EVALUATING PUBLIC DECISION MAKING: The Squamish Flood Management Case By RANDALL HOWARD DIEHL B.S.W., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1976 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES School of Community and Regional Planning We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 19 3 3 ©Randall Howard Diehl, 1983 \ In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. School of Community and Regional Planning The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 19 56 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date September 15th 19 8 3 ABSTRACT The effectiveness of the flood management decision process i n Squamish for producing s o c i a l l y optimal decisions i s the subject of th i s thesis. Squamish i s located on a coastal r i v e r floodplain which supports a variety of competing resources. Since d i f f e r e n t flood protection strategies produce d i f f e r e n t streams of costs and benefits, o f f i c i a l s are faced with the problem of selecting a strategy which reduces flood damages while ensuring the greatest return from floodplain resources. U n t i l the recent adoption of floodplain development regulations, o f f i c i a l s have primarily r e l i e d on dykes for managing the flood hazard. Although the new regulations represent an improvement i n flood management, no attempt was made to evaluate the effects on floodplain resources and there i s a concern that should a flood exceed the le v e l of the dykes those homes which are not floodproofed w i l l be severely damaged. Should th i s occur, society w i l l probably compensate the victims as well as to provide additional assistance for increasing the current l e v e l of flood protection. This study examines these issues by reviewing the laws and p o l i c i e s governing flood management and by documenting the events and interactions of o f f i c i a l s involved i n making flood management decisions i n Squamish. Since the thesis examines the public decision making process, the evaluative c r i t e r i a are derived from the s o c i a l values inherent i n our l i b e r a l democratic system. The c r i t e r i a are as follows: - the decision process should involve a l l affected in t e r e s t s ; - decisions should be based on adequate information; - the decision process should be e f f i c i e n t . Recommendations are made, based on a review of the l i t e r a t u r e on flood management and behavioural theory for resolving existing flood protection problems and for remedying the d e f i c i e n c i e s i d e n t i f i e d from the foregoing analysis. The following summarizes the findings and recommendations: 1. The current flood protection plan has the following weaknesses: - Primary reliance i s placed on a dyking system which i s both incomplete and incapable of withstanding a catastrophic flood event. - The floodplain regulations provide only minimal protection from catastrophic .floods as they do not apply to e x i s t i n g and new homes i n established neighbourhoods. - Neither the dyking system nor the floodproofing regulations have been properly evaluated to determine th e i r optimum l e v e l of protection. - A range of other strategies which could p o t e n t i a l l y reduce future flood damages have been overlooked. - There i s s t i l l some uncertainty regarding the p o t e n t i a l of the Cheekye River flood hazard. To resolve these problems an inter-agency task force should be established to review the s i t u a t i o n and recommend appropriate solutions. In p a r t i c u l a r , o f f i c i a l s should consider the necessity of redesigning the dyking system and floodplain regulations i n combination with a range of other strategies such as relocation, flood loss insurance, flood forecasting and r i v e r maintenance, to determine the optimum l e v e l of protection. i v O f f i c i a l s should also consider the necessity of re-evaluating the Cheekye River hazard. To ensure that task force plans are implemented, three recommendations are made. F i r s t , to ensure that adequate resources are a v a i l a b l e , a l l three l e v e l s of government should negotiate a cost-sharing arrangement. Second, the federal government should adopt a p o l i c y which s t i p u l a t e s that a l l federal programs, projects and f i n a n c i a l assistance are subject to s p e c i f i c guidelines for flood management as determined by the Department of Environment and which r e f l e c t the d i r e c t i o n of the foregoing recommendations. And t h i r d , the following recommend-ations for improving the current decision making process should be adopted. 2. The dec i s i o n process.has the following weaknesses: - Those aff e c t e d by flood management p o l i c i e s were not well represented during the decision process as there was no o v e r a l l framework to coordinate and integrate a l l the concerned i n t e r e s t s . - Information used to s e l e c t flood management strategies was d e f i c i e n t because no guidelines had ever been established to ensure that adequate information i s generated to determine the best course of action. - The de c i s i o n process was i n e f f i c i e n t due to unnecessary delays caused by inter-agency c o n f l i c t s and because better decisions could have been reached had o f f i c i a l s been more informed. To resolve these d e f i c i e n c i e s the Ministry of Environment should consider the following recommendations: - To ensure adequate representation a decision process should be designed which ensures that a l l the in t e r e s t s including the public are provided with an opportunity to be informed of and to express t h e i r views on flood protection p r i o r to decisions being made. To improve the adequacy: of information, rules should be established for ensuring that a l l flood protection strategies are properly evaluated. To make the decision process more e f f i c i e n t the recommendations for improving the interactions of o f f i c i a l s and for improving the information base should be implemented. v i TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i TABLE OF CONTENTS v i LIST OF TABLES i x LIST OF FIGURES x ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS x i CHAPTER 1 FLOOD MANAGEMENT DECISION MAKING: The need for a new approach 1 1.1 RESEARCH FOCUS 1 1.2 RESEARCH PROBLEM 1 1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 4 1.3 RESEARCH METHODS 4 CHAPTER 2 DESCRIPTION OF AREA 6 2.1 LOCATION 6 2.2 GEOGRAPHY AND LAND USE 6 2.3 THE FLOOD HAZARD 11 2.4 HISTORY OF FLOODING 12 2.5 HISTORY OF FLOOD MANAGEMENT 14 2.6 FLOOD MANAGEMENT ISSUES 15 CHAPTER 3 FORMAL FLOOD MANAGEMENT DECISION MAKING FRAMEWORK 18" 3.1 FORMAL INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK IB 3.2 LEGAL JURISDICTIONS AND PROGRAMS 19 3.2.1 Federal L e g i s l a t i o n 19 3.2.2 Federal'Programs 21 3.2.3 P r o v i n c i a l L e g i s l a t i o n 22 3.2.4 P r o v i n c i a l Programs 24 3.2.5 Municipal L e g i s l a t i o n 25 3.2.6 Municipal Programs 25 3.2.7 Private I n s t i t u t i o n s 26 3.3 FORMAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK 27 3.3.1 The Conceptualization Stage 27 3.3.2 Evaluation Stage 27 3.3.3 The Implementation Stage 28 v i i CHAPTER 4 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS 30 4.1 NORMATIVE PRINCIPLES 3 0 4.1.1 Representation of Interests 32 4.1.2 Information Adequacy 34 22.214.171.124 Range of Choice 3 5 126.96.36.199 Range of Costs and Benefits 36 188.8.131.52 Selecting the Optimum 37 4.1.3 E f f i c i e n c y of Decision Process 40 4.2 BEHAVIOURAL FACTORS 41 4.2.1 Bounded Rationality 4 2 4.2.2 Perceptions, Attitudes and Idealogies 43 4.3 THE NATURE OF COLLECTIVE ACTION 4 5 4.4 EVALUATIVE FRAMEWORK SUMMARIZED 47 CHAPTER 5 THE EVOLUTION OF FLOOD MANAGEMENT IN THE LOWER SQUAMISH VALLEY: A Chronology. 49 5.1 THE CONCEPTUALIZATION STAGE 50 5.1.1 The Need for Flood Protection 50 5.2 THE EVALUATION STAGE 51 5.2.1 The Marr Report 51 5.2.2 Negotiating the Fi n a n c i a l Arrangements 54 5.3 THE IMPLEMENTATION STAGE 5 5 5.3.1 Some Unresolved Design Issues 55 5.3.2 The Project Halts: A New Strategy i s Devised 56 5.3.3 Tougher Floodplain L e g i s l a t i o n but Development Marches Forth 57 5.3.4 Improving the Decision Process: Protecting Other Floodplain Resources 59 5.3.5 Improving the Flood Management Plan: M.O.E. Pulls the Purse Strings 61 5.3.6 The Flood of 1980: Fish F i r s t -People Second 62 5.3.7 The"Flood of 1981: P o l i t i c a l Pressure Mounts 6 5 5.3.8 The Last Barrier: Floodplain Zoning Bylaw 277 66 v i i i CHAPTER 6 CASE STUDY ASSESSMENT 68 6.1 REPRESENTATION OF INTERESTS 68 6.2 ADEQUACY OF INFORMATION 7 2 6.3 EFFICIENCY OF DECISION PROCESS 78 CHAPTER 7 RECOMMENDATIONS 81 7.1 RESOLVING EXISTING FLOOD MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS 81 7.2 RESOLVING THE NORMATIVE DEFICIENCIES 8 6 7.2.1 Increasing Representation 86 7.2.2 Improving Information 87 7.2.3 Improving E f f i c i e n c y 88 BIBLIOGRAPHY 91 LIST ' OF • TABLES Streamflow Characteristics Estimated Scales of Adjustment for a Dyking Strategy Hydrometric Records LIST OF FIGURES Regional L o c a t i o n L o c a t i o n o f Dykes and F l o o d p l a i n Development P h y s i c a l Hazards and Settlement Areas Formal Flood Management D e c i s i o n Makina Framework ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to express my gratitude to Dr. W.E. Rees and Dr. A.H.J. Dorcey for th e i r support and guidance throughout the development of my thesis. Special thanks i s due Professor Irving Fox whose i n i t i a l input provided the basic framework and di r e c t i o n for the thesis. I am also indebted to Sandra Smith, Jake Wester and Hugh Nesbitt-Porter of the Ministry of Environment who provided the necessary information for developing the case study. My t y p i s t Carol H i l t o n and draftsperson Shelley S u l l i v a n are to be congratulated for ensuring a high degree of excellence i n the f i n a l d r aft. F i n a l l y and perhaps most importantly, I would l i k e to thank my wife Ann whose unwavering support and patience made the completion of this thesis and the r e a l i z a t i o n of my masters degree a r e a l i t y . 1 CHAPTER 1 FLOOD MANAGEMENT DECISION MAKING: The need for a new approach 1.1 RESEARCH FOCUS This thesis examines flood management p o l i c i e s and decisions i n Squamish, B r i t i s h Columbia, to determine i f the process was able to produce s o c i a l l y optimal decisions. The study concludes with recommendations for dealing with immediate flood protection problems and for re v i s i n g the decision process so that future decisions can achieve, to the extent possible, the greatest s o c i a l benefit. 1.2 RESEARCH PROBLEM With a population of approximately 9,000 persons, Squamish i s situated on a coastal r i v e r v a l l e y floodplain that i s highly vulnerable to flooding. H i s t o r i c a l l y , the community has r e l i e d on a dyking strategy for flood protection. However, recent floods i n 1980 and 1981 which caused i n excess of $7 m i l l i o n damage, raised a concern regarding the adequacy of flood protection. As a r e s u l t , o f f i c i a l s decided to extend the dykes and control future floodplain development by requiring homes i n new subdivisions to be floodproofed ( i . e . , raised above dyke l e v e l ) . While th i s i s an improvement, the problem remains as some residents are not required to floodproof and i f a flood breached 2 the e x i s t i n g dykes the damages would be c a t a s t r o p h i c Since the general public provides assistance for flood protection projects and w i l l probably compensate future flood victims, the issue of d i s t r i b u t i n g public goods and services i n an economically optimal fashion i s raised. Moreover, because coastal floodplains have a m u l t i p l i c i t y of competing uses and because d i f f e r e n t flood management strategies produce d i f f e r e n t patterns of land or resource uses, o f f i c i a l s are faced with the more general issue of e f f i c i e n t l y a l l o c a t i n g land/resource uses. For example, the adoption of a dyking strategy and the subsequent development of the floodplain forecloses the opportunity of u t i l i z i n g that area for a g r i c u l t u r a l development, f i s h and w i l d l i f e habitat or for outdoor recreation pursuits. Thus, decisions should be made so that those uses deemed by society to be the most important are protected and the greatest s o c i a l benefit can be re a l i z e d . In Squamish, o f f i c i a l s did not take into account these competing resource/land use values i n making flood management decisions. Hence, flood management decisions may not r e f l e c t a s o c i a l optimum. T r a d i t i o n a l l y , cost-benefit studies have been used for a s s i s t i n g o f f i c i a l s i n making flood management decisions. However, the application of cost-benefit analysis has suffered from recurring weaknesses which have undermined i t s s a t i s f a c t o r y use for a r r i v i n g at s o c i a l l y optimal decisions (James, 1968; Barlowe, 1972; Watt, 1973). In p a r t i c u l a r , the following three major d e f i c i e n c i e s can be attributed to this problem. 3 F i r s t , c e r t a i n intangible values which are relevant to the type and scale of protection adopted have either been ignored or improperly determined (James, 1968). Second, flood frequencies and flood magnitudes cannot be predicted with certainty, yet the costs and benefits of a project are often considered well established facts (James, 1968). And t h i r d , those responsible for flood management studies have h i s t o r i c a l l y perceived s t r u c t u r a l measures (e.g., dykes, dams and r i v e r diversions) as the only p r a c t i c a l response to the flood hazard and consequently, a range of other strategies (e.g., floodproofing, zoning regulations and flood loss insurance) which produce d i f f e r e n t streams of costs and benefits have tended to be overlooked (White, 1964; 1975) . Clearly, i f better or optimal decisions are to be achieved then o f f i c i a l s need to discern more c l e a r l y the f u l l range of options available as well as the f u l l range of ef f e c t s of each option. This can be achieved by improving the cost-benefit model and by adopting a decision process which moves beyond the mere application of economic c r i t e r i a and into the p o l i t i c a l science arena where decisions are reached by reference to the s o c i a l l y acceptable standards of a good decision making process (Watt, 1973; Fox, 1976). Since ours i s a democratic society, these s o c i a l standards should r e f l e c t the normative ideals of democratic decision making theory. For the purposes of this study, this implies that those affected by a decision should have the opportunity to be informed of and express th e i r views on proposed flood management plans, there should also be adequate 4 information from which to base an informed decision and the decision process should be e f f i c i e n t so as not to be wasteful i n u t i l i z i n g scarce public resources. 1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES In l i g h t of the foregoing, the objectives of t h i s study are: 1. To develop c r i t e r i a for evaluating the decision process for flood management based on the normative ideals of democratic theory. 2. To provide an h i s t o r i c a l account of the decision making process that led to the e x i s t i n g flood management program i n Squamish. 3. To evaluate the adequacy of the decision making process for producing s o c i a l l y optimal decisions through the application of the normative c r i t e r i a . 4. To u t i l i z e concepts from theories of p o l i t i c a l and administrative behaviour to explain why d e f i c i e n c i e s i n the case study arose. 5. To recommend immediate action for dealing with ex i s t i n g problems and to propose i n s t i t u t i o n a l changes so that future decisions can more clos e l y r e f l e c t the normative ideals. 1.4 RESEARCH METHODS The research followed f i v e sequential stages which correspond with the objectives above. B r i e f l y , the evaluative c r i t e r i a were derived from the underlying p r i n c i p l e s of l i b e r a l democratic theory (Fox, 1982, 1976, 1970; Mayo, 19601. The fundamental basis of t h i s approach i s that s o c i a l l y optimal decisions can be achieved through a process that i s consistent with the normative 5 ideals of democratic decision making. The information regarding the interactions of o f f i c i a l s involved i n making flood management decisions i n Squamish, was obtained from numerous interviews with l o c a l , p r o v i n c i a l and federal o f f i c i a l s , the Squamish Times and the o f f i c i a l minutes of Squamish Municipal Council meetings. The evaluative c r i t e r i a were then applied to the case study-to determine the extent to which the decision process conformed to the normative ideals. To understand why the case study varied from the normative ideals we i d e n t i f i e d possible explanations from theories of p o l i t i c a l and administrative behaviour from a review of the relevant l i t e r a t u r e (Aucoin, 1979; Downs, 1967; Fox, 1982; Kates, 1962; Lindblom, 1968; Olson, 1965; Russell, 1979; Sewell, 1971; Simon, 1957a, 1957b). On the basis of these findings, the research concludes with recommendations to resolve e x i s t i n g flood protection problems and to improve the decision process so that future decisions can come closer to achieving the normative ideals. 6 CHAPTER . 2 DESCRIPTION OF AREA 2.1 LOCATION The area of study i s defined by the boundaries of the D i s t r i c t Municipality of Squamish and i s known as the Lower Squamish Valley. This area i s located 70 km. north of Vancouver at the head of Howe Sound on the B r i t i s h Columbian coastline (Figure 1). The va l l e y follows the Squamish River from where i t empties into Howe Sound to the Cheakamus River, a distance of approximately 17 km. 2.2 GEOGRAPHY AND LAND USE The Lower Squamish Valley runs north-south amidst mile high coastal mountains which have confined settlement to the more ea s i l y developed Squamish River floodplain. Today, there are 9,200 residents i n the Municipality of Squamish."'" The major r e s i d e n t i a l and commercial center of the municipality, the V i l l a g e of Squamish, has a population of 3,368 people and i s located on a delta near the mouth of the Squamish River, an area highly vulnerable to flooding. Other r e s i d e n t i a l (e.g., V a l l e y c l i f f e , Garibaldi Highlands and Brackendale), 1. 197 6 S t a t i s t i c s Canada. 7 Figure 1 REGIONAL LOCATION 1:525 000 8 commercial and i n d u s t r i a l development (.e.g., B.C. R a i l and Industrial Park) i s scattered throughout the val l e y in areas that are also subject to flooding (Figure 2 - 3). Being on the coast, the area has a t y p i c a l maritime climate with a dry, hot summer and a wet, mild winter. During the winter, the v a l l e y i s subject to numerous rainstorms while the mountains, on the other hand, experience heavy snowfalls. The high rate of 2 p r e c i p i t a t i o n and variable winter temperatures are major contributing factors to flooding that can occur at any time from the l a t e f a l l through to the early spring. Within the Lower Squamish Valley, the Cheakamus and Mamquam Rivers are t r i b u t a r i e s of the Squamish River. The combined 2 watershed area of these r i v e r s i s approximately 3,636 km. A 2 t h i r d smaller r i v e r , the Stawamus, drains an additional 39 km. but enters Howe Sound independently of the Squamish River. The combination of r i v e r s , feeder streams, the floodplain, and the coastal estuary provides valuable habitat for a variety of f i s h and w i l d l i f e species within the Lower Squamish Valley. The Squamish estuary i s a popular breeding and feeding ground for migrating birds as well as an important source of nutrients for a variety of sea l i f e (Government of Canada e t . a l . , 1978). The ri v e r s and feeder streams provide c r i t i c a l migrating channels and spawning grounds for anadromous f i s h . The vegetation cover along the banks of the r i v e r s provide important nutrients for aquatic 2. Annual rate of p r e c i p i t a t i o n i s 202 cm. and snowfall at higher elevations has been known to exceed 255 cm. LOCATION OF DYKES AND FLOODPLAIN DEVELOPMENT 10 PHYSICAL HAZARDS AND SETTLEMENT AREAS Settlement Areas W&M Mud Slide Area Maximum Danger Mud Slide Area Lesser Danger t 1 Flood Prone Area * |'>/;X'-J Flood Prone Area ** * Derived from floodplain mapping Inventory and Engineering Branch Ministry of Environment ** Derived from Preliminary Geological Hazards Mapping, Resource Analysis Branch, M i n i s t r y of Environment resources as w e l l as s e r v i n g as a p r o t e c t i v e canopy f o r w i l d l i f e . The occurrence of these resources i n c l o s e p r o x i m i t y to l a r g e p o p u l a t i o n c e n t e r s on the Lower Mainland g i v e s i t added value f o r outdoor r e c r e a t i o n e n t h u s i a s t s because areas which are c l o s e r are r a p i d l y b e i n g destroyed by development. P r e s e n t l y , the primary a t t r a c t i o n of the area i s the salmon s p o r t f i s h e r y and the unique o p p o r t u n i t y to view l a r g e numbers of b a l d eages. 2.3 THE FLOOD HAZARD The most common f l o o d i n g occurs i n the l a t e f a l l when warm and moist s o u t h e r l y i n f l o w winds b r i n g heavy r a i n s to the v a l l e y and snow melt c o n d i t i o n s to the mountains which, when combined, c r e a t e sudden and abnormally high r i v e r d i s c h a r g e s ( f a l l f l a s h f l o o d i n g ) . These f l o o d c o n d i t i o n s are worsened when hig h waves, caused by severe c o a s t a l storms, and high t i d e s combine to cause the water t a b l e o f the f l o o d p l a i n to r i s e and prevents the normal drainage of r u n - o f f behind the dykes. Although f a l l f l o o d i n g i s more common, the " s p r i n g f r e s h e t " f l o o d poses a g r e a t e r t h r e a t because i t has the p o t e n t i a l under the r i g h t c o n d i t i o n s to become c a t a s t r o p h i c . Such f l o o d i n g i s g e n e r a l l y the r e s u l t o f s e v e r a l days o f warm r a i n y weather. The melted mountain snow cover combines with the r u n - o f f from the r a i n f a l l to exceed the c a p a c i t y o f the watershed's drainage system I f the snow cover i s abnormally deep and the warm, wet weather p e r s i s t s , the f l o o d waters can exceed the design l e v e l of the dykes. In addition to the foregoing flood hazards, the Cheekye River fan (.Figure 3) has been designated as a p o t e n t i a l flood hazard zone. This zone extends from the upper reaches of the Cheekye River to a r e s i d e n t i a l area i n Brackendale. The primary concern i n t h i s zone i s that under heavy run-off conditions, the Cheekye River could s h i f t course, loosen the unstable fan and cause massive flooding and mudslides. Currently, no strategy has been adopted to deal with t h i s p o t e n t i a l hazard. 2.4 HISTORY OF FLOODING Streamflow data have been c o l l e c t e d since 1916 on the Cheakamus and since 1955 on the Squamish. Current records 3 indicate the following streamflow c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : TABLE 1 Streamflow C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s RIVER SYSTEM MEAN MONTHLY FLOW MEAN ANNUAL FLOW MINIMUM FLOW MAXIMUM FLOW Cheakamus 1914-1973 data 47 m% 1660 cfs Mamquam 1937-1973 data 28 m% 977 cfs 13m?s 453 cfs • 3, 59 m/s 2072 cfs Stawamus 1973 data only 5 n^s I76cfs 3.22 m% I44 cfs 29 m/s lOIOcfs Squamish 1922-1973 data 241 m/s 8530 cfs 3. Water Survey of Canada (19 73) Environment Canada, Inland Waters Directorate. Data were a l s o c o l l e c t e d from the Squamish during the b r i e f period from 1922 - 1926. 1. In 1885 Norwegian s e t t l e r s were forced to evacuate t h e i r homes because of severe flooding. There i s no information regarding the time of year that flooding took place. 2. From 1921 to 1958, a t o t a l of seven major f a l l floods have occurred i n the area (Marr, 19651. In many instances flood waters topped the e x i s t i n g dykes and forced residents to evacuate. 3. In the spring of 1972 and again i n 1974, several areas of Squamish experienced minor damages from a "spring freshet" flood. 4. On December 27th 1980 areas throughout the Lower Squamish Valley suffered severe property damage from flooding. In the V a l l e y c l i f f e area, flood waters broke through a dyke on the Stawamus River and caused damages to a schoolyard and several homes. In the Judd Slough area of Brackendale, a flood gate i n the dyke was jammed open by log debris and flood waters flowed f r e e l y through an adjacent subdivision. F i n a l l y , a mobile home court near the confluence of the Squamish and Mamquam Rivers was flooded because the dyke had not been extended to protect t h i s area. In t o t a l , 400 homes were flooded and 200 people were evacuated.4 5. Most recently, on October 31st and November 1st 1981, two areas of Brackendale were flooded. In the Judd Slough area, homes located behind the dykes were flooded because the area lacked an adequate storm drainage system and two mobile home courts were flooded i n the same undyked area of the floodplain as the previous year. Source: The Vancouver Sun, December 29th 1980. These figures include residents of the Lower and Upper Squamish Valleys. 2.5 HISTORY OF FLOOD MANAGEMENT As previously indicated, settlement i n Squamish has h i s t o r i c a l l y been confined to the r e l a t i v e l y f l a t , Squamish River floodplain. To protect t h e i r homes and farmland from flooding the early s e t t l e r s constructed a dyke. Eventually, others s e t t l e d i n the area protected by the dykes and gradually the farmland . was transformed to a t h r i v i n g new v i l l a g e . Despite the occurrence of numerous floods throughout the early 1900's, l i t t l e work was done to upgrade or expand the dykes. F i n a l l y , i n 1949, i t became apparent that additional flood protection was required to accommodate the rapidly expanding community. At the request of a l o c a l c i t i z e n ' s group, the p r o v i n c i a l government conducted a series of f e a s i b i l i t y studies which culminated i n 19 65 with the "Marr Report". This report concluded that i t was economically f e a s i b l e (benefits exceed the costs) to provide dyke protection for the entire Lower Squamish Valley. By the mid 1970's, construction on the project was halted because p r o v i n c i a l government funding was withheld pending the adoption by the municipality of measures to r e s t r i c t further floodplain development. However, floodproofing regulations (Bylaw 277 - December, 1981) were not adopted u n t i l a f t e r floods struck major r e s i d e n t i a l areas of the floodplain i n 1980 and 198 and caused i n excess of $5 and $2 m i l l i o n respectively. Today, approximately 95% of the v a l l e y i s protected by a dyking system designed to accommodate a flood with a magnitude o 15 2,125 m~Vs (75,000 cfs) or an estimated flood recurrence i n t e r v a l of 200 years (Figure 3). The undyked portion of the v a l l e y i s located i n Brackendale on the north bank of the Mamquam River. 2.6 FLOOD MANAGEMENT ISSUES As noted e a r l i e r , two flood types occur i n the Squamish area. The more common " f a l l f l a s h flood" type and the p o t e n t i a l l y more catastrophic "spring freshet" type. Because f a l l floods are more common and less severe than the "spring freshet", the e x i s t i n g dyking system has been somewhat successful i n preventing flood damages. However, reliance on the dykes as the primary flood protection measure has actually contributed to an absolute increase i n flood damages as residents have been encouraged to develop the floodplain under the f a l s e assumption that the dykes w i l l prevent a future flood ("floodplain i n f i l l i n g " ) . The recent adoption of floodplain or floodproofing regulations w i l l have some e f f e c t on c o n t r o l l i n g floodplain development and reducing future flood damages. However, the regulations do not appear adequate as they only apply to homes being constructed i n new subdivisions. Other homes, with the exception of high density housing (e.g., condominiums), being constructed i n established neighbourhoods are not required to floodproof. Thus, i f a rare flood does occur and the dykes are breached, the effects on developed areas of the floodplain w i l l be catastrophic.' The v a l l e y also suffers from the following flood protection problems: (1) there i s no protection for the undyked portion of the Brackendale floodplain; (2) there i s no provision for protection i n a Brackendale subdivision against the Cheekye River flood hazard; (.3) a variety of additional flood management strategies have not been considered for adoption (e.g., flood 5 warning, flood loss insurance, public education, e t c . ) ; and f i n a l l y , (4) there i s no r i v e r maintenance program aimed at reducing pot e n t i a l flood hazards caused by log jams. In addition to the foregoing issues, the construction of the dykes and subsequent development of the floodplain has serious implications f o r the use of other floodplain resources. For example, r e s i d e n t i a l , commercial and i n d u s t r i a l development v i r t u a l l y destroys f i s h and w i l d l i f e habitat. The construction and repair of dykes causes the deposition of deleterious substances i n the water and results i n the removal of r i p a r i a n vegetation. The dykes also sever f i s h migratory channels i n feeder streams and channelizes the r i v e r causing the gravel beds i n spawning grounds to be scoured. Estuarine resources are thought to be v i t a l to the v i a b i l i t y of the sport and commercial f i s h i n g of the Georgia S t r a i t and, therefore, have important implications for the s o c i a l and economic well being of society as a whole (Government of Canada e t . a l . , 1981). 5. For a comprehensive l i s t of the f u l l range of possible flood protection strategies, refer to F.G. White (1964) and Smith and Tobin (19 79) . In l i g h t of the fact that Squamish r e l i e s almost e n t i r e l y on the dyking system for flood protection, i t i s l i k e l y that residents w i l l experience floods i n the future. If th i s occurs, f i n a n c i a l demands w i l l again be made on society to compensate the flood victims and provide add i t i o n a l funding for increasing the amount of dyke protection. This, i n turn, w i l l further l i m i t the p o t e n t i a l for u t i l i z i n g or protecting other floodplain resources as well as to cause flood management related costs to s p i r a l . CHAPTER 3 'FORMAL ' FLOOD MANAGEMENT DECISION MAKING FRAMEWORK This chapter describes the formal i n s t i t u t i o n a l arrangements and the l e g a l j u r i s d i c t i o n s and programs a f f e c t i n g flood manage-ment decisions. The stages of planning and implementing a flood control program are also outlined. 3.1 FORMAL INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK The new Canadian Constitution establishes the framework for the d i v i s i o n of powers and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s between federal and pr o v i n c i a l j u r i s d i c t i o n s over matters involving flood management. B r i e f l y , because water i s considered a natural resource, decisions a f f e c t i n g i t s use are generally considered a p r o v i n c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . However, federal authorities have j u r i s d i c t i o n over water management decisions which a f f e c t f e d e r a l l y controlled lands, i n t e r - p r o v i n c i a l or international waterways, navigable waterways (inland and ocean) and anadromous f i s h . A l l other decisions which involve the management of water for flood protection purposes are the sole r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of pr o v i n c i a l j u r i s d i c t i o n s unless otherwise stated by agreement between the federal and p r o v i n c i a l governments. Currently, agreements have been struck regarding the c o l l e c t i o n of stream flow data and the provision of federal f i n a n c i a l and technical assistance for the Lower Fraser Valley Flood Management Project. 19 In B r i t i s h Columbia, flood management planning has been a shared r e s p o n s i b i l i t y between p r o v i n c i a l and municipal j u r i s d i c t i o n s . T r a d i t i o n a l l y , the municipal government has had r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for i n i t i a t i n g and approving flood management programs. However, since most flood management projects require costly, technical expertise and large c a p i t a l expenditures, p r o v i n c i a l assistance i n terms of f e a s i b i l i t y and design studies, and project financing has been required. Recently, such assistance has been provided only i f the municipality adopts floodplain zoning regulations. In t h i s manner, municipal decision making can be strongly influenced by the p r o v i n c i a l government. Pr o v i n c i a l authorities are also able to influence municipal flood management decisions i n situations where f i s h and w i l d l i f e habitat i s threatened. Figure 4 provides a graphic i l l u s t r a t i o n of the foregoing flood management decision making arrangements. 3.2 LEGAL JURISDICTIONS AND PROGRAMS 3.2.1 Federal L e g i s l a t i o n The primary federal l e g i s l a t i o n a f f e c t i n g municipal flood control projects i s the Fisheries Act. Under th i s Act, a Federal Fisheries O f f i c e r of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (D.F.O.) and/or a P r o v i n c i a l Conservation O f f i c e r of the Fish and W i l d l i f e Branch, Ministry of Environment (M.O.E.), may prevent or halt any a c t i v i t i e s , below the normal high water mark CANADIAN CONSTITUTION WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROVINCIAL JURISDICTIONS} Approval for community plans, zoning byiaws, strata titles and subdivisions ke maintenance Flood Management Planning Flood Control and Flood Relief Financing Fish and Wildlife Habitat Protection MUNICIPAL PURISDICTIONS LAND USE ZONING and COMMUNITY PLANNING. FLOOD CONTROL PLANNING FEDERAL JURISDICTIONS Fisheries Habitat Protection Collection of Stream Flod and Water Quality Data Flood Management Planning Flood Control and Flood Relief] Financing Administration of Federal Lands and Water, International and Inter-provincial Waterways. CMHC Floodproofing Mortgage Criteria FIGURE 4 FORMAL FLOOD MANAGEMENT DECISION MAKING FRAMEWORK 21 of a stream, which are harmful to the normal passage or habitat of anadromous f i s h . D.F.O. i s responsible for ;approving flood control projects at the federal l e v e l . Flood control projects may be v o l u n t a r i l y referred for approval at the design stage or municipalities may wait to apply for the required "Gravel Removal Order" from the l o c a l Fisheries O f f i c e r p r i o r to commencing construction. In either case, i f the project does not meet the standards necessary to ensure the protection of the aquatic resource then the "Gravel Removal Order" may be withheld and the project delayed. Moreover, i f , during the course of construction, the conditions of the Order are not being met, the Fisheries O f f i c e r may invoke the Fisheries Act to halt the project. 3.2.2 Federal Programs The federal government administers the following flood management related programs and p o l i c i e s : - c o l l e c t i o n of stream flow and water qua l i t y data - Flood Damage Reduction Program - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) floodproofing guidelines. The c o l l e c t i o n of stream flow and water quality data i s c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y a p r o v i n c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y that has been delegated, by agreement, to the federal government (.Department of Environment (D.O.E.), Inland Waters Directorate). The data provide information for estimating the degree of protection 22 required for preventing the occurrence of a future flood event. The Flood Damage Reduction Program, (D.O.E.) provides financing for flood control projects i f the p r o v i n c i a l and municipal governments have adopted measures to r e s t r i c t new development from designated flood prone areas. As previously indicated, the Lower Fraser River Flood Control Project i s the only project funded under t h i s program. Under the Federal Disaster Assistance Program, D.O.E. w i l l share 50% of those flood damage costs which exceed the population t o t a l of the province. This means that with a population of 2.5 m i l l i o n i n B r i t i s h Columbia, the f i r s t $2.5 m i l l i o n of flood costs are incurred by the province and any amounts exceeding t h i s t o t a l are equally shared with the federal government. Currently, D.O.E. i s attempting to negotiate an agreement with the province that would require municipalities to adopt floodplain development regulations i n order to be e l i g i b l e for federal flood r e l i e f . F i n a l l y , CMHC has s t r i c t regulations which s t i p u l a t e that approval for National Housing Act (NHA) mortgage insurance w i l l not be granted for dwellings i n designated flood prone areas unless s p e c i f i e d floodproofing requirements are met. 3.2.3 P r o v i n c i a l L e g i s l a t i o n Four pieces of p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t i o n have an a f f e c t on the flood management p o l i c i e s of municipal governments, namely: The Municipal Enabling and Validating Act (1972); the Municipal Act (1979); the Strata T i t l e s Act (1978); the Land T i t l e s Act 23 (1978); and the Dyke Maintenance Act (1965). A f i f t h piece of l e g i s l a t i o n , the Federal Fisheries Act, as previously indicated, permits p r o v i n c i a l Conservation O f f i c e r s to have some degree of influence over municipal flood management a c t i v i t i e s when f i s h and w i l d l i f e habitat i s threatened. The Municipal Enabling and Validating Act stipulates that adoptions, amendments or repeals of regional/community plans or zoning bylaws must be registered and approved by the Minister of Municipal A f f a i r s . In cases involving an area i n a designated flood hazard zone, approval must also be obtained from the Minister of Environment. This act, however, only applies to communities i n the Lower Fraser River Valley. Under the Municipal Act, municipalities which have i n i t i a t e d an O f f i c i a l Community Plan must i d e n t i f y lands which are subject to natural hazards. There i s no requirement that a protective strategy be adopted. The Strata T i t l e s Act and the Land T i t l e s Act both require that the Approval O f f i c e r for bare land strata t i t l e s and new subdivision applications s h a l l , i n cases where the land i s subject to flooding, obtain the consent of the Minister of Environment. As a condition of his consent, the Minister may require the i n s e r t i o n of c e r t a i n floodproofing-type covenants in the Land T i t l e . And f i n a l l y , the Dyke Maintenance Act empowers the Dyke Inspector (M.O.E.) to demand that the appropriate agency make repairs that are necessary for the proper operation of the dykes. 24 3.2.4 P r o v i n c i a l Programs The Ministry of Environment, Water Management Branch, (M.O.E.) i s responsible for administering the following p r o v i n c i a l flood management programs: - Floodplain Development Control Program - Flood control and flood r e l i e f financing program. The floodplain Development Control Program i s similar to the federal government's Flood Damage Reduction Program. The primary aim of the program i s to reduce flood damages by encouraging municipalities to control the extent of floodplain development. The planning program generally involves the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of flood r i s k areas, floodplain mapping, designing and evaluating flood protection plans, reviewing community plans and floodplain zoning bylaws, and supervising the implementation of a plan (e.g., construction of a dyke). As previously discussed, M.O.E. does not have the authority to impose i t s flood management objectives and programs on the municipality. However, most municipalities v o l u n t a r i l y request M.O.E.'s services because they have the technical expertise and f i n a n c i a l c a p a b i l i t y necessary to design and implement a flood management plan. The flood control financing program has recently been used by M.O.E. to encourage municipalities to control floodplain development by s t i p u l a t i n g that f i n a n c i a l assistance i s dependent on the adoption of floodplain zoning regulations. The flood r e l i e f program, i n contrast, lacks c l e a r l y defined e l i g i b i l i t y c r i t e r i a , such as floodproofing precautions, 25 and suffers from ad hoc administration. 3.2.5 Municipal L e g i s l a t i o n Municipal governments have the delegated authority to govern programs involving the management of floods. In Squamish, the only piece of l e g i s l a t i o n a f f e c t i n g flood management i s Zoning Bylaw 277 (1981). The objective of th i s bylaw i s to control the development of the floodplain so that future flood damages can be reduced. In short, the bylaw stipulates that no new development, with the exception of heavy i n d u s t r i a l buildings, a g r i c u l t u r a l buildings, and dwellings i n established subdivisions (except condominiums), can be constructed without the adoption of adequate floodproofing precautions, regardless of whether i t i s behind the dykes. Adequate floodproofing involves the r a i s i n g of a building so that the main f l o o r i s above the l e v e l of the dykes. 3.2.6 Municipal Programs In Squamish, the flood management program i s primarily based on a dyking strategy. The recently adopted floodproofing regulations provide supplementary flood protection but only for newly constructed dwellings i n areas of the floodplain that have not been previously developed. The only other strategy i s an emergency evacuation program developed i n response to concerns about a possible toxic substance s p i l l from the B.C. R a i l f r e i g h t yards and the l o c a l chemical plant. Aside from t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for administering the flood management program, the municipality i s required to construct, maintain and repair a l l flood control works. I f M.O.E. has designed the project, construction i s generally conducted under the supervision of a M.O.E. engineer. 3.2.7 Private I n s t i t u t i o n s In addition to the public i n s t i t u t i o n a l mechanisms for managing flood hazards, private i n s t i t u t i o n s have the c a p a b i l i t y to Influence flood management practises. However, i n B r i t i s h Columbia, private i n s t i t u t i o n s have had l i t t l e involvement i n flood management. Most banks w i l l not provide mortgages for development i n areas that have been declared a disaster zone by pr o v i n c i a l or municipal authorities or i f i t i s apparent that the bank could lose i t s investment from the occurrence of a g natural hazard. The problem with t h i s policy i s that flood hazard zones are generally not considered disaster zones unless a flood i s occurring at the time. Furthermore, most banks lack the expertise necessary to evaluate the nature of a poten t i a l disaster. 6. Information provided by the Regional Mortgage Manager, Bank of Montreal, Vancouver. 27 3.3 FORMAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK In B r i t i s h Columbia, there i s no c l e a r l y defined flood management planning program. The following outline simply provides a close approximation of the interactions of agencies involved i n making flood management decisions. Generally, decisions proceed through the following stages: . 1. The Conceptualization Stage; 2. The Evaluation Stage; 3. The Implementation Stage. 3.3.1 The Conceptualization Stage This stage involves the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the problem (flood protection), and the goals and objectives necessary to resolve the problem (flood protection s t r a t e g i e s ) . Once the problem has been i d e n t i f i e d , negotiations are i n i t i a t e d between p r o v i n c i a l and municipal o f f i c i a l s , and i n ce r t a i n cases, federal o f f i c i a l s ' , to determine the type of strategies required to resolve the problem, the procedures to be followed for evaluating and implementing the project and the d i v i s i o n of labour and financing necessary to implement the project. 3.3.2 Evaluation Stage Once the project has been approved, M.O.E. assumes r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for evaluating i t s engineering and economic 28 f e a s i b i l i t y . G enerally, a c o s t - b e n e f i t study i s conducted by M.O.E. s t a f f or a c o n s u l t a n t . The study c a l c u l a t e s the b e n e f i t s , i n monetary terms, t h a t would accrue from the prevention of damages w i t h the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a s p e c i f i c f l o o d c o n t r o l plan and the monetary costs a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c o n s t r u c t i n g and maintaining the p r o j e c t . I f the b e n e f i t s exceed the c o s t s , then the p r o j e c t i s considered f e a s i b l e . Regardless of whether a c o s t - b e n e f i t study i s conducted, the e v a l u a t i o n stage always i n v o l v e s the review of the p r o j e c t by agencies t h a t may be p o t e n t i a l l y a f f e c t e d by a f l o o d management plan. In short, agencies may recommend s p e c i f i c design changes so t h a t t h e i r i n t e r e s t s can be protected (e.g., the c o n s t r u c t i o n of f i s h gates to permit the passage of anadromous f i s h ) . When c o n f l i c t s a r i s e , b a r g a i n i n g i s pursued between the a f f e c t e d agencies u n t i l an acceptable compromise i s reached or a higher l e v e l of i n t e r a c t i o n i s r e q u i r e d . In the end, the type, design, l o c a t i o n and t i m i n g of c o n s t r u c t i o n f o r the p r o j e c t may be s i g n i f i c a n t l y a l t e r e d from the i n i t i a l design proposal. F i n a l l y , i f a f l o o d p l a i n zoning bylaw i s being adopted, the municipal government i s r e q u i r e d to o b t a i n p u b l i c i n p u t through a p u b l i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n program p r i o r to adoption. 3.3.3 The Implementation Stage The f i n a l stage i n the planning process i n v o l v e s the implementation of the plan. I f the plan i n v o l v e s the c o n s t r u c t i o n of a s t r u c t u r a l measure (e.g., dykes or dams), then the 29 municipality i s responsible for acquiring, by easement, land purchase or expropriation, the necessary rights-of-way. The actual construction work may be conducted by municipal crews or a private contractor. If the p r o v i n c i a l government has designed and financed a portion of the project, then M.O.E. engineers supervise the construction. In addition, other agencies such as D.F.G. may conduct on-site inspections during the construction phase to ensure that aquatic resources are not being threatened. Upon implementation of the flood management plan, the municipality i s responsible for enforcing the plan and ensuring that the protective measures are kept i n good working order. I 30 CHAPTER 4 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS 4.1 NORMATIVE PRINCIPLES At the outset of t h i s study, I i d e n t i f i e d three major def i c i e n c i e s of past cost-benefit studies which have contributed to the f a i l u r e of flood management decisions to produce an optimal pattern of land use: 1. D i f f i c u l t y i n quantifying intangible values. 2. Uncertainty i n predicting the occurrence of natural phenomena. 3. Limited perceptions of the management choices available. In l i g h t of these deficiencies, I proposed that decision making i n the public sector needs to move beyond the mere application of economic c r i t e r i a and into the p o l i t i c a l science arena where decisions are reached by reference to common s o c i a l standards (Watt, 19 73). I further suggested that i n a democratic society, the s o c i a l standards upon which to base public decision making should r e f l e c t the normative ideals of democratic decision making. Thus, assessments of government decision making should concentrate on the decision process rather than the decision outcome. Fox (1976) concurs with this approach because i n his view a "good" process w i l l produce a "good" outcome and, i n fact, t h i s i s the manner by which we have t r a d i t i o n a l l y appraised our public I n s t i t u t i o n s . The basic p r i n c i p l e s of democracy, according to Mayo 31 (1960) , '. imply that decision makers are accountable for t h e i r actions through the w i l l of the majority at ele c t i o n time and also that a l l members of society equally share the r i g h t to influence the decision process through s o c i a l l y acceptable channels at times other than during the election. On the basis of these normative ideals, we may i n f e r two s o c i a l standards for assessing public i n s t i t u t i o n s . F i r s t , those affected by a public decision should be accorded the opportunity to express t h e i r views to the policy makers. Second, i n order for the interests of society to be f u l l y represented, adequate information must be made f r e e l y available. A t h i r d standard of e f f i c i e n c y may be infer r e d from a basic s o c i a l p r i n c i p l e that the administration of public programs should not be wasteful of time and resources. Adherence to the above normative ideals should'remove a major obstacle for decision makers to reach s o c i a l l y acceptable or optimal decisions. The task of the following section i s to further define these ideals so that they can be operational!zed as assessment c r i t e r i a . To f a c i l i t a t e our evaluation, a series of questions w i l l be posed to determine the extent to which the case study r e f l e c t e d the normative ideals. The chapter closes with a section devoted to i d e n t i f y i n g the pr i n c i p l e s of p o l i t i c a l / a d m i n i s t r a t i v e behaviour and discussing the 7. Mayo (I960) i d e n t i f i e d the following four p r i n c i p l e s of democracy: (1) control of policy makers through the electorate; (.2) p o l i t i c a l equality through universal suffrage; (3) freedom of p o l i t i c a l expression by the electorate; and (4) rule by the w i l l of the majority. 32 nature of c o l l e c t i v e action. This, i n turn, w i l l provide us with d i r e c t i o n for proposing changes to the e x i s t i n g decision making structures. 