee Conservation to Create Floodplain Maps for Kawartha Lakes


Otonabee Conservation has undertaken two floodplain mapping projects in a defined area of Kawartha Lakes. The Kawartha Lakes floodplain maps will enable residents and communities to better prepare for, and take action during flooding events.

The Kawartha Lakes South project maps the floodplain along the shoreline of lakes that are within Otonabee Conservation’s jurisdiction. The Kawartha Lakes North project maps the floodplain along the shoreline of lakes that are within the Municipality of Trent Lakes and the Township of North Kawartha. For this project, Otonabee Conservation is doing the work on behalf of the municipalities.

In addition, Otonabee Conservation is completing six more floodplain mapping projects over the next two years—Curtis Creek, Meade Creek, Lakefield, Norwood (Ouse River), Baxter Creek, and Jackson Creek.

Traditionally, public meetings have been the main vehicle to inform the public about floodplain mapping projects. To reach more residents and inform them about the projects earlier, new online resources have been added to Otonabee Conservation’s website. A dedicated Kawartha Lakes webpage has been created. Questions can be submitted through the site, and answers will be posted there. Residents can also search their property to see if their property is within the floodplain.

“Floodplain maps help protect property and human life,” said Dan Marinigh, Chief Administrative Officer. “Our goal is to ensure that everyone affected has access to the information they need.”

The floodplain map helps to determine where new buildings may be located, if the property in question is at risk in a flood or storm event. In some cases, it may be necessary for property owners to take measures to protect existing buildings from flooding.

Otonabee Conservation is working to ensure that all affected community members and businesses are aware of the floodplain maps.

About Floodplain Mapping

During a flood, water levels rise. Areas not normally covered by water may be inundated. This could be because of the land elevation, jams of ice and debris, and built development features, such as pavement and houses. Floodplain maps use data and technical models to predict the path of floodwaters—the area known as the floodplain.

It is important to remember that a floodplain map does not create a flooding hazard; it simply shows where the flooding is.

Floodplain mapping is a tool to protect and respect the floodplain. Flooding poses danger to people and property. Knowing the extent of the floodplain is important in reducing potential property damage and risks to public safety, environmental protection and emergency management. Effective floodplain management is a key goal of Otonabee Conservation. Once finalized, floodplain maps become planning tools used by municipalities.