Flood Risk Mapping in Canada: Moving Forward on a National Priority

CIGI Policy Brief No. 141

October 16, 2018

To improve public awareness of flood risk and meet its commitment to the United Nations Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, Canada must develop up-to-date flood risk maps and make them publicly available. Effective flood maps improve risk perception, ensure information is accessible and stimulate risk reduction. Good flood maps provide: information to personalize the experience of flooding; local and historical context; a legend; legible flood extents; definitions of scientific and technical terminology; transparency on uncertainty and limitations; data on all forms of flooding; and risk reduction advice. Until a more coordinated map development process can occur, the Government of Canada should create a national online repository where existing maps are collected and made publicly accessible.

About the Authors

Daniel Henstra is a former CIGI senior fellow and an associate professor of political science at the University of Waterloo.

Jason Thistlethwaite is a former CIGI senior fellow and an associate professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo.