Floodplain Mapping

Understanding Floodplain Hazards and Mapping

What is a floodplain map?

During a flood, water levels rise. Areas not normally covered by water may be inundated. This could be because of 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 hazard is.

Ouse River NorwoodWhy is it important to protect and respect floodplains?

Floodplain mapping is a tool to protect and respect the floodplain. Flooding poses dangers to people and property. Knowing the extent of the floodplain is critical to reducing potential property damage and risks to public safety, environmental protection and emergency management. Effective floodplain management is a key goal of Otonabee Conservation.

How are floodplain maps created?

The process for mapping floodplain hazards is set out in federal and provincial guidelines. Technical studies of the area are conducted which help experts to create predictive models that allow us to map the size and shape of the floodplain.

Who is involved in floodplain mapping?

  • Otonabee Conservation specialists with expertise in water resources engineering and geographic information systems perform the necessary studies. Once they have all the information they need and have created hydrologic models, they create the floodplain map.
  • Otonabee Conservation works closely with local municipalities and other partners throughout the mapping process.
  • Communities are informed at every step of the process. For example, we will notify property owners when the project begins and let them know that we may need to access their property.

How does floodplain mapping affect me?

Floodplain maps help protect property and human life. There are planning documents that are used to guide decisions about land use and development. The floodplain map helps to determine where new buildings may be located, if the property in question is at risk during a flood or storm event. In some cases, it may be necessary for property owners to take measures to protect existing buildings from flooding. We will communicate with all involved if further action is needed to reduce potential risks.

If you would like to talk to Otonabee Conservation staff about how floodplain mapping might affect your property, please check out our project-specific pages (forthcoming) or call (705) 745-5791 and ask to speak to planning and permitting staff.

What should I do if I see flooding?

If you are concerned about current flooding conditions, please check our website for flood messages or call our Flood Watch Hotline at (705) 745-5791, extension 228.

How can I learn more?

To receive updates on floodplain mapping in your area simply send a message to floodplainmapping@otonabeeconservation.com