4.1.1 Representation of Interests The democratic norms of our society suggest that public . decisions should r e f l e c t the preference of the affected interests. Problems ar i s e , however, when we attempt to define how these int e r e s t s should be represented, who constitutes a legitimate in t e r e s t i n the policy issue being addressed and to what extent they should be afforded the opportunity to represent t h e i r views. F i r s t l y , i n a large p l u r a l i s t i c democracy i t i s d i f f i c u l t to determine when a p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t i s being adequately represented. Moreover, i f decision processes were designed so that affected interests at the federal and p r o v i n c i a l l e v e l were d i r e c t l y involved, then decision processes would be cumbersome and decision outcomes d i f f i c u l t to reach. Thus, i n order to avoid complex issues regarding how well decision makers represent federal and p r o v i n c i a l constituents, we w i l l assume that such interests are adequately represented by the relevant government agencies which, i n turn, are accountable to society through elected o f f i c i a l s . This brings fort h the problem of i d e n t i f y i n g legitimate interests and according them with s u f f i c i e n t opportunity to represent t h e i r views. Simply defined, a legitimate i n t e r e s t includes those persons or groups that w i l l be d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y affected by a p a r t i c u l a r c o l l e c t i v e action. Thus., Squamish area residents who are d i r e c t l y affected by a flood management plan include those persons who have a business i n t e r e s t on the floodplain, those who reside on the floodplain and those who pay l o c a l taxes but l i v e outside the floodplain. In order to achieve f u l l representation of these interests two conditions must be met. F i r s t , l o c a l l y elected o f f i c i a l s should be involved i n deciding upon flood management p o l i c i e s . Second, residents should have an opportunity to be consulted on the conceptualization and evaluation of proposed plans p r i o r to decisions being made. As a c o r o l l a r y to the second condition, residents should have the opportunity to obtain technical information regarding the proposed plans so that t h e i r input can be meaningful. Those with an i n d i r e c t i n t e r e s t are defined as individuals or groups who may not bear the impact of a p a r t i c u l a r decision d i r e c t l y but who nonetheless have a legitimate r i g h t to express t h e i r views. These include p r o v i n c i a l and national taxpayers who have contributed t h e i r taxes towards financing the project or in t e r e s t groups and resource agencies concerned with the use of floodplain resources. Adequate representation of these interests i s achieved i f p r o v i n c i a l and federal agencies which represent these concerns are afforded the opportunity to partake i n the conceptualization and evaluation of proposed plans. If adequate representation i s achieved, then there w i l l be a greater opportunity for a broader range of preferences and s o c i a l values to be expressed. 34 In l i g h t of the foregoing, the following questions w i l l be used i n the. evaluation: 1. Were Squamish o f f i c i a l s involved i n the conceptualization and evaluation of flood management plans? 2. Were Squamish area residents afforded the opportunity to obtain information and express t h e i r views on proposed plans to t h e i r elected representatives p r i o r to decisions being made? 3. Did p r o v i n c i a l and federal representatives have the opportunity to take part i n the conceptual-i z a t i o n and evaluation of proposed plans? 4.1.2 Information Adequacy Representation of a l l the affected interests i s of limited value unless adequate information i s available for the interests to make informed judgements on the issues and problems being addressed. As mentioned e a r l i e r , the use of economic evaluation tools has had p r a c t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s which prevented public decision makers from achieving an optimal outcome. The major premise of th i s thesis i s that these problems can be largely overcome through the adoption of a decision process which encourages input from the affected interests and through the adoption of a c l e a r l y defined set of guidelines for conducting cost-benefit tests which s p e c i f i c a l l y addresses the d e f i c i e n c i e s outlined e a r l i e r . In l i g h t of the foregoing and based on a review of the l i t e r a t u r e on cost-benefit techniques (James, 1967); SeweII, 1961; White, 1960; 1964), information adequacy can be achieved through the adoption of the following procedures: 1. Determine the f u l l range of potential strategies. 2. Determine the categories of information required to evaluate the costs and benefits, including intangible values, associated with each strategy so that the concerns of a l l the interests can be addressed. 3. Determine the optimal l e v e l of protection from a combination of a l l strategies at various levels of protection. To understand the basic operational elements of these procedures i t i s necessary to provide a more detailed description for each stage. 184.108.40.206 Range of Choice Research conducted at the University of Chicago by G i l b e r t F. White and his associates during the 1960's, indicated that increasing flood costs were due to the adoption of large-scale, s t r u c t u r a l measures (e.g., dams, dykes and r i v e r diversions). White argued that such measures led floodplain investors to believe that they would be protected from future flooding. When the rare flood which exceeded the l e v e l of protection did occur, the increased development resulted i n damages being far greater than they would have been without the protective measure. To resolve t h i s problem, White (1965) and others (Burton, 1965, 1970; Sewell, 1969; Smith and Tobin, 1974; Ward, 1978) argue, that e x i s t i n g s t r u c t u r a l measures must be accompanied by a range of other measures designed to control future land use on 36 the f l o o d p l a i n as w e l l as to complement e x i s t i n g measures. Thus, a f l o o d management program might i n c l u d e a dyking system, f l o o d l o s s i n s u r a n c e , emergency evacuation and f l o o d warning schemes, r e l o c a t i o n , f l o o d p r o o f i n g and f l o o d p l a i n development r e g u l a t i o n s . The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of a broader range of o p t i o n s i s a l s o c r u c i a l f o r a d d r e s s i n g the requirements or needs of a broader range of i n t e r e s t s as d i f f e r e n t s t r a t e g i e s produce d i f f e r e n t p a t t e r n s of l a n d or r e source use e f f e c t s . 220.127.116.11 Range o f Costs and B e n e f i t s In order to f u l l y comprehend the e f f e c t s of each s t r a t e g y , we must i d e n t i f y the range of a f f e c t e d i n t e r e s t s , and the range of c o s t s and b e n e f i t s i n c l u d i n g i n t a n g i b l e v a l u e s , t h a t each i n t e r e s t would r e q u i r e to assess the e f f e c t s on h i s p a r t i c u l a r area of concern. For example, an environmental group would be concerned about the b i o p h y s i c a l e f f e c t s of a s t r a t e g y on the a q u a t i c r e s o u r c e s , n a t i o n a l and p r o v i n c i a l taxpayers might be s t r i c t l y concerned with the d i s t r i b u t i o n of economic e f f e c t s and l o c a l r e s i d e n t s might be p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h the s o c i a l e f f e c t s of a s t r a t e g y , p a r t i c u l a r l y those r e l a t e d to p u b l i c h e a l t h and a sense of s e c u r i t y . Thus, i f we are to s a t i s f y the concerns of a l l the i n t e r e s t s then the f o l l o w i n g g e n e r a l c a t e g o r i e s of i n f o r m a t i o n and the d i s t r i b u t i o n of t h e i r e f f e c t s w i l l need to be c o n s i d e r e d i n the c o s t - b e n e f i t e v a l u a t i o n : 1. The economic e f f e c t s 37 2. The s o c i a l effects 3. The biophysical effects 18.104.22.168 Selecting the Optimum The f i n a l stage involves the selection of a combination of strategies to achieve optimal flood protection. This involves two tasks: (1) the estimation of a number of levels of protection for each measure, and (2) the selection of an optimal combination of these measures. The various levels of protection for each measure are determined by estimating the cost of providing incremental levels or benefits of protection as determined from a reduction i n anticipated flood frequencies or average annual damages as i l l u s t r a t e d on Table 2. Since flood frequencies are generally determined from limited hydrological records, the estimated benefits of providing a c e r t a i n l e v e l of protection are uncertain. This factor, therefore, must be e x p l i c i t l y accounted for i n the cost-benefit c a l c u l a t i o n . Once the various levels of protection have been determined for each strategy, then the strategies must be combined to provide maximum protection at minimum t o t a l cost.: To achieve t h i s , i t i s necessary to evaluate many alt e r n a t i v e combinations of types and scales of measures and compare t h e i r associated costs and benefits. The optimal combination i s derived by comparing minimum t o t a l costs with the associated design frequencies, minimizing DYKE CHANCE OF ANNUAL ELEVATION OVERTOPPING COST OF (METERS) .(.% PER/YR.) DYKES INCREMENTAL COSTS AVERAGE ANNUAL DAMAGES (BENEFITS) 1. 2 2 5. 00 100,000 1,250,000 1. 83 1. 00 200,000 100,000 250,000 2. 44 . 50 300,000 100,000 125,000 3. 05 .10 500,000 200,000 25,000 4. 57 .01 1,000,000 500,000 2,500 6. 10 . 001 2,000,000 1,000,000 250 TABLE 2 ESTIMATED SCALES OF ADJUSTMENT FOR A DYKING STRATEGY INCREMENTAL BENEFITS TOTAL ANNUAL COST ($) 1,000,000 125,000 100,000 22,500 2,250 1,350,000 450,000 425,000 525,000 1,002,500 2,000,250 costs while maximizing the reduction i n flood frequencies. As i l l u s t r a t e d i n Table 2, given the associated costs and benefits, and the estimated flood frequency, the optimal design l e v e l f or a dyke would be 2.44 meters. At this l e v e l , marginal benefits equal marginal costs. Beyond th i s l e v e l , increments of protection are not economically fea s i b l e for this measure because the addit i o n a l costs exceed the anticipated benefits. In view of the foregoing, the following questions w i l l be used for evaluating the c r i t e r i a of information adequacy: 1. Were alte r n a t i v e combinations of kinds of measures and scales of adjustment for each measure evaluated? 2. Were the following categories of the costs and benefits and the d i s t r i b u t i o n of t h e i r e f f e c t s , including intangible values, supplied for evaluating the proposed flood protection measures? - economic effects - s o c i a l effects - biophysical effects 3. Did the process account for and seek to minimize the problems associated with making decisions based on uncertainty? 40 4.1.3 E f f i c i e n c y of Decision Process The e f f i c i e n t provision of public goods and services i s d i f f i c u l t to assess because they are not generally guided by market forces. For our purposes, e f f i c i e n c y i s defined as a r a t i o of inputs to outputs or benefits/costs. The greater the r a t i o by reducing costs and increasing or at least maintaining the same l e v e l of benefits the more e f f i c i e n t the system. There may be situations, however, where increased costs lead to a better outcome, defined as superior flood protection, but the benefit/cost r a t i o i s actually reduced. There may also be situations where a better outcome i s not so e a s i l y defined. In both instances, i f we can reasonably assume that the increased expenditures led to a s i g n i f i c a n t l y better outcome by providing decision makers with more certainty i n estimating the effects of pursuing a p a r t i c u l a r course of action, then the system could be judged as more e f f i c i e n t . In l i g h t of the foregoing, the following evaluative questions are posed: 1. Could the same outcome be achieved with less time, public funds and s t a f f resources? 2. Could o f f i c i a l s have achieved a s i g n i f i c a n t l y better outcome in terms of making more informed judgements by expending more time, public funds and s t a f f resources? The foreoing discussion describes an i d e a l decision making process. In r e a l i t y , however, ideals are seldom achieved because the complexity of human behaviour makes i t d i f f i c u l t to predict how a proposed decision making arrangement w i l l function (Fox, 1982). Nonetheless, i t i s important that p o l i c y and 41 decision makers continue to explore new ways to bring i n s t i t u t i o n a l decision making closer to r e f l e c t i n g the s o c i a l values of society. To do t h i s , we need to gain an understanding of the behavioural factors that influence individuals and i n s t i t u t i o n a l performance. 4.2" BEHAVIOURAL FACTORS Public Choice Theory provides one approach for simplifying human behaviour and assessing the performance of public i n s t i t u t i o n s . The basic assumptions of t h i s model are that: (1) The i n d i v i d u a l decision maker w i l l pursue a course of action that w i l l maximize his own well-being, and (.2) when making decisions he w i l l behave i n a r a t i o n a l manner (Russell, 1979). Thus, public o f f i c i a l s w i l l seek to maximize t h e i r power, income, security and s o c i a l and professional status (Downs, 1967). In turn, t h i s generally leads to increases i n program budgets, s t a f f s and agency power. Clearly, the u t i l i t y of this model i s that i t expressly avoids an overly complex analysis by not examining the i n t e r -relationships among cognitive, personality and c u l t u r a l factors. However, i f we are to assess i n s t i t u t i o n a l performance and design new decision making arrangements, then our analysis must refer to 8. Kates (1970) discusses these behavioural factors i n the context of developing a model for evaluating human responses to natural disasters. the following additional behavioural factors (Fox, 198 2). : 1. Human r a t i o n a l i t y i s "bounded" by various p r a c t i c a l l i m i t a t i o n s . 2. Human behaviour i s guided by perception, attitude and idealogy. 4.2.1 Bounded Rationality Rationality may be bounded by the following l i m i t a t i o n s (March and Simon, 1958; Dror, 1968; Downs, 1967): 1. The limited amount of time available for the decision maker to consider a problem and choose the most e f f e c t i v e course of action. 2. The limited capacity of the in d i v i d u a l to handle information, review a l l possible solutions and make the best possible choice. 3. The m u l t i p l i c i t y of demands on public agencies generally r e s t r i c t s o f f i c i a l s from focusing t h e i r f u l l attention on every possible project. 4. Improved or additional information from which to base "good" decisions can usually only be attained through the expenditure of additional scarce public resources (e.g., time, c a p i t a l and labour), 5. Regardless of what l e v e l of information i s obtained, i t i s impossible to predict with absolute certainty the occurrence of natural phenomena or future events. Simon (1957) states that the decision maker w i l l compensate for these l i m i t a t i o n s by " s a t i s f i c i n g " or choosing the alternative that i s "good enough". When " s a t i s f i c i n g " , decision makers tend to be " r i s k averse" by choosing t r a d i t i o n a l courses of action (Lindblom, 1968). . Thus, flood managers who lack s u f f i c i e n t information to evaluate a l l the poten t i a l effects of a flood control strategy, including the prediction of a future flood event, w i l l generally respond to the problem of flooding b choosing t r a d i t i o n a l solutions (e.g., dykes and dams). Lindblom (1968) refers to t h i s conservative behaviour as "muddling through". This means that public o f f i c i a l s w i l l muddl through a succession of incremental changes, oriented towards resolving an immediate problem ("disjointed incrementalism"), rather than to make p o l i c i e s aimed at attaining a long term solution. In other words, the i n d i v i d u a l seeks a s a t i s f y i n g rather than an optimal solution. Although Lindblom's theory has merit for describing the behaviour of public o f f i c i a l s , i t s use i n a p r e s c r i p t i v e sense would r e s u l t i n inept i n s t i t u t i o n s . 4.2.2 Perceptions, Attitudes and Idealogies Behavioural theorists (Fox, 1982; Sewell, 1971; Kates, 1970 White, 1966) state that the behaviour of decision makers i s governed by the circumstances surrounding the decision s i t u a t i o n his perception of his role and the range of possible choices, the attitudes that he has formed out of his experiences and the ideals that he feels should be pursued. In flood management, th i s implies that the nature of our past experiences with floods, the circumstances surrounding the decision s i t u a t i o n and our professional and personal background, and s o c i a l a f f i l i a t i o n s w i l l a l l a f f e c t the manner i n which we respond to the flood hazard. 