Flood Management Program
To help communities adapt to our changing environment, the RDN has launched the Flood Management Program. This multi-year initiative is designed to use the latest approaches in science and engineering to better understand flood hazards and identify applicable flood mitigation options to reduce the risk of flooding. These resources will be used by engineers and the development industry to plan construction projects and update development policies and bylaws to ensure a standard of public safety into the future.
River Flood Hazards
There are three major river systems in the region (Nanaimo River, Englishman River and Little Qualicum River) that are prone to flooding. Development in these areas is regulated through the Floodplain Management Bylaw No. 1469.
New floodplain mapping information and risk assessment findings are now publicly available for the Englishman River and the Little Qualicum River (below). The Nanaimo River is due to be completed in Spring 2023. For more information visit the RDN’s Get Involved webpage.
River Floodplain Mapping Project
- RDN Overview Report Englishman River Flood Mapping
- RDN Englishman River Floodplain Map, June 2021
- RDN Overview Report Little Qualicum River Flood Mapping
- RDN Little Qualicum Floodplain Map, April 2022
- Staff Report Update on Sea Level Rise and Climate Adaptation Program, July 26, 2022
- Board Presentation Englishman and Little Qualicum Rivers Flood Maps, July 26, 2022
Coastal Flood Hazards
Coastal flooding occurs when low banks experience high tides and/or storm surges. With over 188 kilometres of varying coastline, high-bank areas are not at risk of flooding, erosion may be a consideration. Low banks are most likely to experience coastal storm surges, flooding (and erosion) from high tides, king tides and wind-driven waves. Over time, global sea level rise will intensify these natural processes.
In January 2018, the Province of BC adopted an amendment to the Flood Hazard Area Land Use Management Guidelines for new building standards for coastal areas incorporating consideration for climate change and sea level rise. These standards were integrated into the RDN's Floodplain Management Bylaw No. 1469 in December 2018.
To help plan for future changes, a regional coastal flood hazard analysis and mapping have been completed. This information is available to the public (below) and must be considered for new construction as part of the RDN’s development approvals process. For more information contact askplanning [at] rdn.bc.ca
Coastal Floodplain Mapping Project
- 1. RDN Overview Report Coastal Floodplain Mapping, June 28, 2021
- 2. RDN Regulatory Coastal Floodplain Map, October 19, 2022
- 3. Staff Report Coastal Floodplain Mapping Project, June 9, 2020
- 4. Board Presentation Coastal Maps, June 9, 2020