Manitoba expands flood-risk mapping project

A digital elevation model of Manitoba. Photo credit:
A digital elevation model of Manitoba. Photo credit:
A digital elevation model of Manitoba. Photo credit:

Manitoba will be adding vital flood information to its flood mapping inventory for three of its priority watersheds in the Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba basins. The project was announced on October 12, 2017, and is supported by the Government of Canada.

“Identifying the height and extent of a potential flood event is critical to support informed decisions and investments to reduce the impacts of flooding on communities,” said Manitoba’s Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler. “Manitoba is one of the best prepared provinces to respond to flooding and mitigate damages. The funding announced will help expand the mapping of flood-prone areas of the province to better forecast and prepare for what nature sends our way.”

The provincial and federal government announced $794,520 in federal funding from the National Disaster Mitigation Program will be used to produce flood-risk maps for three watersheds. The three priority areas identified for this funding are the lower Assiniboine River, from Portage la Prairie to the west Perimeter Highway, the Whitemud River and the Souris River.

“Weather-related natural disasters are getting more severe, more frequent, more damaging and more expensive,” said Ralph Goodale, federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

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The government of Manitoba said it will use Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) remote sensing technology to produce these new flood-risk maps. LiDAR uses laser technology to collect accurate, continuous elevation data, known as topographic data, over relatively large areas.

The province has approximately 40,500 square kilometres of high altitude aerial LiDAR within its elevation library. It said an additional 29,185 square kilometres is being collected and will be added to the elevation library in 2018. This collectively represents 67% of southern Manitoba.

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