44 Kates (19 70). states that our perceptions of the flood hazard are primarily determined by our experiences with past flood events. He argues that the recency, magnitude, duration and frequency of these events are the most important factors a f f e c t i n g our responses. Hence, the i n d i v i d u a l who has experienced a recent, catastrophic flood w i l l l i k e l y choose a d i f f e r e n t flood management strategy than the person who has never experienced a flood of such proportions. Fox (1982) states that the general public's perception and values of a p a r t i c u l a r problem or issue can have a s i g n i f i c a n t influence on the way a public o f f i c i a l w i l l perceive and react to the s i t u a t i o n . For example, an o f f i c i a l who i s required to choose a management strategy at the time of a flood, w i l l l i k e l y choose d i f f e r e n t l y than he would at another time, because of the increased expression of public concerns and viewpoints regarding the most appropriate d i r e c t i o n for flood management p o l i c i e s . At other times, the public may simply be disinterested i n such an issue and consequently, o f f i c i a l s won't need to be as concerned about pot e n t i a l negative reactions. F i n a l l y , we also tend to form our attitudes and ideals i n response to our s o c i a l environments (Sewell, 1971). That i s , our professional and personal backgrounds and a f f i l i a t i o n s w i l l a f f e c t our perceptions of problem situations and the potential range of solutions to those problems. Thus, an engineer w i l l respond d i f f e r e n t l y to a flood problem than the person with l i t t l e education or one trained as a b i o l o g i s t or s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t (.Fox, 198 2). Moreover, those individuals who belong to similar s o c i a l 45 groups, such as p r o f e s s i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s or f a m i l y and c u l t u r a l groupings, can g e n e r a l l y be expected to respond to a d e c i s i o n s i t u a t i o n i n a s i m i l a r f a s h i o n . T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y t r u e f o r f l o o d management as a s m a l l , homogenous group of i n d i v i d u a l s (engineers) have p r i m a r i l y been r e s p o n s i b l e f o r f l o o d p r o t e c t i o n and have h i s t o r i c a l l y r e l i e d on l a r g e - s c a l e , s t r u c t u r a l s o l u t i o n s (e.g., dykes and dams). Kates (.19 70) argues t h a t the consequence of the f o r e g o i n g f a c t o r s i s t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l s scope f o r s e a r c h i n g f o r new and improved s o l u t i o n s to o l d problems i s l i m i t e d to t r a d i t i o n a l pathways. Hence, changes i n p u b l i c p o l i c i e s take a long time to be c o n s i d e r e d and adopted. 4 . 3 THE NATURE OF COLLECTIVE ACTION The f o r e g o i n g d i s c u s s i o n has focussed p r i m a r i l y on the f a c t o r s t h a t a f f e c t the behaviour o f i n d i v i d u a l d e c i s i o n makers. However, i n d i v i d u a l s never make p u b l i c p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s without i n t e r a c t i n g w i t h other p a r t i e s who are a f f e c t e d by t h a t p o l i c y . In order to e x p l a i n the performance of i n s t i t u t i o n s and d e sign new d e c i s i o n making s t r u c t u r e s , we must g a i n an understanding of the nature of how d e c i s i o n makers i n t e r a c t and reach c o l l e c t i v e agreements. The p r i n c i p l e t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s w i l l a c t to maximize t h e i r own s e l f - i n t e r e s t i m p l i e s t h a t i n most c o l l e c t i v e d e c i s i o n making s i t u a t i o n s there w i l l be a d i v e r s i t y of o p i n i o n among the p a r t i c i p a n t s on what should be done. Downs (1967) s t a t e s t h a t 46 even i n situations of apparent cooperation, decision makers w i l l l i k e l y have some c o n f l i c t s of in t e r e s t i f they are maximizing the i r own well-being. If c o l l e c t i v e action i s to occur, then some means must be found for resolving t h e i r c o n f l i c t s (Fox, 1982).? Lindblom (196 8) states that the task of c o n f l i c t resolution can be achieved by one of two mutual adjustment techniques; negotiation, and the creation and discharge of obligations. The process of negotiation and bargaining involves a penetrating review of the problem by each participant which may r e s u l t i n the i r perceptions and i n i t i a l stand being changed (Fox, 1982). The creation and discharge of obligations motivates individuals to cooperate through the p r i n c i p l e of r e c i p r o c i t y . That i s , an in d i v i d u a l may agree to support another i n d i v i d u a l i f that person reciprocates by supporting the f i r s t i n d i v i d u a l on another issue. However, the process of c o n f l i c t resolution w i l l l i k e l y not occur unless i n d i v i d u a l decision makers from various representative agencies perceive that i t i s possible and necessary to do so (Dahl and Lindblom, 1953). Thus, i n s t i t u t i o n a l decision making frameworks should be designed so that decision makers are required to inte r a c t . In doing so, organizational performance i s enhanced because i t encourages the expression of a broader range of preferences and helps introduce new information and innovative methods for achieving a c o l l e c t i v e goal. Ostrom (1973) supports t h i s premise and proposes that i n s t i t u t i o n a l authorities and j u r i s d i c t i o n s should be fragmented and overlapped so that they can l i m i t and control one another. 47 This, he argues, i s the only way to achieve a t r u l y democratic decision making process. Both Ostrom and Sproule-Jones (19 74) argue further that the decision making process should be extended to include greater p a r t i c i p a t i o n from the public. They state that unless the public i s afforded the opportunity to express th e i r preference to representative agencies, then the decision makers w i l l be taking action without reference to the preferences or values of those affected by that action. Hence, decision making processes w i l l be less than democratically i d e a l . Moreover, by enabling a wider degree of p a r t i c i p a t i o n , more alte r n a t i v e solutions can be taken into consideration p r i o r to a course of action being selected. 4.4 EVALUATIVE FRAMEWORK SUMMARIZED E a r l i e r I argued that the use of economic c r i t e r i a to guide public decision makers needs to be supplemented by reference to common s o c i a l standards so that we can produce s o c i a l l y optimal decisions. The underlying theme of t h i s approach i s that s o c i a l l y optimal decisions can only be achieved through a process that r e f l e c t s the s o c i a l values of the affected interests. Since we l i v e i n a democratic society I chose evaluative c r i t e r i a that were infer r e d from the basic p r i n c i p l e s of our l i b e r a l democratic system. The c r i t e r i a are as follows: 1. The affected i n t e r e s t should be represented. 2. Information should be adequate for making an informed decision. 3. The d e c i s i o n process should be e f f i c i e n t . To understand the case study and to a s s i s t i n under-standing what needs to be done to design an improved d e c i s i o n making process, T examined f a c t o r s t h a t determine the behaviour of d e c i s i o n makers. These f a c t o r s were d e r i v e d from p o l i t i c a l -a d m i n i s t r a t i v e t h e o r i e s and i n c l u d e the f o l l o w i n g : 1. D e c i s i o n makers are r a t i o n a l . 2 . R a t i o n a l i t y i s s a i d to be "bounded". 3. D e c i s i o n makers s t r i v e to maximize t h e i r own s e l f - i n t e r e s t . 4. P r e f e r e n c e s are guided by the d e c i s i o n maker's p e r c e p t i o n s , a t t i t u d e s and experience. 5. D e c i s i o n outcomes are based on c o l l e c t i v e d e c i s i o n making behaviour. The f o r e g o i n g p r o v i d e s the framework from which to base my case study assessment and to improve the d e c i s i o n process. CHAPTER 5 THE EVOLUTION OF FLOOD MANAGEMENT IN THE LOWER SQUAMISH VALLEY: A Chronology. This chapter outlines, i n chronological order, the events and decisions that led to the exi s t i n g flood management strategy i n the Lower Squamish Valley. As i s the case with most h i s t o r i c a l research, many d e t a i l s are d i f f i c u l t to confirm. Often facts become distorted i n the minds of the actors over time and documentation i s d i f f i c u l t to obtain from government o f f i c i a l s . Thus, there may be cer t a i n aspects of the ensuing chronology where events do not coincide with the perceptions of those who were involved i n the decision process. Nonetheless, the author'is confident that the chronology r e f l e c t s a f a i r account of the events. To a s s i s t the reader i n understanding the significance of certain events, they are presented as i f they occurred within the following planning framework: (1) The Conceptualization Stage; (2) The Evaluation Stage, and (3) The Implementation Stage. I t should be noted, however, that no such framework exists for devising flood management plans i n Squamish. In addition, i n order to reduce confusion over the constantly evolving names of government agencies, the names of a l l agencies throughout the period of study have been revised to r e f l e c t the current name. 50 5.1 THE CONCEPTUALIZATION STAGE 5.1.1 The Need for Flood Protection The f i r s t s e t t l e r s to the Squamish Valley responded to the flood hazard by h i r i n g Chinese labourers to construct a dyke on the present s i t e of the V i l l a g e of Squamish so that they could convert the r i c h s o i l s of the floodplain into farmland. Eventually, the protected area attracted other s e t t l e r s and the productive farmland was transformed into a t h r i v i n g new v i l l a g e . Despite numerous floods throughout the early 1900's, residents did l i t t l e else to improve the degree of flood protection beyond covering t h e i r own losses. In fact, i t wasn't u n t i l the post-war population boom (1949) that the need for further protection became a public issue. Since there was no municipal council at the time, c i t i z e n s formed the Squamish Valley Development Committee (S.V.D.C.) and approached the p r o v i n c i a l government for assistance to upgrade and extend the e x i s t i n g v i l l a g e dykes throughout the entire Lower Squamish Valley. The primary argument for i n i t i a t i n g a project of this magnitude was to provide protection for e x i s t i n g development i n unprotected areas and to encourage future expansion and develop-ment throughout the valley. The province responded by freezing a l l development on Crown and P a c i f i c Great Eastern Railroad land and conducting the following f e a s i b i l i t y studies: 1. " S u i t a b i l i t y of Alienating Crown Land i n Squamish" (1956), the Department of Lands and Forests. 2. "The Need for Flood Protection i n Squamish" (.19 56) , Dyke Inspector. 3. "The Need to Control River Erosion on Farm Land (1957), Dyke inspector. 4. "Interim Report on Erosion and Flood Control i n the Lower Squamish and Cheakamus River Watersheds" (1959),, T.A.J. Leach - Water Management Branch. These studies primarily concentrated on evaluating the need for improved and increased dyke protection as proposed by S.V.D.C. To th i s writer's knowledge, the dyking strategy was the only solution that was considered. In short, o f f i c i a l s simply assumed that should i t prove necessary, a dyke should be constructed to deal with the problem of flooding. However, i t wasn't u n t i l the "Marr Report" i n 196 5 that the actual design and economic f e a s i b i l i t y of the project were evaluated. Prior to t h i s , no d i r e c t action was taken by the government beyond an on-again, off-again e f f o r t to control development on Crown owned floodplain land and the construction of some erosion control work to protect bridges, highways and a g r i c u l t u r a l land. 5.2 THE EVALUATION STAGE 5.2.1 The Marr Report In 196 5, just shortly after Squamish became incorporated as a municipality, B.E. Marr of the Water Management Branch (M.O.E.) conducted the f i r s t and only comprehensive design and economic f e a s i b i l i t y study of the proposed Lower Squamish Valley dyking p r o j e c t . The study determined the c o s t s of the p r o j e c t s o l e l y on the b a s i s of the c a p i t a l investment r e q u i r e d to improve the e x i s t i n g dykes as w e l l as to c o n s t r u c t and ma i n t a i n a new dyke a t the 50 year f l o o d r e c u r r e n c e l e v e l . I t i s important to p o i n t out, t h a t the l e v e l o f the dykes was determined from l i m i t e d h y d r o l o g i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n . Marr (1965) acknowledged this, f a c t and i l l u s t r a t e d the sh o r t d u r a t i o n of 9 recorded r i v e r d i s c h a r g e s i n the f o l l o w i n g Table 3: TABLE 3 HYDROMETRIC RECORDS Cheakamus R i v e r a t G a r i b a l d i Squamish R i v e r near Brackendale .... (above Cheakamus J u n c t i o n ) Mamquam R i v e r near Squamish Cheakamus River near Brackendale . . . (above Cheekye River) Discharge 1916-1951 and 1954- 1965. Discharge 1922-1926 and 1955- 1965 Stage 1960-1965 Discharge 1957-1965 9. On the b a s i s o f more r e c e n t data, the estimated l e v e l o f the dykes has been r e v i s e d from the 50 to the 200 year f l o o d r e c u r r e n c e i n t e r v a l . The benefits were determined by estimating the reduction i n "average annual damages" that might be expected from the construction of the dyke. Average annual damages were determined by estimating the amount of damages incurred at two foot inte r v a l s above the main f l o o r of an average nonbasement "equivalent" house. The value of an equivalent house was based on an estimated average of a l l tax assessed homes i n the area. The report acknowledged the fact that these estimates did not represent the true market value of potential damages to Squamish homes or businesses. However, i t f a i l e d to indicate i f these estimates were above or below the suspected market value. F i n a l estimates of the t o t a l benefits were calculated by adding the following factors: - "average annual damages" prevented; - the damage to the land prevented (10% of average annual damages); - the loss of cleared land and cost of improvements due to erosion prevented; - the amount of present flood control expenditures no longer required. The study then converted the costs and benefits to a "present value" at 5% over a 50 year period to a r r i v e at a benefit-cost r a t i o of 1.83. On the basis of these ca l c u l a t i o n s , o f f i c i a l s declared that the proposed project was economically feasi b l e . Despite the fact that the study suffered from d e f i c i e n c i e s , some of which were acknowledged by Marr, no one has questioned the accuracy of t h i s conclusion. 54 5.2.2 Negotiating the Financial Arrangements Once the study was completed, negotiations to arrange for project financing were i n i t i a t e d . From the st a r t , i t was understood that the municipality and the province would share the i n i t i a l costs of the project equally. However, the federal government (D.O.E.) made i t clear that f i n a n c i a l assistance would only be provided i f the proposed l e v e l of the dyke was changed from the 50 to the 100 year flood recurrence i n t e r v a l . D.O.E.'s decision to adopt t h i s l e v e l of protection was based s o l e l y on the fact that i t was the standard used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Whereas, the 50 year l e v e l adopted by p r o v i n c i a l o f f i c i a l s r e f l e c t e d the amount that the municipality and province were w i l l i n g to pay. 1 0 To resolve this c o n f l i c t , both senior governments i n i t i a t e d a series of negotiations which culminated i n the f a l l of 1967 after the Mamquam River flooded. Being concerned about the flooding and frustrated by the apparent bureaucratic impasse, the municipality decided to force the issue by p u b l i c l y announcing plans that the Mamquam dyke would be constructed immediately with the cost being shared by a l l three governments. On January 23rd 1968, the council sent the following telegram to D.O.E.; 10. Information 'obtained from correspondence e n t i t l e d , "Present Status of Dyking and Flood Control i n Squamish and B e l l a Coola" (December 10th 19761 - F i l e #404, . Inland Waters Directorate, Department of Environment. 55 "Municipality proceeding immediately with emergency r i v e r control work on Mamquam River. P r o v i n c i a l and municipal governments each contributing $25,00 0. Kindly confirm federal contribution of $25,00 0." D.O.E. responded by declining to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the financing of the project on the basis that a s a t i s f a c t o r y agreement had not been struck. The p r o v i n c i a l government, on the other hand, agreed to finance 50% of the project. 