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The role of information in the development of floodplain policies : the Southlands case study Huhtala, Kari Edward 1988

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THE ROLE OF INFORMATION IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF FLOODPLAIN POLICIES: The Southlands Case Study By KARI EDWARD HUHTALA B.A., Simon Fraser Univers i ty , 1974 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS l n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES School of Community and Regional Planning We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA February, 1988 © Kan Edward Huhtala, 1988 RIVER SIDE LAND SIDE * 12' —» - V i KL- i . . . . . . . ' - ; ' - V V " - S - V - ' ' M - " ' C< - ' v - i l i s • FCL= 102.9 FEET CITY DATUM A RIP RAP B FILTER C FILL D T0PS0IL AND SEEDING E CRUSHED ROAD SURFACING HOTE : TH15 etAN 15 A CoNCc.PT OtVL^ . /HOT TO 3£ U S W p o K CON ST P.(A,CT LON APPENDIX II CITY OF VANCOUVER ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT FIGURE 7 - 5 IMPROVED DYKE SOUTHLANDS FLOODPROOFING STUDY 10 FEB .1986 W.D.C. F M F ST mm •S3 [fiJ <*ta 43 RO WE mi *4TH 8 • .. q] .5=" .4 S * MARINE OR 47 TH *T 48 TH »VE • THE ASSU&ES CORRECTNESS OF INFOFSAT^^ I l——1 me M l [ P"«. . . . . " I Q ** 1 H> W •) W •* 9^ L. I • n ) 49 TH *Vt , 40 TH M £7 etTY OF VANCOUVER ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT FIGURE 7-4b ROAD ELEVATIONS AND ELEVATIONS OF LOWER FLOORS SOUTHLANDS FLOODPROOFING STUDY a . . . . JB . • D o n [ D l a 1 j a ; i • o a C 3 51 ST mi »° • • i a n a 3 ulJc 3s • ] • • a £1 £H= a • ...0 • • < • CELTIC AVE -A • S 7 j r M _ * V E _ _ J f H -*0 NOTE I C I T Y O F V A N C O U V E R IS MO R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y F O " ^ C E T N E S S O F I N F O R M A T I O N S H O W N j| i' CITY OF VANCOUVER ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT FIGURE 7-40 ROAD ELEVATIONS AND ELEVATIONS OF LOWER FLOORS SOUTHLANDS FL00DPR00FING STUDY 0 A T r 6 FEB. 1986 DESIGN^ w (J.C. S C A L E 1 ° W G ' E.M.F. In presenting th i s thesis in pa r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t of the requirements fo r an advanced degree at the Universi ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t f ree ly avai lable fo r reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission fo r extensive copying of t h i s thesis fo r scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representat ives. I t i s understood that copying or publ icat ion of t h i s thesis fo r f inanc ia l gain shall not be allowed without my wr i t ten permission. School of Community and Regional Planning The Universi ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date: February 15, 1988 i i ABSTRACT Increasing development of f loodpla in lands has led to the need fo r government o f f i c i a l s to be more discerning about the qua l i ty and d i s t r i b u t i o n of f lood hazard information during the formulation of f loodplain management po l i c ies . This thesis examines the re la t ionship between f lood hazard awareness and the adoption of f loodpla in po l i c i es , and includes a case study in the Southlands area of the City of Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia. The research points to methods fo r improving the qua l i ty and d i s t r i b u t i o n of hazard information and education in the public decision-making process. A l i t e r a t u r e review of natural hazard research presents the avai lable evidence on the re la t ionship between hazard awareness and response, and general information pr inc ip les that should be followed in developing a successful hazard advisory program. The thesis presents the necessary information to understand the f u l l range of f lood adjustment measures avai lable to deal wi th f lood hazard, as well as the formal i n s t i t u t i o n a l and l e g i s l a t i v e framework and government programs that a f fec t f lood management decisions in the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia and City of Vancouver. Background information on the study area i s provided, including i t s loca t ion , f lood hazard, h istory of f lood management and the planning program used to develop f loodpla in management po l i c ies . i i i The empirical research involved interviews of government o f f i c i a l s and a survey of f loodpla in residents in the Southlands area to establ ish f lood-re la ted perceptions. The f indings from the interviews and surveys are integrated to demonstrate the perceptions of the government's and community's awareness of f lood r i sk and responses as a resu l t of information that has been provided as part of the Southlands Local Area Planning Program. Recommendations are made fo r improvements in information approaches that could be used in future f lood management programs. TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i i TABLE OF CONTENTS . . iv LIST OF TABLES v i i LIST OF FIGURES . . v i i i APPENDICES ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS x CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1 1.1 RESEARCH FOCUS 1 1.2 RESEARCH PROBLEM 1 1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 4 1.4 RESEARCH OUTLINE 5 CHAPTER 2 HAZARD AWARENESS AND RESPONSE - A LITERATURE REVIEW . 7 2.1 INTRODUCTION 7 2.2 HAZARD AWARENESS AND RESPONSE . . . . . 7 2.3 HAZARD EXPERIENCE 10 2.4 HAZARD EDUCATION 13 2.5 CONCLUSION 18 CHAPTER 3 FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT ADJUSTMENTS 22 3.1 INTRODUCTION 22 3.2. FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT .• 22 3.3 STRUCTURAL MEASURES 24 3.3.1 Engineering Schemes 25 3.3.2 Flood Abatement Schemes 27 3.3.3 Floodproofing Schemes 27 3.4 NON-STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENTS 29 3.5 CONCLUSION 33 CHAPTER 4 INSTITUTIONAL DECISION-MAKING FRAMEWORK FOR FLOOD MANAGEMENT DECISIONS 35 4.1 INTRODUCTION 35 4.2 INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK IN CANADA 35 4.3 FEDERAL REGULATIONS AND PROGRAMS 36 4.3.1 Federal Regulations 36 4.3.2 Federal Programs 38 4.4 PROVINCIAL REGULATIONS AND PROGRAMS 40 4.4.1 Provincial Regulations 40 4.4.2 Provincial Programs 42 V Page 4.5 CITY OF VANCOUVER 43 4.5.1 City Regulations 43 4.5.2 City Programs 44 4.6 CONCLUSION 44 CHAPTER 5 SOUTHLANDS: THE CASE STUDY 46 5.1 INTRODUCTION 46 5.2. LOCATION AND GEOGRAPHY 46 5.3 FLOOD HAZARD 52 5.3.1 High Tides/Winds 52 5.3.2 Runoff 53 5.3.3 Environmental Factor - Probabi l i ty 54 5.4 HISTORY OF FLOOD MANAGEMENT TO 1 984 55 5.4.1 Early Responses to the Flood Hazard 55 5.4.2 The 1948 Flood 57 5.4.3 1965 Land f i l l i ng (Floodproofing) Policy 57 5.4.4 1972 Waterfront Walkway and Dyking Study 58 5.4.5 1974 Provincial Floodproofing Policy 62 5.4.6 The L i a b i l i t y of the Ci ty of Vancouver 67 5.5. SOUTHLANDS FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 67 5.5.1 The Beginning 68 5.5.2 Southlands Local Area Planning 69 5.5.3 The Floodplain Management Program 71 5.6 CONCLUSION 74 CHAPTER 6 FLOOD RELATED PERCEPTIONS OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS 77 6.1 INTRODUCTION 77 6.2 BACKGROUND 77 6.3 METHODOLOGY 78 6.4 PRESENTATION OF INTERVIEW RESULTS 79 6.5 ANALYSIS OF GOVERNMENT PERCEPTIONS 96 6.5.1 Awareness of the Flood Hazard 98 6.5.2 Understanding of Flood Adjustment Measures 99 6.5.3 Delivery of Flood Hazard Information 99 6.5.4 Observations in Terms of the Iden t i f i ed Hazard Information Pr incip les 101 6.5.5 Summary 104 6.6 CONCLUSION 105 CHAPTER 7 FLOOD RELATED PERCEPTIONS OF SOUTHLANDS RESIDENTS 107 7.1 METHODOLOGY 107 7.2 QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS 108 7.2.1 Pro f i l e of the Respondent 109 7.2.2 Flood Experience I l l vi Page 7.2.3 Home Purchase in Southlands 112 7.2.4 Flood Hazard in Southlands 113 7.2.5 Knowledge About Floodplain Management in Southlands . . 116 7.2.6 Perception of A l ternat ive Flood Adjustment Measures . . 118 7.2.7 Government Information About Flood Matters 119 7.3 ANALYSIS OF RESIDENT PERCEPTIONS 124 7.3.1 Awareness of the Flood Hazard 125 7.3.2 Understanding of Flood Adjustment Measures 126 7.3.3 Delivery of Flood Hazard Information 127 7.3.4 Observations in Terms of the Iden t i f i ed Hazard Information Principles 128 7.3.5 Summary 131 7.4 CONCLUSION 133 CHAPTER 8 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 135 8.1 INTRODUCTION 135 8.2 RESEARCH CONCLUSIONS 135 8.3 RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS 139 BIBLIOGRAPHY 142 LIST OF TABLES Table 1 : Committee Membership/Area Representation 110 Table 2: Age, Education, and Occupation I l l Table 3: Flood Experience 112 Table 4: Home Purchase in Southlands 113 Table 5: Flood Hazard Perception in Southlands 114 Table 6: Resident Measures to Reduce Flood Damage 114 Table 7: Home Insurance 115 Table 8: Flood Warning System 116 Table 9: Knowledge About Floodplain Management in Southlands . . . . 117 Table 10: Support fo r Floodplain Management Measures 118 Table 11: Perception of Flood Adjustment Measures 119 Table 12: Awareness of City Report on Flood Management in Southlands 121 Table 13: Information on Flood Protection 122 Table 14: Government Performance in Communicating Flood Hazard Information 123 v i i i LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 : Southlands Local Area 47 Figure 2: Southlands ALRT, Floodplain, and Zoning 48 Figure 3: Southlands Sub-Areas 49 Figure 4: Southlands Land Use 51 Figure 5: Ownership of the Dykes in Southlands 56 Figure 6: Street Elevations West Southlands 59 Figure 7: Street Elevations Blenheim Flats 60 Figure 8: Improved Dyke 63 Figure 9: Proposed Floodproofing 64 APPENDICES ix Appendix A: Southlands Floodplain Management Program Terms of Reference: 1 5 2 Engineering Department's Concerns Relating to Flood Problems, and Their Solutions Appendix B: Southlands Floodplain Management Program Terms of Reference: 156 Task Force's Non-Engineering Agenda in Floodplain Management Appendix C: Vancouver City Council Approved Recommendations Regarding 162 Floodproofing in Southlands Appendix D: Vancouver City Council Approved Recommendations Regarding 166 Dyking in Southlands Appendix E: Let ter I n v i t i n g Government O f f i c i a l s to Par t ic ipate in the 169 Southlands Interview Survey Appendix F: Samples of Published Senior Government Handouts on Flood 1 7 2 Hazard Information Appendix G: A Copy of a City Engineering Hazard Advisory Let ter 177 Dist r ibuted to the Southlands Residents in Early 1987. Appendix H: Let ter of Introduct ion and Questionnaire Dis t r ibuted to the 179 Southlands Floodplain Residents X ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to express my appreciation to Prof. Tony Dorcey and Dr. David Ley for t h e i r assistance and guidance throughout the development of t h i s thes is . Special thanks i s due also to Ted Sebastian fo r his advice and comments on the various d r a f t s . I am also indebted to Rosalyn Reely, who typed the ongoing changes to the document, thus ensuring a high degree of excellence in the f i na l d r a f t . F ina l ly and most important ly, I would l i k e to acknowledge Lynda Cha l l i s , whose unwavering support and patience made the completion of t h i s thesis possible and the rea l i za t ion of my Masters degree a r e a l i t y . 1. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 RESEARCH FOCUS This thesis examines the re la t ionship between f lood hazard awareness and the adoption of f loodpla in po l ic ies and includes a case study in the Southlands local area of the Ci ty of Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia. The or ig ina l research fo r t h i s involved interviewing government o f f i c i a l s at the c i t y , provincial and federal levels and surveying f loodpla in residents in Southlands to determine the awareness of f lood r i sk and f lood adjustment measures. The resul ts lead to general recommendations for improving the effectiveness of information del ivery in other f lood hazard advisory programs. 1 .2 RESEARCH PROBLEM The City of Vancouver recent ly adopted f loodpla in po l ic ies in the Southlands area which recommend t r a d i t i o n a l s t ructura l measures, such as f loodproof ing and dyking to reduce f lood damage. However, i t i s clear from studies done in the United States, that even wi th s t ruc tura l measures, a substantial residual f lood hazard continues to e x i s t . Structural measures tend to generate the perception that the f lood hazard has been el iminated, thus encouraging more development in the areas protected by these measures. As a r e s u l t , more property can be put at r i sk of major f looding and addit ional adjustments to the f lood hazard may be necessary (Smith, 1979). 2. The present planning process in Vancouver did not appear to recognize th i s p o s s i b i l i t y , largely because the government o f f i c i a l s charged wi th the respons ib i l i t y fo r developing f loodpla in po l ic ies were not aware of e i ther the f lood r i sk or the range of a l te rnat ive f lood adjustment measures. Randall D ieh l 's thesis "Evaluating Public Decision Making: The Squamish Flood Management Case" (1983) concluded that the primary reason fo r governments not considering a l te rna t i ve responses to the f lood hazard was the inadequacy of hazard information d i s t r i b u t i o n as part of the decision-making process. The study noted that government o f f i c i a l s involved in the development of f lood management po l ic ies were not required to in te rac t wi th other agencies, thereby the l im i ted views and speci f ic ideals of those involved tended to d ic ta te the nature of the information techniques that were used in select ing a f lood adjustment approach. Gordon Shank's thesis "The Role of Perception in Flood Plain Management" (1972) showed that the development of f loodpla in po l ic ies may be studied by examining the decision-making process with respect to perception of the f lood hazard and a l te rna t ive adjustments to the hazard. The study showed tha t government o f f i c i a l s are aware of the hazard but do not adequately consider non-structural adjustments (e .g . public r e l i e f funds, f lood insurance, f loodpla in zoning). The study also showed that the general public i s poorly informed and thus shows l i t t l e concern about the f lood hazard s i t u a t i o n . The resul ts indicated that perception of the hazard i s a major fac tor in the adjustment adoption process. I t 3. concluded that change in decision-makers' perceptions w i l l be necessary to br ing about a change in the planning pract ice with respect to f loodpla in management. Clear ly , i f bet ter decisions are to be achieved, government o f f i c i a l s need to be more discerning about the qua l i ty and d i s t r i b u t i o n of information provided as part of any f lood management program. Although avai lable in many forms and from many sources, such information unfortunately i s neither of uniform qua l i ty nor avai lable f o r a l l areas. Improved f lood hazard information can t rans late in to under-standing of not only the nature of the f lood r isk but also the f u l l range of f lood adjustment measures to respond to that r i s k . Better information on the r isk of f lood hazard and on the a l te rna t i ve approaches to deal with that r i sk can also help to t rans late the hazard in to terms that st imulate appropriate local understanding, support and act ion. This thesis extends previous research by examining the publ ic (government) and the pr ivate (resident) perceptions about f lood r i sk in a local area planning program tha t evolved as a means of ensuring resident wishes are carr ied through to pol icy decisions. The research points to methods fo r improving the qua l i ty and d i s t r i b u t i o n of public decision-making and fur ther research in the formulation of f loodpla in management decisions. 4. 1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES The object ives of t h i s study are: • to determine whether a re la t ionsh ip exists between the awareness of f lood hazard and the consequent adoption of f lood hazard adjustment measures; • to describe and explain the f loodp la in management po l ic ies pract iced by the various levels of government operating in B r i t i s h Columbia and compare these wi th the range of possible adjustments that are avai lable to deal wi th a f lood hazard s i tua t ion in North America; o to i d e n t i f y the decision-making scheme that i s u t i l i z e d by government o f f i c i a l s in developing a strategy to resolve the f loodpla in hazards in the Southlands Local Area Planning Program; • to assess the qua l i ty and d i s t r i b u t i o n of information presented in the Southlands Local Area Planning Program in developing f loodpla in management po l i c i es ; and • to recommend changes in pol icy fo r improving the effect iveness of hazard advisory information in fu ture f lood management programs. 5. 1 .4 RESEARCH OUTLINE The f i r s t chapter introduces the research focus, the problem, the object ives and out l ine of t h i s study. The l i t e r a t u r e on natural hazard research is reviewed in Chapter 2 to determine f i r s t , the avai lable evidence on the re la t ionship between hazard awareness and the consequent adoption of adjustment measures, and second, the general pr inc ip les tha t should be followed in developing a successful hazard advisory program. Chapters 3 through 5 provide information necessary to understand the speci f ic area and program studied in t h i s thes is . Chapter 3 describes the f u l l range of responses cur rent ly being used by governments to deal with f lood hazard. The formal l e g i s l a t i v e and i n s t i t u t i o n a l framework and government programs that a f fec t f lood management decisions in the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia and the City of Vancouver are described in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 introduces the study area, Southlands, in terms of i t s locat ion and geography, f lood hazard, h is tory of f lood management, and the planning program used to develop f loodproof ing measures. The empirical research associated wi th the thesis i s presented in Chapters 6 and 7. Chapter 6 describes the f lood-re la ted perceptions of the government o f f i c i a l s d i r e c t l y involved wi th f loodpla in management, as defined by personal interv iews. Chapter 7 focuses on the resul ts of a questionnaire which established the perceptions of the af fected 6. f loodpla in residents in Southlands, including those involved in the Southlands Local Area Planning Program. The f indings are in tegrated, demonstrating the perceptions of the government's and community's awareness of f lood r isk and responses through the information that has been provided as part of the Southlands f loodpla in management program. Chapter 8 draws conclusions from the study f indings by i den t i f y i ng areas where improvements in information approaches can be made in fu ture f lood management programs. 7. CHAPTER 2 HAZARD AWARENESS AND RESPONSE: A LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter reviews the l i t e r a t u r e on natural hazard research in order t o : • determine the avai lable evidence on the re lat ionship between hazard awareness and response, and the consequent adoption of adjustment measures; and e iden t i f y the general p r inc ip les that should be followed in developing a successful hazard advisory program. 2.2 HAZARD AWARENESS AND RESPONSE I t i s considered by many natural hazard researchers that by fa r the most e f fec t i ve method of in f luencing responses to the threat of natural hazards i s by providing information to the public on the hazard r isk and on possible adjustment measures. Clearly there are two causal l i nks in t h i s argument: f i r s t , that information leads to awareness, and second, that awareness leads to behavioural change (ac t ion) . This l i n k i s not perfect and must be real ized in designing any hazard advisory program. 