The Regional District of Nanaimo is applying for federal funding to continue flood management planning.
Through the Canada Community Building Fund’s strategic priorities fund, the RDN is applying for a capacity building project to build on the near-complete regional-scale coastal flood hazard maps as well as floodplain maps on the Englishman, Little Qualicum and Nanaimo rivers.
The integrated flood management planning work proposed would include assessment of coastal and river flood risks both under present-day and future scenarios to help support land use and emergency management planning and future infrastructure investment. As well, an integrated flood management plan would investigate measures to reduce flood risks, update standards and engage with key stakeholders and First Nations in the area exposed to flood hazards. The management plan would include developing a visual, interactive story map to communicate past and future flood risks to the public.
The total budget for the project is an estimated $550,000 over five years. In 2019, the RDN completed a flood risk assessment for each of the electoral areas; Qualicum Beach; Parksville; Lantzville and Qualicum, Snaw-naw-as and Snuneymuxw First Nations.
The assessment explored the risk level and potential impacts of flood-related hazards on the region; however, it did not assess the risk or specific impacts on individual communities.
The region’s coastal flood hazard maps were updated in Fall 2021, which looked at coastal storm surge, tides and sea level rise. Six maps cover Electoral Area B.
Research conducted by Ebbwater Consulting indicated that, with one metre of relative sea level rise, the flood construction level, which is the required elevation of a building’s floor to minimize flood damage, ranges from 5.0 to 11.3 m on the rocky shores and coastal bluffs of outer Gabriola and 5.9 to 11 m on the southern coast of Vancouver Island.
Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/Gabriola Sounder/Canadian Press