5.3 THE IMPLEMENTATION STAGE 5.3.1 Some Unresolved Design Issues Despite the fac t that the project was well underway by 1968, there s t i l l remained some unresolved design issues. In p a r t i c u l a r , D.F.O. was not afforded the opportunity to express i t s concerns regarding the design and location of f i s h gates or the po t e n t i a l impacts of construction work on the aquatic habitat p r i o r to the project being approved for implementation. In fact, p r i o r to 19 74 a "Gravel Removal Order" was not required for construction a c t i v i t i e s i n f i s h bearing waters. Consequently, D.F.O.'s involvement was limited to ad hoc inspections by f i s h e r i e s o f f i c e r s . In one instance (March, 1969), the l o c a l o f f i c e r demanded I I . Source; Municipal Council Minutes - January, 1968. that construction a c t i v i t i e s i n the Judd Slough area cease. The municipal council responded by requesting the l o c a l member of parliament, Jack Davis, to intervene on th e i r behalf and obtain approval for the project. Davis was apparently successful, as 1*> approval was shortly thereafter granted. Despite the obvious d e f i c i e n c i e s i n the planning process, no apparent changes were made throughout the duration of the construction period to 1972. 5.3.2 The Project Halts: A New Strategy i s Devised. In 1972, areas throughout the province were struck by major spring flooding. As a re s u l t , p r o v i n c i a l authorities found i t necessary to d i r e c t public funds for flood management to those areas that appeared to have the greatest need. In the shuffle, 13 funding to complete the Squamish project was withdrawn. At about the same time, M.O.E. o f f i c i a l s began to r e a l i z e that the escalating costs for flood r e l i e f and flood protection were related to the fact that s t r u c t u r a l measures were primarily responsible for increasing flood damage costs because they encouraged floodplain development. Accordingly, M.O.E. devised a new strategy to regulate future development on the floodplain. 12. Information obtained from former Fisheries O f f i c e r , Arthur Reynolds, and the o f f i c i a l minutes of the Municipal Council meetings (March, 1969) . 13. Information obtained from interview with M.O.E. engineers. As a f i r s t step to implementing t h i s new approach, the Ministry of Municipal A f f a i r s adopted the Municipal Enabling and Validating Act (.1972) . This new act stipulated that a l l new bylaws and community plans i n areas of the Lower Fraser Valley which are subject to flooding must be approved by both the Minister of Municipal A f f a i r s and the Minister of Environment. This change i n flood management had l i t t l e impact on changing the view of Squamish o f f i c i a l s on flood control and floodplain development. Throughout the early 1970's, the municipality continued to request funds from M.O.E. to complete the dyke as well as to encourage the development of r e s i d e n t i a l subdivisions on the floodplain. 5.3.3 Tougher Floodplain L e g i s l a t i o n but Development Marches Forth. Severe flooding throughout the province i n the spring of 1974 again led the government to introduce additional l e g i s l a t i o n 14 ( B i l l 121 - Land Registry Act) to control floodplain development This l e g i s l a t i o n required a l l subdivision development i n flood prone areas to be approved by both the Minister of Municipal A f f a i r s and the Minister of Environment. 14. The Land Registry Act has since become the Land T i t l e s Act (.197 8) . 58 The e f f e c t of this l e g i s l a t i o n meant that the following projects on the floodplain might be jeopardized: 1. A proposed In d u s t r i a l Park i n an area subject to flood depths of 3 meters. 2. A proposed hospital and two housing projects (Tantalus Project and Brackendale Co-op) already underway i n an area of Brackendale subject to s l i d e s and flooding from the Cheekye River fan. 3. Increased r e s i d e n t i a l development i n both the Judd Slough (Brackendale) and V a l l e y c l i f f e areas which are subject to severe flooding from the Squamish and Stawamus Rivers respectively. I t i s of i n t e r e s t to note, that a l l of these projects were endorsed and subsidized to one degree or another by various p r o v i n c i a l government agencies. In p a r t i c u l a r , the housing projects were promoted by the Dunhill Housing Corporation, a Crown corporation which has since become the Housing D i v i s i o n of the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing. Thus, while one arm of the government was seeking to reduce future flood damages by r e s t r i c t i n g f loodplain development, another arm of the government a c t i v e l y encouraged such development. This apparent inconsistency in government objectives can be attributed largely to the lack of an inter-agency r e f e r r a l system regarding land use development and control. As well, decisions made at the p o l i t i c a l l e v e l also served to create inconsistencies i n the government's objective of c o n t r o l l i n g future floodplain development. For example, when the municipal council confronted the Minister of Environment regarding the future of the aforementioned projects and the continuation of financing to complete the Brackendale dyke, the Minister decided that due to the "unique" geography and h i s t o r i c a l patterns of development i n the region, the floodplain development r e s t r i c t i o n s would be relaxed and the dyking project 15 would be re-activated. Thus, despite the o r i g i n a l intent of the new l e g i s l a t i o n , lack of inter-agency communication and decisions being made at the p o l i t i c a l l e v e l e s s e n t i a l l y neutralized e f f o r t s to control development on the floodplain. Eventually, however, the hospital and the Tantalus and Brackendale Co-op housing projects were halted as a r e s u l t of M.O.E.'s increasing concern that the proposed projects were subject to severe danger from the Cheekye fan hazard. 5.3.4 Improving the Decision Process: Protecting Other Floodplain Resources. In 1974, D.F.O. enacted the "Gravel Removal Order" as a supplement to the Fisheries Act. As outlined e a r l i e r , t h i s order required that proponents obtain D.F.O. consent for construction a c t i v i t i e s i n f i s h bearing waters. After adoption, D.F.O, o f f i c i a l s and the municipal council again became embroiled over a number of issues regarding the approval of dyke designs and 15. Source: Municipal Council O f f i c i a l Minutes - 1974. 60 construction work. At one point i n January 1975, a meeting was held between municipal, M.O.E. and D.F.O. o f f i c i a l s regarding D.F.O.'s ref u s a l 16 to approve dyke and flood gate designs i n the Judd Slough area. Approval for the construction of the dyke was granted provided the following conditions were met: "1. Flood gates are l e f t open a l l the time except during flood conditions. 2. Details of gate design s h a l l be submitted to the Vancouver o f f i c e (referring to D.F.O.) for review and approval before construction. 3. Dyking construction must be undertaken i n a manner which w i l l not r e s u l t i n the deposition of sediment or other deleterious substances into the slough"17 This agreement resulted i n increased inter-agency p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n flood management decision making. For the f i r s t time, D.F.O. was provided the opportunity to express i t s concerns about a proposed flood control project p r i o r to being implemented. Shortly afterwards, construction work on the Brackendale Dyke was again halted as M.O.E. refused further funding u n t i l the municipality adopted floodplain zoning regulations. In the following year (.1976), the decision process was further improved when the Land Management Branch i n i t i a l e d a 16. The term flood gate, i s also referred to as a . f i s h gate. 17. Correspondence from R.A. Croutes, D.F.O. Regional Manager to municipal' council, dated January 27th 1975. (Source: Municipal Council O f f i c i a l Minutes - January, 1975.) similar r e f e r r a l system with M.O.E/"1"" This system required the Lands Branch to refer a l l applications for Crown land use i n 19 floodable areas to M.O.E. for review and approval. In early 19 77, D.F.O. again exerted i t s authority i n an e f f o r t to gain more input into flood management decisions. This time, a controversy had arisen over D.F.O.'s ref u s a l to approve a developer"s plans to repair some dykes damaged by minor flooding i n the V a l l e y c l i f f e area. The municipality acted as a mediator i n the dispute because there was a concern that unless the developer repaired the dykes immediately the area would be flooded a second time. Negotiations concluded with the developer proceeding with the repairs and the municipal council adopting the following resolution: "...that the Federal Fisheries Department be n o t i f i e d by the administration of a l l intended subdivision plans which are being developed near the course of a creek or ri v e r so that proper f i s h management regulations and poli c y can be continued."-0 5.3.5 Improving the Flood Management Plan: M.O.E. Pulls the Purse Strings. In the spring of 1977, negotiations were conducted between 18. Source: Municipal Council O f f i c i a l Minutes. 19. Note: I t i s not cer t a i n i f the r e f e r r a l system was extended to a l l p r o v i n c i a l agencies at t h i s time. Currently, the use of the r e f e r r a l system i s widespread. 20. Source: Municipal Council O f f i c i a l Minutes - February 15th 1977. the municipality and M.O.E. regarding the conditions under which further f i n a n c i a l assistance would be provided to complete the Brackendale dyke. M.O.E. rei t e r a t e d i t s o r i g i n a l p o s i t i o n that further funding was e n t i r e l y contingent upon the adoption of floodplain zoning regulations. M.O.E. further recommended that these regulations be adopted as part of a comprehensive Community Plan. The Municipality rejected M.O.E.''s proposal and accused the pr o v i n c i a l government of attempting to undermine the t r a d i t i o n a l authority of the municipality over land use decisions. Two years l a t e r (.1979) , however, Squamish o f f i c i a l s agreed to develop an O f f i c i a l Community Plan that would include regulations for floodplain development. The plan was written by consultants between 1979 and late 1981 with extensive input from the public, the Ministry of Municipal A f f a i r s , M.O.E. and Squamish o f f i c i a l s . During that time, however, the dykes remained incomplete and floodplain development proceeded unabated. 5.3.6 The Flood of 1980: Fish F i r s t - People Second. On December 28th and 29th 1980, Squamish was struck by a 3 f a l l flood with a peak flow of 2 , 4 8 0 m /s (87,583 cfs) which forced the evacuation of approximately 400 residents i n the Lower and Upper Squamish Valley areas. Although the flood waters peaked at a magnitude i n excess of the design l e v e l of the dykes 1,122 raJ/s (75,000 cfs) only the following areas experienced flooding: 1. Homes i n the V a l l e y c l i f f e subdivision were flooded when the Stawamus River broke through dykes that were constructed by the developer (Guildford Industries). Residents reported that the r i v e r broke through a section of the dyke that was constructed to diver t the r i v e r to permit the development of a park and schoolyard and that the dyke did not have the appropriate face rock to prevent erosion. 2. The undyked area of Brackendale was inundated with flood waters which caused damages to two mobile home courts and several homes. 3. On a bend on the Upper Mamquam River flood waters ripped open the dyke and damaged a section of the adjacent golf course. 4. The f i s h gate at the north entrance to the Judd Slough was jammed open by debris causing flooding to the adjacent subdivision. Following the flood, the p r o v i n c i a l and federal governments shared the cost of flood r e l i e f and the province incurred the expense of repairing the damaged dykes. However, the financing was not provided without a great deal of threatening from p o l i t i c i a n s regarding future flood r e l i e f to residents l i v i n g i n hazardous areas. The Minister of Environment (Stephen Rogers) stated that: "...people l i v i n g i n areas which have been flooded more than once need not expect to get reimbursed again i f they stay i n the flood area." 2^ 21. Quote from Squamish Times, Volume 25 - No. 1, January 6, 1982. And, Senator Ray Perrault of the federal government expressed a concern about continually providing flood r e l i e f to a community that lacked proper floodproofing regulations. Clearly, these comments were d i r e c t l y aimed at pressuring the municipal council into expediting the adoption of a floodplain zoning bylaw. Citizens reacted by forming the North Squamish Ratepayers Association and threatening to withhold 1981 property taxes i f their demands for the completion of a "well designed dyking 22 system" were not. met. Citizens also accused D.F.O. of putting 23 " f i s h before people" because of the f i s h gate jamming incident 24 at Judd Slough and because i n the past D.F.O. had prevented e f f o r t s such as clearing log jams, dredging the r i v e r and constructing dykes to control the r i v e r . In an e f f o r t to placate the angry c i t i z e n r y , the municipal council conducted several public meetings to discuss dyke repairs 22. Quote from Squamish Times, January 13/ 1981, 23. Personal comment made to researcher by the editor of the Squamish Times. 24. This research, discovered that an i n i t i a l agreement between D.F.O. and the municipality c l e a r l y stipulated that maintenance of the f i s h gates was a. municipal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (Source: Municipal Council O f f i c i a l Minutes). 65 flood r e l i e f payments and completion of the dykes. The council advised the public during these meetings that further funding to complete the dykes would not be granted by M.O.E. u n t i l the floodplain regulations were adopted. Throughout the remainder of the year, M.O.E. conducted an engineering study of the proposed project and the municipality proceeded with the necessary steps to adopt the floodplain regulations. In September, 1981, M.O.E. forwarded the proposed 25 plan to the Regional Technical Planning Committee (T.P.C.) for review and approval by resource agencies affected by the project. This marked one of the f i r s t instances where a flood management plan was referred to a l l affected agencies p r i o r to being implemented. 5.3.7 The Flood of 1981: P o l i t i c a l Pressure Mounts. On October 31st and November 1st 1981, flooding again struck Squamish. This time, residents of the S p i r a l and Wagon Wheel T r a i l e r Courts located i n the undyked area of Brackendale, as well as homes behind the dykes i n the Judd Slough area, were flooded. Flooding behind the dykes was caused because the area lacked the necessary drainage and pumping system to remove excess 25. The T.P.C. i s an i n t e r - m i n i s t e r i a l task force which provides advice to municipalities and regional d i s t r i c t s regarding s p e c i f i c projects and land use proposals. run-off during flood conditions. Immediately following the flood, angry residents demanded to know i f flood r e l i e f was forthcoming and why the municipal and pr o v i n c i a l governments had not taken the appropriate steps to provide flood protection for the community. Both governments repl i e d that flood r e l i e f would be granted but that residents who had been previously flooded would have to cover the f i r s t $1,000 of flood damages. They also stated that financing had not been made available to complete the dykes because the council had not adopted the floodplain regulations. However, the council complained that unforeseen circumstances had prevented the f i n a l "reading" required to o f f i c i a l l y adopt the regulations. In an e f f o r t to pressure both governments into action, the N.S.R.A. staged a media event to draw public attention to the problem by blockading Highway 99. 5.3.8 The Last B a r r i e r : Floodplain Zoning Bylaw 277 Shortly a f t e r the highway blockade, the council held a special meeting to enact Zoning Bylaw 277 (December 1st 1981). In doing so, the council e f f e c t i v e l y eliminated the l a s t b a r r i e r to obtaining p r o v i n c i a l funds to complete the dyke (refer to Chapters 3.2.5 for a description of bylaw). Once the bylaw was enacted, the council immediately requested the p r o v i n c i a l government to f u l f i l l i t s portion of the agreement. The province responded, however, by claiming that there were i n s u f f i c i e n t funds to cover the cost of the project. 67 Throughout the remainder of 1981, the media and l o c a l c i t i z e n s continued to c r i t i c i z e both the p r o v i n c i a l and municipal governments for not providing adequate flood protection. F i n a l l y , before the year ended, the council announced that i t would contribute $250,000 towards the completion of the dykes and with or without p r o v i n c i a l support, i t would commence work immediately. Shortly afterwards on January 2nd 19 82, the pr o v i n c i a l government announced that i t would contribute the remaining $750,000. These contributions would not be s u f f i c i e n t , however, to complete the dyke or to i n s t a l l an i n t e r n a l drainage system. In the following year, l o c a l o f f i c i a l s purchased a number of second-hand pumps to resolve i n t e r n a l drainage problems and more work was conducted on the dyking system. In early 1933, M.O.E. contributed an additional $1 m i l l i o n to complete the major portion of the dyking system. Today, only a small area of the floodplain remains unprotected by dykes. 