8. Unfortunately, in r e a l i t y , the pr inc ipa l problem in dealing wi th natural hazards i s that information does not necessarily lead to learn ing, nor to the awareness of a r i sk and the subsequent adoption of adjustment measures. There are a number of studies that have revealed f a i l e d connections between education and awareness, and between awareness and behaviour. Two such reviews were undertaken by Saarinen (1979) and M i le t i e t a l . (1975). There are a host of other studies which not only explore the ef f icacy of education e f f o r t s in ra is ing awareness, but go on to consider the fu r ther l i n k to behaviour. Here too , the resul ts are negative. Baker (1980) reported the f u t i l i t y of publ ic awareness programs in increasing hurricane evacuations. Handmer (1979) studying the e f fec ts on residents ' perception of f lood hazard through the public d i s t r i b u t i o n of maps del ineat ing f lood zones fo r increasing hazard awareness - -indicated that the e f f o r t had no e f fec t on people's a t t i tudes towards f loods, and no success in heightening f lood awareness. S im i la r l y , Palm (1979) surveying the condit ion of earthquake hazard awareness on house purchases, and Motz (1983) studying the development of housing on f loodpla in lands, found that the disclosure by se l lers of hazards such as earthquakes or f loods had no e f fec t on home select ion. This was because other considerations such as s ize, archi tectura l s t y l e , and locat ion are seen to be much more important. In a competition with such fac to rs , hazard r i s k s , even i f known, are dismissed as immaterial . However, i t should be noted that sometimes, under cer ta in condi t ions, and i f properly executed, information may lead to awareness and awareness may influence behaviour. There i s a developing sophist icat ion in determining the circumstances under which the causal sequence of in format ion, awareness and resu l t ing behavioural change holds real promise. Waterstone (1979), in a study to determine the effectiveness of informational brochures on increasing awareness of natural hazards and changing behaviour, reported that p r i o r f lood experience, as well as having received informat ion, seemed to inf luence both hazard awareness and hazard adjustment behaviour. In a study on hurricane awareness and protect ive responses, Ruch (1978) undertook to assess the effectiveness of the Texas Hurricane Awareness Program which has used rad io , te lev is ion and mailed brochures. He reported f ind ing both s i g n i f i c a n t l y increased knowledge of hurricanes and higher response in those who had received the brochure. I t i s c lear from these examples tha t there are important variables which inf luence the effectiveness of any awareness program ( i e . hazard experience and hazard education). While evidence exis ts supporting the l i n k between hazard awareness and responses, there i s also evidence documenting the f a i l u r e of such educational e f f o r t s . The fo l lowing sections on hazard experience and hazard education i den t i f y the factors that may inf luence behaviour change in coping with natural hazards. 10. 2.3 HAZARD EXPERIENCE As the l i t e r a t u r e ind icates, hazard experience i s only sometimes e f fec t i ve in evoking subsequent adjustment measures, and usually only for short periods. There i s a considerable l i t e r a t u r e to support t h i s condit ional re la t ionship between experience and preventative response. The fo l lowing studies on response to hurricanes document the range of f ind ings . Baker and Patton (1974) invest igated the re la t ionsh ip between a t t i tudes towards hurricanes and hurricane adjustments in three c i t i e s wi th d i f f e r e n t hurricane h i s to r i es . They found that experience with the hazard was strongly related to preventative act ions. On the other hand, Carter, Clark and Leik (1979), i n a study on hurricane warnings and preparedness, found that p r i o r experience in hazard s i tuat ions did not enhance e i ther preparedness or evacuation under warning. Two fur ther studies explain the evacuation f ind ing j u s t noted. Carter (1979), i n a three year study on response to hazard warnings, discovered that people without hurricane experience w i l l evacuate e a r l i e r than those who have experienced a hurricane. The l a t t e r group awaits to ta l confirmation of the necessity fo r evacuation. Clark and Carter (1980) support t h i s f i n d i n g , noting that experience wi th hurricanes w i l l raise threshold leve ls , that i s , the point i n time when one i s sa t i s f i ed wi th the information d ic ta t ing evacuation, and thus delay ac t ion . The same range of resul ts i s found in research throughout the natural hazard l i t e r a t u r e . Moline (1974) in a study on f lood perception and 11. local planning, found no s ign i f i can t dif ferences in the perception of the f lood hazard between 1970 and 1971 even though a f lood had occurred in the ear ly months of 1971. Yet Waterstone (1979), studying hazard mi t iga t ion behaviour of urban f loodp la in residents, reported t h a t , "the single factor i d e n t i f i e d as an important predictor of hazard awareness in a l l three populations was p r i o r hazard experience " (p. 39). Even more important, i t was p r io r hazard experience that was also one of the two most successful predictors of f lood protect ion behaviour. Those who have been seriously flooded are more l i k e l y to take indiv idual f loodproof ing act ion than those who have been less seriously flooded (Preston, Taylor, and Hodge 1983). This f ind ing was supported by Preston et a l . (1983) and Laska (1986) in t he i r study of homeowners taking f loodproof ing act ion. In his discussion of the l i n k between pr io r hazard experience and subsequent protect ion measures, Saarinen (1979) speculates on the unevenness of the f ind ings . Because severe natural hazards such as hurricanes, earthquakes or f loods are rare, i t i s un l ike ly that even those who have hazard experience have enough knowledge to serve as a basis fo r e f fec t i ve decision-making. To quote Saarinen's example of th i s po in t : " . . . i n invest igat ions fo l lowing Hurricane Camille, which struck the Mississippi coast i n 1969, i t was found that many people assessed t h e i r safety according to memories of an e a r l i e r smaller storm which struck in 1947. This may have been a fa ta l mistake fo r many . . . t r y i n g to r ide out the storm in a residence near the water f ront " , (p. 2) 12. The point i s that people can be misled by t h e i r experience because that experience i s l im i ted or biased; i t does not const i tu te an adequate sample of the real hazard r i s k . The frequency of an experience i s also important in determining i t s inf luence. Thus, Dexter (1977), attempting to discover why some f loodpla in residents adopt f loodproof ing while others do not, found a major reason to be the frequency of f lood experience the homeowners had suf fered. Research by McPherson and Saarinen (1977) on the potent ia l for homeowner par t i c ipa t ion in f lood adjustment suggested that residents are apathetic and unwi l l ing to assume respons ib i l i t y fo r so lu t ions, especial ly a f te r longer periods have elapsed since the most recent f looding (Sheaffer and Roland 1979). Disasters were found to be low on the agenda of everyone involved, inc luding the homeowner (Burby and French 1980; Rossi, Wright, and Weber-Burdin 1982; Drabek, Taminga, and K i l i janek 1983). Kates (1962) concluded that where f looding was so common as to convince residents o f i t s inev i tab le fu ture occurrence, adjustments were almost cer ta in to be adopted. But in areas where floods were rare and less predic tab le, adjustments were un l ike ly to be adopted. Research by Sheaffer and Roland (1979) and Kreps (1984) noted that residents during the f i r s t year or so a f te r being flooded were c lear ly interested in adjustment measures. Af ter t ha t , however, t h e i r i n te res t quickly decl ines. Laska (1986) added that residents who experienced a second f lood tended to be less l i k e l y to take emergency act ion and pay 13. more taxes toward f lood adjustment measures, such as dyking. They were more w i l l i n g to undertake f loodproof ing of t he i r houses. I t i s c lear that the l i nk between experience and behaviour i s not c lear . Sometimes i t does not e x i s t , and in other instances, the experience can resu l t in a mistaken assessment of r i s k . Man i s educable and experience can teach, but as the studies reviewed in t h i s section emphasize, the process i s involved and complicated. I t can, however, be concluded that experience with severe natural hazards, such as f lood ing, motivates residents to take protect ive ac t ion , but does not raise ant ic ipa t ion of future r i sk . The more severe natural hazards which do not occur often are less l i k e l y to be known. Therefore, experience usually underestimates longer term r i s k . 2.4 HAZARD EDUCATION What influences the response to natural hazards? This section attempts to answer t h i s question by b r i e f l y documenting the importance of hazard informat ion, and then i l l u s t r a t e s important facets of an e f fec t i ve education program design. A number of studies indicate that residents who are at r isk from natural hazards and are considering actions to reduce future damage have scant knowledge about the causes of hazards (Turner et a l . 