New Reports On Fraser River Flood Risk Released

By July 11, 2014News, Valley News
Release. Two new reports released today will help planners and engineers in developing strategies to manage increased flood risk along the Fraser River.

The report, Fraser River Design Flood Level Update - Hope to Mission, 
provides diking authorities with updated design flood levels in 
comparison with crest levels of 15 dikes in the Hope to Mission 
reach. All but one dike are too low. 

Many of these dikes were originally constructed in the 1970s and '80s 
to design levels established to meet the largest flood flow on record 
from 1894. Some sections of the 146 kilometres of dikes were upgraded 
over the years, but new modelling calibrated with data from the 2012 
freshet found most of the dikes to be too low, and confirmed that 
renewed efforts are needed to protect the upper Fraser Valley from 

The report, Simulating the Effects of Sea Level Rise and Climate 
Change on Fraser River Flood Scenarios, uses models to replicate 
possible effects of climate change-related sea level rise and 
increased flows on Fraser River flood levels.

The study area includes 170 kilometres along the Fraser from Hope to 
the river mouth, including the densely populated Fraser Valley and 
Metro Vancouver regions. The report indicates the magnitude and 
frequency of large floods will significantly increase due to sea 
level rise and climate change. The report notes that by the end of 
this century, a 50-year flood could be similar in magnitude to floods 
that currently have a return period of 200 or 500 years.

The ministry last released a report on the potential effects of sea 
level rise and climate change in December 2012. The ministry 
regularly releases studies and updated modelling information as it 
becomes available to assist those involved in infrastructure planning 
and flood mitigation.

Results from the two reports can be used to support flood risk 
management, and floodplain development and dike upgrade planning. 
Important next steps involve all levels of government working 
together to develop a regional flood protection strategy that 
prioritizes high-risk areas.

To view or download copies of the latest reports, visit the Ministry 
of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations' Flood Safety 
Section web page at:

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