68 CHAPTER 6 CASE' STUDY ' ASSESSMENT This chapter evaluates the case study i n terms of the normative ideals set out i n Chapter 4. A series of questions i s posed for each c r i t e r i o n to indicate the degree to which the case study adhered to the normative i d e a l . After each assessment I provide an explanation for the i d e n t i f i e d deficiency based on empirical evidence and behavioural theory. As there may be instances where T am unable to empirically explain a p a r t i c u l a r deficiency, I w i l l r e l y on what the behavioural theory suggests would be a l i k e l y explanation. 6.1 REPRESENTATION OF INTERESTS 1. Were Squamish o f f i c i a l s involved i n the conceptualization and evaluation of flood management plans? Squamish o f f i c i a l s were not always involved i n the conceptualization and evaluation of flood management plans. In fact, case study evidence indicates that representatives from Squamish were only involved at the stage i n which the dyking project was f i r s t conceptualized"and at the stage where the floodproofing regulations were designed. Regarding the dyking project, c i t i z e n s formed the Squamish Valley Development Committee i n 1949 which o f f i c i a l l y approached the p r o v i n c i a l government for f i n a n c i a l and technical assistance to upgrade and extend the e x i s t i n g dyking system. Subsequent to 69 t h i s , p r o v i n c i a l authorities did not obtain additional input from Squamish representatives to review or evaluate the proposed plan. Regarding the floodproofing regulations, the evidence indicates that p r o v i n c i a l authorities were primarily responsible for conceptualizing t h i s new approach. Recall that widespread flooding throughout the province i n 1972 led M.O.E. to revise i t s t r a d i t i o n a l approach of constructing dykes to control the r i v e r , to encouraging municipalities to adopt regulations to r e s t r i c t development on the floodplain. This policy change did not involve input from municipal o f f i c i a l s . On the contrary, M.O.E. attempted to coerce the municipality to adopt the new strategy by withholding additional f i n a n c i a l assistance to complete the dykes. However, once the municipality decided to adopt the new po l i c y , p r o v i n c i a l and municipal representatives entered negotiations to revise c e r t a i n features of the regulations. In this sense, i t can be argued that Squamish o f f i c i a l s were involved during the design stage of the floodproofing regulations. 2. Were Squamish area residents afforded the opportunity to obtain information and express the i r views on proposed plans to the i r elected representatives p r i o r to decisions being made? Formal opportunities were not always available for residents to obtain information and express th e i r views on proposed plans to elected o f f i c i a l s p r ior to decisions being made. Recall that 16 years had elapsed from when residents f i r s t expressed t h e i r views on dyke protection (1949)., to when the actual decision was made 70 to implement the project (19 6 5). . Throughout th i s time period, o f f i c i a l s did not seek to advise the public of the status of the proposed project or to incorporate public opinion into the objectives and design of the project. Yet, during that period i t i s l i k e l y that new residents with d i f f e r e n t views on flood protection were not even aware that the project was being considered. The recent adoption of the floodproofing regulations, i n contrast, involved a formal public p a r t i c i p a t i o n program, as required under the Municipal Act. < 3. Did p r o v i n c i a l and federal representatives have the opportunity to take part i n the conceptualization and evaluation of proposed plans? Although M.O.E. o f f i c i a l s were extensively involved during the conceptualization and evaluation of both the dyking project and the floodproofing regulations, other p r o v i n c i a l and federal agencies were often excluded or not s u f f i c i e n t l y involved during these stages of the decision process. For example, at the outset of the dyking project, c e r t a i n affected agencies were not afforded the opportunity to discuss the need for flood protection, to propose a l t e r n a t i v e solutions or to advise M.O.E. and Squamish o f f i c i a l s of the potential effects of the proposed plan. Consequently, i t wasn't u n t i l the project was well underway that agencies l i k e D.O.E. and D.F.O. were able to request, or i n D.F.O.'s case, demand that c e r t a i n design features be altered. In other words, those agencies that did have 71 input were involved only i n a negative reactive sense a f t e r decisions were made to proceed with a s p e c i f i c type of strategy. The process followed for adopting the floodproofing regulations was substantially improved i n terms of involving other agencies. Recall. that agencies belonging to the l o c a l T.P.C. were afforded the opportunity to review the proposed regulations p r i o r to being adopted. As before, however, t h e i r input had minimal impact as they were responding to a plan that had already been decided upon by M.O.E. o f f i c i a l s . In conclusion, affected inte r e s t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y federal and p r o v i n c i a l representatives, were not always provided with s u f f i c i e n t opportunity to inte r a c t during the conceptualization and evaluation stage of the decision process. Two reasons may be c i t e d for t h i s deficiency; f i r s t l y , the decision process lacked an o v e r a l l planning framework from which to coordinate the a c t i v i t i e s of the affected i n t e r e s t s ; and secondly, those responsible for flood management did not perceive the value of gaining a broader perspective by involving other interests i n designing flood management plans. On the f i r s t point, our decision theory argues that unless o f f i c i a l s perceive i t to be "necessary or possible" i t i s unlikel y that they w i l l i n t e r a c t and engage i n a meaningful dialogue to resolve t h e i r c o n f l i c t i n g interests (Dahl and Lindblom, 19 68). Moreover, inter-agency and public consultation might be perceived by powerful agencies as contrary to t h e i r own s e l f - i n t e r e s t as the resolution of c o n f l i c t s would l i k e l y e n t a i l 72 a degree of compromise. Since there was no policy requiring agencies to coordinate their services, o f f i c i a l s tended to pursue the i r own narrowly defined agency goals with T i t t l e reference to the impacts on other i n t e r e s t s . Whenever c o n f l i c t s arose, as occurred on numerous occasions with D.F.0., o f f i c i a l s would be forced to seek a solution. Beyond that, opportunities for affected interests to inte r a c t with those responsible for flood management was minimal. Regarding the second point, our decision theory states that the manner i n which we perceive and respond to a problem s i t u a t i o n i s related to our past experiences, and our professional and' s o c i a l a f f i l i a t i o n s (Fox, 1982). In the case study, those responsible for designing flood management plans belonged to a small, homogenous group of individuals (M.O.E. engineering staff) who, because of their professional a f f i l i a t i o n s , l i k e l y did not perceive the importance of gaining a broader perspective by i n v i t i n g input from other i n t e r e s t s . However, had M.O.E.'s st a f f included professionals with d i f f e r e n t backgrounds, as i t does not (e.g., planning s t a f f ) , then perhaps a wider perspective on such issues would have been explored. 6.2 ADEQUACY OF INFORMATION 0 Information adequacy i s a r e l a t i v e concept which evolves over time as technology and science advance. Since the case study reviews evaluation procedures which took place almost20 years ago i t i s important to determine whether procedures followed were 73 considered adequate by the standards of the day. A review of the l i t e r a t u r e on cost-benefit techniques for evaluating flood management projects indicates that during the 1960's researchers were proposing widespread changes to the t r a d i t i o n a l approach of evaluating a single a l t e r n a t i v e on the basis of economic c r i t e r i a . For example, G.F. White (1960, 1964) proposed that a range of alternatives should be evaluated i n an optimization procedure. As well, the importance of evaluating intangible values and i n d i r e c t e f f e c ts was discussed by Sewell i n 1961 ("Guide to Benefit/Cost Analysis") and by James in 1968 ("Economic Analysis of Alternative Flood Control Measures"). James (1968) also pointed out that there were severe problems with predicting the occurrence of flood frequencies and flood depths and then making estimates of the costs and benefits with certainty. In l i g h t of the l i t e r a t u r e , I have concluded that although the "state of the art" was undergoing changes, o f f i c i a l s responsible for the "Marr Report" i n 1965 could have apprised themselves with the l a t e s t techniques of cost-benefit analysis. On the other hand, reliance on t r a d i t i o n a l methodologies during periods of change may be viewed as a reasonable response to an uncertain or unknown s i t u a t i o n . From t h i s perspective, the "Marr Report" probably generated adequate information from which to base a flood management decision. For our purposes, however, greater insights can be achieved by evaluating the report i n terms of today's accepted standards. 1. Were alte r n a t i v e combinations of kinds of measures and scales of adjustment for each measure evaluated? At no time was a range of alternative solutions or various scales of adjustment evaluated by those responsible for flood management i n Squamish. At the outset, o f f i c i a l s decided that the solution to the flood hazard would be to construct a dyke and more recently to adopt floodproofing regulations, neither of which were evaluated at various scales of adjustment or considered i n conjunction with a range of alternatives to determine the optimal l e v e l of protection. In f a c t , the scales for both were selected on the basis of predetermined standards ( i . e . , the 1 i n 50 year dyke l e v e l represented the extent to which O f f i c i a l s were w i l l i n g to pay for flood protection and the 1 i n 200 year floodproofing l e v e l corresponded with the revised estimate of the protective l e v e l of the dykes and also represented a p r o v i n c i a l standard). 2. Were the following categories of the costs and benefits and the d i s t r i b u t i o n of t h e i r e f f e c t s , including intangible values, supplied for evaluating the proposed flood protection measures? - economic effects - s o c i a l effects - biophysical effects The dyking project was the only measure subjected to a formal evaluation process (Marr Report, 1965). This study concentrated s t r i c t l y on evaluating the tangible economic ef f e c t s that would accrue to l o c a l residents by introducing a flood control project and reducing flood damages on the floodplain. 75 Other, tangible and intangible effects related to biophysical and s o c i a l values, were not considered. 3. Did the process account for and seek to minimize the problems associated with making decisions based on uncertainty? The only reference to the problem of uncertainty was made by the "Marr Report" (1965) which merely suggested that predictions of flood frequencies were l i k e l y inaccurate because they were based on limited hydrological data. Beyond t h i s , no e f f o r t was made to compensate for thi s inadequacy. It may be concluded, therefore, that the id e a l of "adequate information" was not achieved. Information used to evaluate the dyking project was d e f i c i e n t , no formal evaluation study was conducted for determining the f e a s i b i l i t y of the floodproofing regulations and the issue of uncertainty was inadequately addressed. The primary reason for the information deficiency was that guidelines or c r i t e r i a had never been established for evaluating and selecting proposed flood management plans. Consequently, information used to evaluate the dyking project was d e f i c i e n t and no information was generated to evaluate subsequent flood management plans. Regarding the methods used to evaluate the dyking project, i f , as our theory suggests ' (Lindblom, 1968), individuals tend to be " r i s k averse" by choosing t r a d i t i o n a l courses of action, i t i s 76 not surprising that M.O.E. engineers did not apply the l a t e s t "state of the art" techniques when conducting the cost-benefit analysis. Lindblom (1968) also defines such behaviour as "muddling through", which means that individuals generally seek solutions which resolve immediate problems as opposed to resolving long term problems. Hence, t r a d i t i o n a l solutions were viewed as being adequate. Moreover, since the decision process was dominated by M.O.E. engineers, who were not required by law or policy to obtain input from other affected i n t e r e s t s , i t i s l i k e l y that a range of other flood control measures and the i r d i s t r i b u t i o n a l effects were not even perceived. Regarding the issue of uncertainty, our theory suggests that had o f f i c i a l s experienced a recent, catastrophic flood event then they l i k e l y would have taken more appropriate measures, beyond acknowledging the de f i c i e n c i e s i n hydrological information, to deal with the problem. My th e o r e t i c a l framework also suggests that the study suffered from the foregoing d e f i c i e n c i e s because the evaluator was unable to devote the amount of time and resources necessary to conduct a more adequate evaluation study (March and Simon, 1958; Down, 1967; Dror, 1968). My empirical evidence supports th i s premise, as M.O.E. o f f i c i a l s complained that such studies are often hampered by time and funding constraints. M.O.E.. o f f i c i a l s also stated that i t was unnecessary to conduct subsequent studies to the Marr Report or to evaluate the flood-proofing plan because i t was obvious that the benefits of 77 implementing the projects exceeded the c o s t s / 0 Although M.O.E. o f f i c i a l s dominated the design and evaluation stages of the process, Squamish o f f i c i a l s , nonetheless, played a s i g n i f i c a n t role i n selecting a f i n a l flood management plan. Two reasons may be c i t e d for t h e i r actions i n not considering a l t e r n a t i v e strategies. F i r s t , large-scale, c a p i t a l \ intensive solutions, such as dykes, r e l y heavily on senior government f i n a n c i a l assistance, whereas small-scale, nonstructural solutions, such as floodplain regulations, involve a greater s o c i a l and monetary commitment from l o c a l residents. If individuals are behaving to maximize the i r own s e l f - i n t e r e s t , then residents would naturally s e l e c t the dyking strategy. Second, those who f i r s t i n i t i a t e d the dyking project i n 1949 (S.V.D.C.) made i t quite clear that the major reason for adopting the dykes was to promote i n d u s t r i a l and r e s i d e n t i a l growth on the floodplain. Thus, even i f alternatives such as i c o n t r o l l i n g floodplain development had been perceived at the time, the community, as i t eventually did, would l i k e l y have rejected them. 26. Information obtained from M.O.E. Engineering s t a f f (J. Wester and H. Nesbit-Porterj. 78 6.3 EFFICIENCY OF DECISION PROCESS 1. Could the same outcome be achieved with less time, public funds and s t a f f resources? Given the time involved with completing the dyking project, 18 years (1965 - 1983), and adopting the floodproofing regulations, 10 years (1972 '<-• 1982), as well as the fact that delays were primarily created by inter-agency c o n f l i c t s , we may conclude that had the various affected agencies been required by law or p o l i c y to inter a c t and coordinate th e i r respective services then the amount of time and public funds wasted from agencies working at cross purposes might have been reduced. 