1980) and that t h e i r view of solut ions i s r e s t r i c t e d mostly to s t ructura l measures (McPherson and Saarinen 1977). Several disaster researchers have advocated increasing education and information about f lood hazards, both 14. to inform residents about future r i sk and give them a basis fo r taking act ion (Goddard 1986; Cross 1985; Turner 1983). Burby (1986) found that the existence of education and information programs i s the second strongest predictor (a f te r f lood experience) of property owner compliance wi th f loodpla in management po l i c ies . Increased information would also give residents a greater sense of e f f icacy in coping wi th hazards (White 1972) and promote more rat ional behaviour. I t has been pointed out by Sheaffer e t a l . (1979) that the lack of information about possible measures works against f lood adjustment or m i t i ga t i on . The issue of what influences the response to natural hazards, revolves around the factors in an education program that convince people of the r e a l i t y of the th rea t . A review of the l i t e r a t u r e indicates that there are a number of important points raised by disaster researchers, scattered throughout the natural hazard f i e l d , that should be considered in the design of a hazard advisory program. F i r s t , information must be c lear . There are several studies on hazard awareness and protect ive measures, that found people using those sources which give information c lear ly and easi ly (Clark and Carter 1980; Saarinen 1979; Laska 1986). Second, information should not only warn, i t should spell out the desired response. Davenport and Waterstone (1979), in a useful guide book for awareness e f fo r t s recommended that the e f fec t i ve message i s one that provides a pos i t ive solut ion to the problem. In a major study of f lood evacuation and emergency preparedness, Perry et a l . (1980) demonstrated a s ign i f i can t re la t ionsh ip between compliance with an evacuation warning and the presence of an evacuation plan. 15. Thi rd, information (or an education program) must be perceived as emanating from a credible source (Goddard 1985; Saarinen and Sell 1985). In his study on Hurricane Elo ise, Baker (1979) reported that a credible person making the announcement would have improved the evacuees' re locat ion ra te . Perry e t a l . (1980) concluded that potent ia l f lood evacuees perceive a f lood threat as more s ign i f i can t i f the warning i s given by a credible au thor i t y . Fourth, information effect iveness i s increased i f re inforced soc ia l ly and loca l l y (Kartez 1984). In Dexter's (1977) work on f loodproof ing, he found tha t e f f o r t s to promote f loodproof ing were enhanced i f a person knew other residents, f r iends , and family members were making such adjustments. Kunreuther et a l . (1978) reported that the knowledge that others have f lood insurance i s a factor in ra is ing the p robab i l i t y of someone buying insurance. Through local word of mouth, actions are repeated. This was found to be p a r t i c u l a r l y t rue in P h i l l i p s ' study (1979) examining the process of information d i f fus ion concerning the Residential Rehabi l i ta t ion Assistance Program wi th in an e thn ica l l y mixed inner c i t y neighbourhood of Vancouver. F ina l ly Young et a l . (1979) in research on the response to earthquake th rea t , reported tha t while people get information from the media, that information i s given meaning and importance through i t being processed by f r iends and neighbours. F i f t h , information effectiveness depends upon the medium of communication used (Wenger e t a l . 1980). Disaster researchers have argued tha t more at tent ion should be paid to the role of mass media in hazard planning and response. Davenport and Waterstone (1979) stated that for hazard informat ion, te lev is ion i s more e f fec t i ve than radio and 16. t h a t , as wi th commercials, prime time is the best t ime. In the Mount St. Helens d isaster , public information meetings and face to face communication were e f fec t ive means of presenting the f u l l impl icat ions of t h i s pa r t i cu la r geological event to the affected residents (Saarinen, Seamon and Sell 1984). Kartez (1984) reported that information to affected residents was much more accurate where government representatives were able to meet d i r e c t l y with media personnel. There is agreement that a var ie ty of media should be used as each has i t s own impact (Christensen and Ruch, 1978). S ix th , the type of appeal made by the information must be assessed. The use of threat (or f e a r ) , so common to hazard messages (both educational and advisory) , i s often misguided. For example, Higbee (1969) reviewed 15 years of studies on the e f fec t of threat appeals. He reported that the effectiveness of hazard information depends upon a number of factors including the character is t ics of the people being threatened, the nature of the recommendation being made a f te r the threat and whether the threat is of a high or low l e v e l . Christensen (1979) suggests that hazard campaigns should take a two-step approach: "The general ongoing media campaigns should be pos i t i ve ly oriented and designed to enhance public awareness about disasters including such items as speci f ic appropriate responses to . . . provide the added motivation to take the appropriate ac t ion . " (p. 18) 17. Seventh, information effectiveness i s increased i f i t i s undertaken on a cooperative basis between a l l the levels of government (Laska 1986). Natural hazards, such as f loods, cross many j u r i s d i c t i o n s . Most times local governments are i l l - s u i t e d geographical ly, f i s c a l l y and lega l l y to implement adjustment measures beyond t h e i r corporate boundaries. Inter-governmental information programs w i l l increase the effectiveness of communication in determining the appropriate f loodpla in management po l ic ies fo r an area or a region (Burby 1986). This conclusion was reinforced by Saarinen and Sell (1985) in t h e i r survey of public o f f i c i a l s involved in the emergency response to the Mount St. Helen's erupt ions. Eighth, the information should be spec i f i ca l l y targeted to the popula t ion-at - r isk (Saarinen and Sell 1985). Burby and French (1981) noted that because the local context has a major impact on the effectiveness of f loodpla in management p o l i c i e s , care must be taken to use those methods that work best i n each local circumstance. They suggested that a good understanding of the area affected i s essential before any discussion on possible adjustment measures i s i n i t i a t e d . Last ly , the role of government o f f i c i a l s can great ly determine the extent to which hazard information programs are e f fec t ive (Carter, Clark and Leik 1979; Torry 1978; Anderson 1969). This includes the capab i l i t i es and qua l i f i ca t ions of the o f f i c i a l s responsible for implementing programs, as well as t h e i r perception of the r i s k , the range and effectiveness of hazard adjustment measures, and t h e i r re la t ionship wi th other government agencies. In a l l types of flood-prone communities there i s a c lear need fo r more f loodpla in management t ra in ing in f lood hazard adjustment measures (Burby 1986). 18. Hazard loca t ion , adjustment a l te rnat ives and emergency information response should a l l be included in such a program. I t can be concluded that more residents might support f lood adjustment measures in the desired area, i f an education and information program about f lood hazards were i n i t i a t e d by government. I t i s evident from the l i t e r a t u r e that support has not been forthcoming where residents have not been informed or where they have not seen adjustment measures as being relevant to them. I t i s c lear that planning programs that emphasize resident involvement become more v iab le , because they can bet ter accommodate local needs and problem-solving sty les and t h e i r actions can be more t imely. Because the development of f loodpla in po l ic ies requires the cooperation of a l l three levels of government, i t i s un l ike ly that one level of government can succeed alone in get t ing residents involved. Al l levels of government w i l l have to work together to develop mutually supportive e f f o r t s to involve the affected f loodpla in residents. 2.5 CONCLUSION The preceding l i t e r a t u r e review has shown that the factors involved in e f f o r t s to get residents to take protect ive measures against natural hazards are many and the i r in te r re la t ionsh ips complex. Clearly much can be accomplished i f the work is sophist icated and wel l - informed, but i t should be acknowledged that the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of hazard education are l i m i t e d . There i s convincing evidence that some factors involved in determining public response w i l l continue to be uncontro l lable. Man's 19. r a t i o n a l i t y i s constrained, not only by the innate weakness of processing informat ion, but also by human personal i ty , values, a t t i tudes and be l ie fs (Slovic et a l . 1980). Contrary to conventional wisdom, the fac t that an indiv idual i s aware of the r isk of a natural hazard and the range of possible adjustment measures i s no guarantee that an indiv idual w i l l act upon that informat ion. Based upon a review of the l i t e r a t u r e , the avai lable evidence i s mixed on the re la t ionsh ip between awareness of knowledge and the consequent adoption of hazard adjustment measures. I t can only be concluded tha t information may lead to behaviour change under highly speci f ied condit ions i f properly executed wi th speci f ic ta rge ts . Although the research on hazard education covers a range of natural hazards ( i . e . hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and f l oods) , i t i s possible to i den t i f y the fo l lowing general pr inc ip les that should be pert inent to any f lood hazard advisory program: • Information should spec i f i ca l l y i d e n t i f y the target populat ion, t h e i r a t t i t udes , be l ie fs and values, as well as the socio-economic character is t ics of the popu la t ion-a t - r i sk . 9 Information should be spec i f ic to the res ident 's pa r t i cu la r s i t u a t i o n . The more personal the informat ion, the higher the l i ke l ihood of adoption. 