Spring floods are affecting many communities in Canada right now, but flooding worries won’t be over when water levels go down.
Many Ontario communities, including Toronto, Windsor, Burlington, Brantford, Markham, and Thunder Bay have been impacted in recent years by a different kind of flooding, that has nothing to do with rivers overflowing their banks.
Runoff volumes are overwhelming stormwater and wastewater infrastructure, causing properties to flood nowhere near bodies of water.
In response, Ready, set, rain!—a new report from Green Communities Canada (GCC)—maps out a vision for flood-resilient Ontario communities, with a focus on urban flooding, defined as overland flooding away from waterbodies, sewer backups, and sewer overflows.
While no one can control the weather, communities can come together to address the problem.
The report details four areas where communities should take action:
- Prioritize the most vulnerable neighbourhoods, by mapping risk and communicating with the public;
- Support the public to prepare for flooding by retrofitting their properties and being ready for emergencies;
- Reduce runoff and manage rain where it falls by protecting and restoring natural and green infrastructure; and
- Invest in improving infrastructure to protect all properties from large flood events.
The strategy was developed with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and received input from hundreds of stakeholders from across the province.
Green Communities Canada is a national association of community organizations that help people go green – in their homes and gardens, on the road, at work, and in the community.
GCC has over two dozen member organizations in every region of the country, with combined annual revenues of $24 million, 600 employees, and more than 2000 volunteers.
GCC and its member organizations work together to help Canadians:
- improve the health of communities;
- conserve resources for future generations; and
- reduce pollution.
Image via Adobe Stock.