2. Could o f f i c i a l s have achieved a s i g n i f i c a n t l y better outcome i n terms of making more informed judgements by expending more time, public funds and s t a f f resources? In view of the de f i c i e n c i e s i n the information used to evaluate the dyking strategy ( i . e . , alternatives were not considered, optimization procedures were not used and the f u l l range of costs and benefits were not evaluated) and the fact that no information was generated to evaluate the floodproofing regulations, i t i s l i k e l y that additional expenditures to improve the data base would have assisted o f f i c i a l s i n making more informed judgements about al t e r n a t i v e courses of action. In view of the foregoing, we may conclude that the: decision process was i n e f f i c i e n t because i t was unnecessarily extended by inter-agency c o n f l i c t s and a s i g n i f i c a n t l y better outcome might have: been reached had additional resources been expended to 7 9 improve 'the quality of information used to guide o f f i c i a l s ' decisions. The case study indicates that there were three primary reasons for the decision.process being i n e f f i c i e n t . F i r s t , the process lacked an overriding framework requiring agencies to interact and coordinate t h e i r c o n f l i c t i n g services and goals to reach a c o l l e c t i v e action. For example, M.O.E. o f f i c i a l s delayed the completion of the dykes throughout the 1970's i n an e f f o r t to force municipal o f f i c i a l s to adopt floodproofing regulations. Construction delays were also caused by D.F.O. o f f i c i a l s attempting to force design changes aimed at protecting aquatic resources. Delays i n adopting the flood-proofing regulations were, at least p a r t i a l l y , related to the fact that while M.O.E. was pressuring the municipality to control floodplain development, another p r o v i n c i a l agency, the Dunhill Housing Corporation, was a s s i s t i n g the municipality to develop areas of Crown land on the floodplain for housing. Second, construction delays were created on several occasions because p r o v i n c i a l f i s c a l budgetary r e s t r a i n t s forced M.O.E. o f f i c i a l s to withdraw f i n a n c i a l assistance from the project. Third, M.O.E. o f f i c i a l s did not believe that the expenditures involved i n conducting new studies would r e s u l t i n improved decisions. Recall, that M.O.E. o f f i c i a l s stated that additional studies were unnecessary because i t was obvious that the benefits of proposed projects exceeded the costs. 80 This concludes the evaluation of flood management decision making i n Squamish. The f i n a l chapter w i l l recommend changes aimed at resolving the foregoing d e f i c i e n c i e s . CHAPTER 7 RECOMMENDATIONS Prior to proceeding with the recommendations, I wish to emphasize that the ideals discussed i n t h i s research are more ea s i l y stated than achieved. I also recognize that many def i c i e n c i e s e x i s t because flood management i s an evolving f i e l d that i s steadily improving as we gain knowledge about the effects of our actions and the factors that influence our decisions. Thus, th i s analysis i s not meant as a c r i t i q u e of past professional judgements. Rather, i t represents the history of a public decision and provides a milepost to gauge our progress. My recommendations address two issues; f i r s t , are the actions that are required immediately to resolve e x i s t i n g flood protection problems; and second, are the changes and improvements required to move future flood management decision making closer to achieving the normative ideals. 7.1 RESOLVING EXISTING FLOOD MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS Currently, the municipality has adopted floodproofing regulations to control floodplain development, the dyking project i s v i r t u a l l y completed and pumps have been i n s t a l l e d to improve in t e r n a l drainage problems. Despite these changes, the following flood management problems s t i l l remain (see Flood Management Issues - Chapter 2.6): 82 - Primary reliance i s placed on a dyking system which i s both incomplete and incapable of withstanding a catastrophic flood event. - The floodplain regulations provide only minimal protection from catastrophic floods as they do not apply to ex i s t i n g and new homes i n established neighbourhoods. - Neither the dyking system nor the floodproofing regulations have been properly evaluated to determine t h e i r optimum l e v e l of protection. - A range of other strategies which could p o t e n t i a l l y reduce future flood damages have been overlooked. - There i s s t i l l some uncertainty regarding the potential of the Cheekye River flood hazard. - There i s no provision for preventing the formation of log jams which are capable of causing sudden and catastrophic flooding to downstream residents. To resolve the foregoing problems a Task Force, consisting of federal, p r o v i n c i a l and municipal government agencies, should be established immediately to review the e x i s t i n g s i t u a t i o n and to establish a framework to evaluate future courses of action. I t i s recommended that the Task Force consider the following measures: 1. To reduce the potential for residual damages from a flood that exceeds the e x i s t i n g l e v e l of the dykes a range of a l t e r n a t i v e strategies should be considered for adoption. In p a r t i c u l a r , i t i s recommended that the Task Force explore the f e a s i b i l i t y of adopting the following measures: A. A public information program with the following components: - the nature of the Squamish flood regime and the potential consequences, given the ex i s t i n g flood management plan, of locating on the floodplain; - s u g g e s t i o n s and c o s t e s t i m a t e s f o r c o n s t r u c t i n g a f l o o d p r o o f e d home o r t o f l o o d p r o o f an e x i s t i n g d w e l l i n g ; - a d v i c e f o r h o u s e h o l d e r s on how t o r e d u c e t h e c o s t o f f l o o d damages c a u s e d by f l o o d i n g ; - i n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g where t o o b t a i n f l o o d w a r n i n g b u l l e t i n s , emergency a s s i s t a n c e , and how t o e s c a p e a c a t a s t r o p h i c f l o o d e v e n t ; B. A p r o g r a m o f g o v e r n m e n t g r a n t s o r low i n t e r e s t l o a n s t o a s s i s t e s t a b l i s h e d r e s i d e n t s t o f l o o d p r o o f t h e i r home. C. A p r o g r a m o f g o v ernment s u b s i d i z e d f l o o d l o s s i n s u r a n c e so t h a t f u t u r e f l o o d damage c o s t s c a n be d i s t r i b u t e d i n a more s o c i a l l y e q u i t a b l e f a s h i o n . D. An i m p r o v e d s y s t e m o f f l o o d f o r e c a s t i n g and w a r n i n g t o p r o v i d e r e s i d e n t s w i t h s u f f i c i e n t t i m e t o p r e p a r e f o r a f l o o d C i . e . , f l o o d p r o o f i n g h o u s e h o l d goods and s e l e c t i n g an e s c a p e r o u t e ) . E. A r i v e r m a i n t e n a n c e p r o g r a m t o remove p o t e n t i a l h a z a r d s c a u s e d by l o g jams. 2. S i n c e o f f i c i a l s n e v e r c o n d u c t e d an e v a l u a t i o n t o d e t e r m i n e t h e o p t i m a l d e s i g n o f t h e f l o o d p r o o f i n g r e g u l a t i o n s , i t i s recommended t h a t t h e T a s k F o r c e r e v i e w t h e n e c e s s i t y o f r e d e s i g n i n g t h e r e g u l a t i o n s . 3. S i n c e t h e r e i s some u n c e r t a i n t y r e g a r d i n g t h e b e n e f i t s o f c o m p l e t i n g t h e e n t i r e d y k i n g s y s t e m , i t i s recommended t h a t f u t u r e c o n s t r u c t i o n n o t t a k e p l a c e u n t i l a r a n g e o f a l t e r n a t i v e c o u r s e s o f a c t i o n , ( e . g . , r e l o c a t i o n and f l o o d p r o o f i n g ) a r e e v a l u a t e d t o d e t e r m i n e i f t h e r e a r e l e s s e x p e n s i v e ways o f a c h i e v i n g t h e same outcome. 4. Since there i s some uncertainty regarding the Cheekye River hazard, the Task Force should review the necessity of re-evaluating the nature of the hazard. 5 . Since the foregoing measures w i l l require additional public resources, and since a l l three levels of government w i l l benefit from a reduction i n future flood damages, a l l three levels of government should share i n the costs. To determine the extent of sharing, negotiations should be i n i t i a t e d immediately. Prior to proceeding with the recommendations for resolving the normative weaknesses i n the flood management decision process, i t should be noted that neither the foregoing recommendations nor the problems facing Squamish flood managers are p a r t i c u l a r l y unusual. The importance of r e v i s i n g flood management strategies to control land use as opposed to c o n t r o l l i n g the dynamic forces of a r i v e r has been recognized at least for the past twenty years. This raises the question as to why o f f i c i a l s have been so reluctant to adopt these changes. The Squamish s i t u a t i o n indicates that changes were not adopted by o f f i c i a l s because there was no incentive for them to do so. I t was also apparent that both the municipal and p r o v i n c i a l governments were sensitive to l o c a l public demands which generally favoured large-scale, c a p i t a l intensive measures for flood protection over r e s t r i c t i o n s of land use on the floodplain. Two recommendations are made to r e c t i f y t h i s s i t u a t i o n . The f i r s t , which i s outlined i n the section to follow, involves the adoption of a new decision making structure and process which ensures that decision makers are well informed and encourages a broader range of interests from a l l levels of government and the public to express their views on flood protection. Recall that flood management decisions have h i s t o r i c a l l y been made by a small group of individuals who either had a vested i n t e r e s t i n pursuing c e r t a i n courses of action or, because of t h e i r backgrounds, had a narrow perspective on what courses of action to pursue. The second involves a recommendation that the federal government, which i s assumed to be not as p o l i t i c a l l y s ensitive to small-scale l o c a l issues, take a stronger role for ensuring that proper flood management p o l i c i e s are i n i t i a t e d at the l o c a l l e v e l . This can be achieved through the adoption of a po l i c y which stipulates that a l l projects and programs, regardless of the i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to flood protection, which are i n i t i a t e d by federal government agencies or Crown Corporations and for which federal funds are provided or federal land required, be subjected to s p e c i f i c guidelines for flood protection as determined by the Department of Environment. These guidelines should take into account the foregoing recommendations. 86 7.2 RESOLVING THE NORMATIVE DEFICIENCIES Weaknesses in the flood management decision making process indicate that radical•changes are required i n the manner i n which flood management planning i s conducted i n Squamish and throughout the province. The following recommendations are based on theories of p o l i t i c a l and administrative behaviour, and are aimed at strengthening the i d e n t i f i e d weaknesses so that the normative ideals of democratic decision making can be achieved. It should be noted, however, that the recommendations are based on t h e o r e t i c a l ideals which require further research p r i o r to being implemented. 7.2.1 Increasing Representation In Chapter 6 we argued that the lack of adequate representation was primarily related to the fact that guidelines had not been established for designing a flood management plan or involving other agencies and the public i n the decision process. Consequently, interactions amongst concerned interests tended to occur i n a haphazard fashion a f t e r decisions had been made. According to our t h e o r e t i c a l framework, the decision powers of public agencies should be fragmented so that they can l i m i t and control one another. In our case study, decision powers were fragmented but there was no coordinating policy or law requiring o f f i c i a l s to i n t e r a c t and cooperate with one another. Without t h i s , Dahl and Lindblom (.1968) argue that o f f i c i a l s w i l l generally not inte r a c t . In l i g h t of these factors, the following recommendations should be considered for adoption: 1. M.O.E. should assume the primary r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for designing a decision process that assures p a r t i c i p a t i o n of a l l groups impacted by flood management decisions. 2. To ensure that a broad range of viewpoints are accounted for i n designing the decision process, input should be obtained at the outset from an advisory task force consisting of the public and concerned agencies. 3. To ensure that the proposed decision process i s e f f e c t i v e , i t should consist of at lea s t three key features. F i r s t , terms of reference should be established which outline how flood management decisions w i l l be made as well as the roles and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of the decision makers. Second, rules should be established which ensure that a l l agencies are given the opportunity to be informed of and to express th e i r views on proposed plans p r i o r to decisions being made. And t h i r d , members of the public should be provided with an equal opportunity to be informed of and to express th e i r views on proposed plans pr i o r to decisions being made. 7.2.2 Improving Information Our assessment indicates that the primary reason for inadequate information was that guidelines for evaluating and selecting flood management plans had never been established and since flood management o f f i c i a l s were not required to intera c t with other agencies, the views and ideals of those involved tended to dictate the nature of the information and evaluative techniques that were used i n selecting a plan. Deficiencies i n information were also related to agency budget and time 88 constraints. E a r l i e r , I argued that by making provisions for the expression of a wider range of preferences during the decision process, a broader range of alternatives and values as well as improved or innovative evaluation methods can be used to a s s i s t o f f i c i a l s i n making more informed judgements. To resolve the problem of inadequate information, M.O.E. o f f i c i a l s should consider the adoption of the following recommendations: 1. To ensure that decisions are based on good or adequate information, guidelines should be established which outline the type of analysis and"when i t should be used, to.evaluate proposed flood management projects. 2. To ensure that the c l a s s i c d e f i c i e n c i e s of cost-benefit analysis, as outlined e a r l i e r , are minimized, guidelines for conducting the analysis should be established. Reference should be made to e x i s t i n g guidelines set out by E.L.U.C, with s p e c i f i c reference to the following factors: a wide range of alternatives at d i f f e r e n t scales of adjustment should be evaluated; affected interests should be consulted i n i d e n t i f y i n g the categories of information that should be considered i n the evaluation; and the issue of measuring intangibles and dealing with uncertainty should be s p e c i f i c a l l y addressed. 3. To ensure that adequate resources are available to conduct a thorough analysis of flood manage-ment problems, some means of cost-sharing should be established amongst the three l e v e l s of government. 7.2.3 Improving E f f i c i e n c y The decision process was i n e f f i c i e n t primarily because the 89 relevant agencies were not required to coordinate t h e i r c o n f l i c t i n g program objectives and because there were no guidelines which stipulated the type of information that should be u t i l i z e d for evaluating flood management plans- Consequently, the process of negotiating compromises amongst c o n f l i c t i n g interests occurred i n such a fashion so as to unnecessarily delay the decision process and the information used to base decisions was either inadequate or nonexistent. According to our theory, because individuals tend to behave as s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d maximizers, o f f i c i a l s not required to intera c t w i l l do so only i f i t i s deemed to be i n t h e i r best int e r e s t . However, as indicated by our case study, such behaviour tends to encourage other interests to disrupt the decision process as a means of expressing t h e i r preferences and i n s t i t u t i n g changes. Lindblom (.1968) suggests that such problems can be resolved through the process of negotiation. According to Fox (1982) t h i s should involve a penetrating review of the problem by each participant which, i n turn, may change th e i r perceptions and i n i t i a l stand. Thus, i f agencies are required to i n t e r a c t and coordinate t h e i r services through the i n s t i t u t i o n of a decision process as e a r l i e r proposed, then there w i l l be less opportunity for o f f i c i a l s to adopt, inadvertantly or otherwise, independent courses of action that are counter-productive to achieving a c o l l e c t i v e goal. Furthermore, as previously proposed, by adopting guidelines for intergovernmental cost-sharing and for a s s i s t i n g o f f i c i a l s i n determining when a study should be conducted and the types of information and techniques that should be used to conduct an evaluation, the qual i t y of information used to make informed decisions should greatly improve. In conclusion, there i s no easy solution to improving the manner i n which we choose flood management strategies. 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UBC Theses and Dissertations
Evaluating public decision making : the Squamish flood management case Diehl, Randall Howard 1983
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