20. • Information dissemination should be considered as an important factor a f fec t ing the adoption and implementation of f lood adjustment measures. • Information on the r isk of the hazard and the range of possible f lood adjustment measures should be provided. • Information must be c lear , every e f f o r t should be made to reduce the ambiguity in the message. • Information content should not only be c lear , in format ive, and provide d i r e c t i o n , but serious consideration must be given to the type of appeal (eg. to what extent should the program emphasize fear or pos i t ive act ion?). • Information programs should be designed to encourage social reinforcement especial ly at the local l e v e l . • Information must emanate from a credib le source. 0 Government o f f i c i a l s involved in the development of f loodpla in po l ic ies should be trained in hazard i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , a l te rna t i ve adjustment measures and emergency response. • Information d i s t r i b u t i o n should be undertaken in cooperation with a l l levels of government. 21. I t i s evident from t h i s l i t e r a t u r e review, that a comprehensive program of f lood hazard information i s a prerequis i te to sound f loodpla in management. The purpose of the subsequent chapters w i l l be to evaluate the effectiveness of the City of Vancouver's hazard advisory program in Southlands in informing the public on f lood hazard and a l te rnat ive adjustment measures, based on the above noted education p r inc ip les . 22. CHAPTER 3 FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT ADJUSTMENTS 3.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter presents the range of responses current ly being used by governments to deal wi th f lood hazard. In subsequent chapters, these measures w i l l be compared t o : • f loodpla in po l ic ies as adopted by the various levels of government in B r i t i s h Columbia; and • the range of choices being discussed by the Southlands Local Area Planning Program in i t s development of f loodpla in po l i c i es . 3.2 FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT Floodplain management seeks to reduce the damaging e f fec ts of f loods, preserve and enhance the natural environment, and provide fo r balanced use of land and water resources w i th in the f loodpla in ( U.S. Water Resources Council 1981). Balanced use of f loodplains i s rare ly attained because of the d i f f i c u l t i e s in measuring the benef i ts and costs of f loodpla in uses and in quant i fy ing the f lood hazard. Floodplains cannot be developed while avoiding exposure to f lood losses and maintaining the value associated with t h e i r natural s ta te . In North America, the extent of development on f loodplains var ies. Some f loodplains are developed in tens ive ly , p a r t i c u l a r l y in large population centers along the coasts. Other f loodpla in lands are developed for agr icu l ture or remain in a r e l a t i v e l y natural s ta te . The trend in most urban areas, as in the Lower Mainland, has been toward fur ther and more intensive development of f loodplains to meet the needs of a growing populat ion. There are many ways to reduce f lood losses and protect the natural values of the f loodp la in . They d i f f e r with respect to how they work, what they cost , and the type of problem fo r which they are su i ted . According to Burby (1986), successful management of the f loodpla in generally requires the coordinated use of several approaches, selected according to the speci f ic needs of the community. The range of adjustments that have been u t i l i z e d as a part of f loodpla in management can be divided in to two broad categories. F i r s t , s t ructura l measures, which are engineering works designed to control the physical charac ter is t ics of f lood waters. Second, non-structural adjustments, the essent ia l ly behavioural measures which re ly on some form of pre-planned action by f loodpla in residents. The range of s t ructura l measures and non-structural adjustments are out l ined below. The source of the fo l lowing information on f lood management measures i s from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Water Resources Council, American Society of Planning O f f i c i a l s , and U.S. Corps of Engineers. 24. 3.3 STRUCTURAL MEASURES The most common response to f looding problems has been the construct ion of large-scale s t ructura l measures, such as dams and dyking systems, which confine f lood waters to cer ta in areas. This approach was followed to such an extent, pa r t i cu la r l y in the United States during the 1930s, that s t ructura l measures became a synonym fo r f lood pro tec t ion. Before summarizing these measures, i t should be made clear that complete control of f lood waters is imprac t ica l . Even with tremendous capi ta l investment, i t i s v i r t u a l l y impossible to provide to ta l protect ion from f lood ing. Instead, s t ructura l measures a l t e r the frequency and magnitude of f lood events. The degree of protect ion of fered by a structure i s normally determined during the design and planning stages of the pro jec t . Natura l ly , i f a storm frequency or surface water runoff rate of greater magnitude than ant ic ipated by the design standards of the pro ject occurs, the structure w i l l be e i ther p a r t i a l l y over-topped or i t w i l l f a i l completely and f looding w i l l r esu l t . As a consequence, there i s a general tendency for s t ruc tura l measures to create a false sense of secur i ty among "protected" residents because the concept of "design standards" i s seldom widely communicated or generally understood. The design standard term is commonly used to mean the magnitude of f lood used for design and operation of f lood control s t ructures. 25. Structural measures can be organized in to three sub-groups: • engineering schemes, which depend on speci f ic f lood control works constructed on a var ie ty of scales; • abatement schemes, which attempt to control f lood flows by land-use management during the upstream phase of run -o f f ; and • f loodproof ing schemes, which o f fe r protect ion to indiv idual bui ldings on the f loodp la in . Each of these sub-groups can be u t i l i z e d ind iv idua l l y or in combination. They are out l ined below. 3.3.1 Engineering Schemes Engineering schemes to a l l ev ia te f lood problems are of four basic types. They include: dams and storage reservo i rs ; dyking; channel a l t e ra t i ons ; and storm sewer systems. Dams and storage reservoirs capture and temporari ly hold floodwaters upstream of flood-prone areas. Excess water i s gradually released a f te r the f lood threat has passed. This measure i s most f requently used on small and moderate sized streams. The protect ion afforded by t h i s measure i s greatest in the area immediately downstream, and i t s effectiveness i s reduced fu r ther downstream by flows from t r i b u t a r i e s and by runoff from lands draining d i r e c t l y in to the stream. Dams are also used in the management of coastal f loodplains by preventing storm surges from t r a v e l l i n g upstream and f looding inland areas. The high 26. t ide bar r ie r located at the mouth of the River Thames in England i s such a s t ruc ture . Dyking (or levee) systems r e s t r i c t water to wel l -def ined l i m i t s w i th in the f loodpla in using a r t i f i c i a l banks. Controlled f looding of areas outside the dykes allows re la t i ve safety fo r those areas inside the levees up to the design standards of the pro jec t . This standard is measured in terms of the recorded high water levels or storm frequency in the speci f ied f loodpla in area (eg. 200 years) . For example, a 200 year f lood recurrence in terva l i s used in B r i t i s h Columbia to define the f lood design l e v e l , based on h i s t o r i c f lood records. The dyking approach i s f l e x i b l e in that i t can o f fe r protect ion fo r e i ther a spec i f ic area or a large area. This measure has tended to be the popular approach to deal wi th f lood hazard in B r i t i s h Columbia, especial ly in the Lower Fraser River basin. Channel a l te ra t ions reduce f looding by increasing the flow carrying capacity of a stream's channel. These a l te ra t ions may include: s t ra ighten ing, deepening, widening or d iver t ing the stream; i n s t a l l i n g cu lver ts in s t rategic locat ions to r e s t r i c t f low; and removing dams (or debris) that in te r fe re wi th the waterway. Al l of these channel improvements contr ibute toward reducing the height of a f l ood . I t i s sometimes possible, by extensively reconstruct ing a stream channel, to contain major floods wi th in i t s banks. Storm sewer systems connected to other drainage devices along an area's s t reet network, are a means of d i rec t ing ra in runoff away from vulnerable areas. Lines and access points are sized and d is t r ibu ted to accommodate the runoff l i k e l y to be associated wi th a s i t e or an area, to reduce water backup and the resu l t ing oversp i l l of f lash f lood ing. 3.3.2 Flood Abatement Schemes Flood abatement schemes do not depend on engineering technology. Instead, the basic aim of abatement pol icy i s to reduce f lood peaks downstream by a series of land-use treatment measures upstream that a l t e r the runoff and the frequency of f loods. Examples include: re fo res ta t ion , crop ro ta t i on , construct ion of terraces, contour s t r i p cropping, slope s t a b i l i z a t i o n , and grass waterways. These measures reduce water f low by improving i n f i l t r a t i o n of r a i n f a l l i n to the s o i l , slowing and reducing runof f , and reducing the sedimentation tha t can clog stream channels or storage reservo i rs . While the e f fec t of any indiv idual measure is small , extensive land treatment can e f f ec t i ve l y reduce f looding in small headwater areas. Abatement schemes are less e f fec t i ve in downstream areas subject to larger f loods. 3.3.3 Floodproofing Schemes Floodproofing schemes, the t h i r d group of s t ructura l measures, have only recent ly been accepted as a v iable a l te rna t i ve to the more conventional methods. In essence, f loodproof ing consists of adjustments to bui ld ing s t ruc tures, and the contents of bu i ld ings , designed to reduce f lood damage. Floodproofing techniques are pr imar i ly fo r use in f lood f r inge areas where f lood waters are expected to be shallow and slow moving 28. (Federal Emergency Management Agency 1984). Most f loodproof ing measures cannot withstand deep f lood ing. The residents, therefore, should always be evacuated from floodproofed structures to avoid being trapped in case the f loodproof ing f a i l s . These measures can be e i ther temporary or permanent. Temporary f loodproof ing measures (or wet f loodproof ing) include the blocking-up of seldom used entrances to bu i ld ings, the stocking of sui table shields to be placed in posi t ion at doors and windows p r io r to a f lood and the use of heavy s l i d i n g doors to protect other entrances. Further i n t e r i o r adjustments may include the greasing and covering of mechanical equipment p r io r to a f l ood , or the use of flood-prone areas fo r s tor ing non-damageable goods. Although th i s l i s t i s v i r t u a l l y endless, the effectiveness of a l l these measures re l i es e n t i r e l y on the indiv idual property owner being aware of the f lood hazard and receiving a f lood warning so that such schemes can be implemented. Permanent f loodproofing measures (or dry f loodproof ing) do not necessarily depend on the receipt of a f lood warning and include more s t ructura l a l te ra t ions , such as the ra is ing of bui ldings above the f lood level (eg. earth f i l l , elevated foundations, posts, p i les or p i e r s ) , the permanent use of lower storage fo r car parks, or the inc lusion of pumping f a c i l i t i e s in basements. The select ion of the appropriate technique depends on a number of var iab les, including hydrologic fac to rs , physical condit ions at the s i t e , and cost . In some cases i t can be advantageous to use a combination of methods. For example, a bu i ld ing raised on f i l l at one end and piers or posts at the other could 29. provide ground f l oo r access at the end of the bui ld ing away from the f loodpla in while minimizing obstruct ion of f lood waters at the end nearer the stream channel. Permanent f loodproof ing measures can be e f fec t i ve in reducing f lood losses. In summary s t ructura l measures, apart from f loodproof ing, endeavour to reduce f lood losses by changing the magnitude and frequency of f looding by the control of excess water. These measures do provide re l i ab le f lood protect ion up to the design standards of the p ro jec t . However, s t ructura l measures are, fo r the most par t , f a i r l y expensive to implement. 3.4 NON-STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENTS Non-structural adjustments to the f lood hazard are less well known than the s t ructura l measures, although in recent years some of these adjustments have become more widely used. There are a var ie ty of reasons for th is s i t ua t i on . In some cases, technological improvements have made cer ta in adjustments more e f f i c i e n t , fo r example, flood-warning systems. However, one of the prime reasons fo r t h i s trend i s the p roh ib i t i ve cost of implementing large-scale s t ruc tura l schemes. Added to t h i s , the growing rea l i za t ion that s t ructura l measures f a i l to t o t a l l y el iminate f lood losses has encouraged f loodpla in planners to consider new techniques. Eight types of behavioural adjustments are described in the remaining port ion of t h i s chapter. They include: information and 30. advice; f lood forecasting and warning schemes; land acquis i t ion and re loca t ion ; government incent ives; capi ta l improvement p o l i c i e s ; f loodpla in regulat ions; f lood insurance; and public r e l i e f . The provision of information and advice about the f lood hazard i s one of the oldest non-structural techniques fo r discouraging the development of flood-hazard areas. A number of approaches fo r informing the public have been devised. They include educational programs, publ icat ion and dissemination of flood-hazard area maps, and posting of warning signs. In add i t ion , some communities require that bu i lders , developers, real estate agents, and others involved in the real estate industry disclose the f lood hazard before property i s sold. Moreover, subdivision regulat ions often require that the flood-hazard area boundary be delineated on maps, so that prospective l o t purchasers know of the hazard. Flood forecast ing and warning schemes work on the p r inc ip le of reducing f lood losses through remedial act ion by f loodpla in residents p r io r to a f l ood . Forecasting, warning, and f lood preparedness measures are integral parts of a well-balanced f loodpla in management system. Local f lood warning systems, normally established on a community, area or watershed basis, provide fo r co l l ec t i ng data, making f lood predic t ions, and disseminating warnings. Flood preparedness measures describe and assign respons ib i l i t y fo r carry ing out pre-planned actions for minimizing loss of l i f e and property during a f l ood . These plans usually provide for evacuation, emergency f lood protect ion and f lood f i g h t i n g . They also include arrangements to care fo r evacuees and speedy recovery of the community. Preparedness plans customarily are drawn up for use by a speci f ic c i t y or regional area and l inked to the area's f lood warning system. Land acquis i t ion and relocat ion schemes involve government purchase of f loodpla in lands, and re locat ion of structures and occupants to hazard free locat ions. The acquired lands are u t i l i z e d fo r recreat ion, f i s h and w i l d l i f e , and other public purposes (eg. undeveloped open space, e t c . ) , thus f a c i l i t a t i n g the reestablishment of the natural set t ing on the f loodp la in . Government incentives are an approach to discourage the development of f lood hazard areas. One type of incent ive provides fo r preferent ia l taxat ion to maintain agr icu l tu ra l or open space uses of the f loodp la in . Another incent ive, density exchanges, allows developers to bu i ld at higher densi t ies than normally allowed in non-hazard areas in return for maintaining lower-than-required densi t ies in the f loodp la in . Subsidizing property owners to f lood-proof t h e i r propert ies or to relocate them from hazardous areas have also be used. Capital improvement po l ic ies advocate that public f a c i l i t i e s and improvements be located outside of f lood hazard areas, not only to protect those f a c i l i t i e s from f lood damage, but also to avoid inadvertent ly increasing the at t ract iveness of f loodplains for urban development. The locat ion of roads, u t i l i t y l i n e s , o f f i c e s , and other public f a c i l i t i e s should st imulate and support development a c t i v i t i e s away from the flood-hazard areas. This adjustment induces land 32. developers and bui lders to locate on the f lood- f ree s i tes where public f a c i l i t i e s w i l l be provided, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f f lood-hazard areas w i l l not be served with public i n f ras t ruc tu re . Besides po l ic ies regarding the locat ion of f a c i l i t i e s , the incentives from public investment may also be reduced by changing the scale of f a c i l i t i e s , t h e i r design, and condit ions related to t h e i r use. Floodplain regulations (eg. zoning, subdiv is ion, e t c . ) designate flood-prone areas and l i m i t t h e i r uses and parcel sizes to those compatible wi th the degree of f lood r i s k . For example, typ ica l zoning regulat ion usually involves the designation of two zones, a "floodway" and a " f lood f r i n g e " . A floodway consists of those port ions of the channel and f loodpla in required to pass f lood f lows, and i s usually l im i ted to agr i cu l tu re , recreat ion and other open space uses or uses that require a waterside loca t ion . A f lood f r inge i s the port ion of the f loodpla in outside of the floodway or coastal high hazard area but s t i l l subject to f lood ing. Structures and other developments are normally permitted in the f lood f r inge area. This adjustment can prevent unwise development on the f loodp la in . Flood insurance, s imi lar to other property insurance schemes, provides an opportunity for owners and renters of flood-prone propert ies to insure against f lood damage, and minimize future f lood r i s k s . The insurance usually covers only the house and i t s contents. The cost to pol icyholders depends on the amount of coverage purchased and the degree of f lood r i s k . This a l te rnat ive serves to p a r t i a l l y place some 33. of the costs of r i sk on the property owner, as well as informing the residents about the s igni f icance of residing on a f loodp la in . Public r e l i e f aims at providing f inanc ia l aid and other types of support (eg. grants, c red i t ) to residents fo l lowing a f l ood . This scheme is p a r t i c u l a r l y benef ic ia l to those ind iv iduals who could not themselves af ford to replace damaged property. I t also provides funding proport ional to the scale of the d isaster . Public r e l i e f i s usually made ava i lab le , a f te r the government has made a disaster declarat ion on the basis of information about the type and extent of damage in an area. In summary, there are a var ie ty of non-structural adjustments that can be employed to deal with f loodpla in problems. As presented in t h i s sect ion, these adjustments range from government r e l i e f approaches and regulatory measures to warning preparedness and information programs in order to reduce f lood losses. Because of the high cost of implementing large scale dams and dyking systems, and t h e i r increasing f a i l u r e to reduce f loods, there is an increasing acceptance by communities and governments to u t i l i z e non-structural adjustments . 3.5 CONCLUSION The f u l l range of measures to deal wi th f lood problems has been presented in t h i s chapter. They include both s t ructura l measures and non-structural adjustments. While the basic options have changed l i t t l e in the l a s t f i f t y years, our a t t i tudes towards f lood a l l e v i a t i o n have changed. Rather than simply attempting to control the f lood ing , more at tent ion is now being given to man's adaptation to his f lood environment. This trend i s re f lec ted in the growing signi f icance of non-structural measures. Unfortunately, many f loodpla in management programs are s t i l l piecemeal, muddled and i ne f fec t i ve . Two charac ter is t i c problems remain. F i r s t , speci f ic s t ructura l measures or non-structural adjustments are s t i l l being adopted without any consideration of the whole spectrum of a l te rna t ive measures. Second, responses to f lood threats continue to be implemented, sometimes in combination, without a f u l l appreciat ion of the importance of educating and involv ing the affected residents in the decision-making process. The presentation of the a l te rna t i ve approaches avai lable fo r dealing wi th f lood hazard makes.it c lear tha t a comprehensive program of f lood hazard information i s an important part of sound f loodpla in management. The development of a public education program, especial ly by or fo r the o f f i c i a l s and planners who w i l l have the major task of in te rp re t ing and applying i t , i s essent ia l . The next chapter describes the formal i n s t i t u t i o n a l framework a f fec t ing f lood management decisions. 35. CHAPTER 4 INSTITUTIONAL DECISION-MAKING FRAMEWORK FOR FLOOD MANAGEMENT DECISIONS 4.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter describes the formal i n s t i t u t i o n a l and l e g i s l a t i v e framework and government programs tha t a f fec t f lood management decisions in the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia and the City of Vancouver. 4.2 INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK IN CANADA The Canadian Const i tut ion establishes the d iv is ion of .powers and respons ib i l i t i es between federal and provincial j u r i s d i c t i o n s over matters involv ing f lood management. The management of water and land resources i s the respons ib i l i t y of provincial j u r i s d i c t i o n s . However, the federal government has j u r i s d i c t i o n in water management decisions which a f fec t federa l , i n te r -p rov inc ia l or in ternat ional waterways (e .g . navigation and f i sh h a b i t a t ) . Agreements are often made between the two senior governments regarding the funding of speci f ic f lood improvement pro jec ts , disaster r e l i e f , data c o l l e c t i o n , and f loodpla in mapping. In B r i t i s h Columbia, f lood management has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been a cooperative respons ib i l i t y of provincia l and municipal governments. Municipal governments have had the ro le of i n i t i a t i n g and adopting f lood management po l i c ies , while the provincia l government has provided funding support fo r major f lood adjustment measures, technical expertise on environmental studies, and l e g i s l a t i v e guidance through province-wide f loodpla in po l ic ies and standards. Provincial au thor i t ies also inf luence local governments in the course of approving, upgrading, reviewing and implementing f lood management plans, subdivisions, bare land s t ra tas , f loodpla in designations, o f f i c i a l community plans and zoning by-laws. 4.3 FEDERAL REGULATIONS AND PROGRAMS 4.3.1 Federal Regulation There i s no federal l eg i s la t i on ou t l i n i ng general federal functions in f lood control or any aspect of f loodpla in management. The to ta l extent of federal j u r i s d i c t i o n has been and continues to be based upon ad hoc federa l -prov inc ia l agreements. The major ro le of the federal government is to contr ibute to the safety of ind iv iduals residing and working on the f loodpla in and to minimize the damage costs in the event of a f lood . Like the provincial government, the federal government became involved in f lood management a c t i v i t i e s in B r i t i s h Columbia as a d i rec t resu l t of the 1948 Fraser River f l ood . This natural disaster led the federal government to par t ic ipate wi th the provincial government in establ ishing a number of f lood control pro jects . This role was formalized through the Canada Water Conservation Assistance Act (1953) which gave federal au thor i t ies a technical say on how f lood control funds were to be used (Environment Canada 1987). In the la te 1960s, environmental and resource conservation matters were placed high on the p o l i t i c a l agenda. With multiple-purpose planning, the federal and provincial governments had to j o i n together to meet t he i r respective respons ib l i t ies to monitor, plan and manage the Fraser River (e .g . dyking, f lood monitor ing, forecast ing and warning, and regulat ing f loodpla in land use). To f u l f i l l t h i s ro le proper ly , the federal government enacted the Canada Water Act in 1970 (Environment Canada 1987). The l e g i s l a t i o n provided fo r j o i n t consul tat ion between federal and provincial governments in matters re lated to water resources in general. I t enabled the federal government to par t i c ipa te in comprehensive r i v e r basin planning and water qua l i ty management in major r i ve r basins (eg. Fraser River Estuary Study). The primary respons ib i l i t y for administering the Canada Water Act was vested in the Department of the Environment, which was established in 1970. Many federa l -prov inc ia l shared-cost programs have been developed since 1970 under the Canada Water Act. These programs are out l ined fu r ther in the next sect ion. The primary federal l eg i s la t i on a f fec t ing provincial or municipal f lood management has been the Fisheries Act. Under t h i s ac t , the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and/or the Min is t ry of Environment and Parks may prevent or ha l t any a c t i v i t i e s which are harmful to the normal passage or habi tat of f i s h . Flood control projects must be reviewed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, when a proposed pro ject is expected to have impact on stream flow and f i s h hab i ta t . 38. 4.3.2 Federal Programs The federal government administer several f lood management programs. These include • co l lec t ion of stream flow and water qua l i ty data; e Fraser River Flood Control Program; • Federal Disaster Assistance Program; and • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Floodproofing Guidelines. Although the co l lec t ion of stream f low and water qua l i ty data i s normally a provincial r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , i t has been delegated to the federal government's Department of Environment, Inland Water Di rectorate, under an agreement wi th the province. The data provide meteorological and hydrological information as well as t i d a l flows and r i v e r level monitoring fo r est imating the degree of protect ion required for preventing the occurrence of a fu ture f lood event. The Fraser River Flood Control Program provides funds fo r dyking improvements and bank protect ion necessary to prevent major f lood damage. The federal and provincial governments equally share the costs of the required improvements, while the municipal governments agree to provide dyke r ight-of-ways and ongoing maintenance of the new dyke system. This program has been in place since 1968, and was recently extended to 1995 (Ministry of Environment and Parks 1987). 39. The Federal Disaster Assistance Program (Department of Environment), provides for 50% funding of those f lood damage costs which exceed the population to ta l of the province. This means tha t wi th a population of 2.7 m i l l i o n in B r i t i s h Columbia (1981 Census) the f i r s t $2.7 m i l l i o n of f lood costs are covered by the province and any amounts exceeding t h i s to ta l are equally shared wi th the federal government. F i n a l l y , Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation has regulat ions which require approval for National Housing Act (NHA) mortgage insurance (or high r a t i o loans) to be granted fo r dwell ings in designated f lood prone areas only when specif ied f loodproof ing requirements are met. There i s no such s imi la r requirement by pr ivate banks or mortgage lending i n s t i t u t i o n s . Since 1977, the federal government has been in the process of negot iat ing a new cooperative agreement e n t i t l e d the "Federal Damage Reduction Program" (Ministry of Environment and Parks 1987). This program would provide for an agreement between the two governments not to finance or approve any fu r ther projects/developments l i a b l e to f lood damage in designated f lood- r i sk areas. As part of t h i s program, addit ional funds would also be made avai lable to the provincia l governments fo r f loodpla in mapping and the development of a public information program. This agreement was signed in December, 1987 (Ministry of Environment and Parks 1988). 40. 4.4 PROVINCIAL REGULATIONS AND PROGRAMS 4.4.1 Provincial Regulations In keeping wi th i t s const i tu t iona l power the province maintains a pol icy of sc ru t in i z ing development on the f loodp la in . The major piece of provincial l eg i s la t i on that a f fec t the f lood management po l ic ies of the City of Vancouver: Section 82 of the Land T i t l e Act (1985). I t should be noted that because the City of Vancouver has i t s own Charter, provisions of the Municipal Act which apply to other j u r i s d i c t i o n s in the Lower Fraser Valley do not apply to Vancouver. As such, i t may be much more d i f f i c u l t fo r senior governments to undertake a pro-act ive role in Vancouver's f loodpla in pol icy formulat ion. The Federal Fisheries Act, as previously ind icated, delegates some measure of inf luence to provincial conservation o f f i ce rs over municipal f lood 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 habi tat i s threatened. There is question by the provincial o f f i c i a l s as to whether Section 187(1) of the Munic ipa l i t ies Enabling and Val idat ing Act i s applicable to the City of Vancouver in view of i t s Charter. Confirmation of t h i s in te rp re ta t ion is presently being sought from the City of Vancouver legal counsel (Ministry of Environment and Parks 1987). This act requires that a l l proposed adoptions, amendments or repeals of community plans or zoning by-laws involv ing lands located in a designated f lood hazard area must be submitted to the Minister of Environment and Parks for approval. Section 82 of the Land T i t l e Act s t ipu la tes tha t the subdivision of lands i s subject to approval by the provincial government. Under t h i s prov is ion, the Minister of Environment and Parks may designate f loodpla in areas, or approve subdivision w i th in designated f loodpla in areas. Such approval normally requires covenants against the t i t l e s to a l l proposed parcels a le r t i ng owners to the f lood hazard; prescribing bui ld ing e levat ions, setbacks from water bodies, and slope treatment; and addressing the l i m i t s of publ ic l i a b i l i t y . Under t h i s Act, the Minister of Environment and Parks also s t ipu la tes tha t a l l res ident ia l and commercial bui ldings on subdivided land be constructed no lower than the Flood Construction Level (FCL). The Flood Construction Level i s defined as the designed f lood level plus an addit ional ve r t i ca l distance above the designated f lood level ( f reeboard) , to al low fo r wave run up, storm surges and other open water condi t ions, as a fac tor of safety (City of Vancouver 1987). The current standard FCL along the Fraser River in Vancouver is 3.5 meters Geodetic Datum or 102.9 feet Vancouver Datum. Both these datums t rans la te to 7.9 feet above mean sea l e v e l . Presently as part of a discussion paper e n t i t l e d "Floodplain Management in B r i t i s h Columbia", the Min is t ry of Environment and Parks i s in the process of developing f loodpla in management po l i c i es , programs and procedures under current l e g i s l a t i o n , on a province-wide basis and in f u l l cooperation with the mun ic ipa l i t i es . As part of t h i s discussion paper, the Min is t ry i s proposing options fo r f loodproof ing standards based on the proposed use of the f loodpla in lands, and delegating subdivision author i ty to local approving o f f i c e r s . These discussions 42. are presently underway wi th the various municipal governments in the province, including the City of Vancouver. 4.4.2 Provincial Programs The provincia l government through the Minis t ry of Environment and Parks, Water Management Branch, i s responsible fo r administering the Floodplain Development Control Program, the River Bank Protection Program, and the Major Dyking Program. The Floodplain Development Control Program is s imi la r to the Federal Flood Damage Reduction Program. The primary aim of the program i s to reduce f lood damage by encouraging munic ipa l i t ies to control the extent of f loodpla in development. The provincia l program generally involves the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of f lood r isk areas, f loodpla in mapping, designing and evaluating f lood protect ion plans, reviewing the community plans and f loodpla in zoning by-laws, and supervising the implementation of s t ruc tura l adjustment measures (e .g . construct ion of a dyke). Most munic ipa l i t ies vo lun ta r i l y request the Minist ry of Environment and Parks' services because they do not have the technical expert ise and f inanc ia l capab i l i t y necessary to design and implement a f lood management plan. The discussion paper "Floodplain Management in B r i t i s h Columbia" as mentioned in the previous sect ion, i s a part of t h i s program. 43. The River Bank Protection and the Major Dyking Programs are intended for r i ve r bank and dyking projects not covered by the Fraser River Flood Control Program. The funding arrangement provided under these programs is the provincia l share, 75%, and local government, 25%. 4.5 CITY OF VANCOUVER 4.5.1 City Regulations The City of Vancouver has the delegated author i ty under the Vancouver Charter (formerly the Vancouver Incorporation Act, 1921) to govern regulat ions involv ing the management of f loodpla in lands. The c i t y cur rent ly re l i es p r inc ipa l l y on the Subdivisions By-law No. 5208 (Section 292(4) Vancouver Charter) and the Zoning and Development By-law No. 3575 (Section 565A(i) Vancouver Charter) to control development of the f loodpla in to reduce future f lood damage. The Subdivision By-law provides for subdivision approval subject to the reg is t ra t ion of a covenant against the land t i t l e a l e r t i n g the owner of the f lood hazard, and that a prescribed level of earth f i l l fo r ra is ing a bui ld ing above the f lood level ( i . e . f loodproof ing) be placed on the subdivided land. This requirement was only recent ly approved by the Vancouver City Council to meet the Provincial Flood Construction Level of 102.9 Vancouver Datum (7.9 feet above sea l e v e l ) . 44. The Zoning and Development By-law provides fo r the approval of land use, bui ld ing construct ion and occupancy, subject to standards regarding public safety, amenity, san i ta t ion , water supply and drainage. 4.5.2 City Programs Unt i l recent ly , Vancouver's approach to f lood management has been to place the respons ib i l i t y of f lood protect ion on the pr ivate property owner. As a r e s u l t , most of the f lood protect ion to date, especial ly in Southlands, i s provided through p r i va te ly financed and b u i l t dykes. In 1984, the c i t y i n i t i a t e d a public program to develop f loodpla in po l ic ies for Southlands. This e f f o r t resul ted in the adoption of f loodproof ing measures fo r new construct ion in 1986, and ongoing discussions toward the upgrading and maintenance of the ex is t ing dykes. The discussion about f loodpla in management in Vancouver w i l l be the focus of a more detai led review in Chapter 5. 4.6 CONCLUSION This chapter has presented the government regulations and programs that inf luence f loodpla in management decisions in the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia and the City of Vancouver. I t i s evident from t h i s review that there is no c lear ly defined f loodpla in management program in place in the province, although a pol icy paper i s presently in the developmental stages. This review also suggests tha t s t ructura l adjustment measures (dyking and f loodproof ing) , as represented by the various senior government programs, appear to be the preferred response to the f lood hazard. Many f loodpla in management decisions to date, have fol lowed an ad hoc approach, pr imar i ly consist ing of negotiat ions between the provincial and the c i t y government, and in cer ta in cases, the federal government. These negotiations have determined the type of st rategies required to resolve the problem, the procedures fo r evaluating and implementing the measures and the d iv is ion of labour and necessary f inancing. The provincial government has assumed the respons ib i l i t y fo r evaluating the engineering and economic f e a s i b i l i t y of s t ructura l adjustments, while the local government has assumed the respons ib i l i t y of acquir ing the land or r ight -of -ways, as well as the ongoing enforcement and/or maintenance of the implemented measures. The f inancing of these measures has to a large extent depended upon several fac to rs : respons ib i l i t y of f lood protect ion (publ ic or p r i v a t e ) , type of f lood adjustment measure, and the a v a i l a b i l i t y of senior government funding assistance and/or property owner support. The next chapter w i l l begin the examination of the development of f loodpla in po l ic ies in Vancouver's Southlands area. 46. CHAPTER 5 SOUTHLANDS: THE CASE STUDY 5.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter introduces the study area, Southlands, i n terms of i t s locat ion and geography, f lood hazard, h is tory of f lood management, and program to develop f loodproof ing measures. 5.2 LOCATION AND GEOGRAPHY The Southlands study area i s located in the southwest corner of the City of Vancouver, bounded by Angus Drive, the North Arm of the Fraser River, the Universi ty Endowment Lands, and South West Marine Drive (F ig . 1 ) . The area i s almost en t i r e l y in the Fraser River f loodpla in (F ig. 2 ) . Southlands covers 1,286 acres wi th a population of 2500 residents (City of Vancouver 1987). I t consists of four neighbourhoods including Musqueam Vi l lage (an Indian Reserve), West Southlands, Blenheim F la ts , Angus Lands and S. W.Marine Drive (Escarpment) (F ig. 3 ) . The area also contains f i v e go l f courses: Shaughnessy, Musqueam, Point Grey, McCleery and Marine Dr ive, t o t a l l i n g 470 acres (City of Vancouver 1987). This major land use demonstrates that Southlands serves a s i g n i f i c a n t regional recreation ro le . Aside from g o l f i n g , Southlands i s also an a t t rac t i on for equestrian and cyc l ing a c t i v i t i e s . Un i v e r s i t y Endowmen f L a n d s S o u t h s i d e o f S.W. War i ne D r i v e I n d u s r r i a I FIGURE 3: SOUTHLANDS SUB-AREAS City of Vancouver Planning Department Oale Moy,l9OT Drawn IGCostle Scale No. -Cr L O The RA-1 Zoning D i s t r i c t Schedule introduced in 1956, maintains a minimum parcel size of 2.25 acres, and recognizes the area's predominant land uses which include go l f courses, equestrian proper t ies, and nurseries (F ig . 4) (City of Vancouver 1987). These uses are f e l t by c i t y s t a f f to be appropriate in a low- ly ing f loodpla in environment, which i s not protected by a standard dyke nor serviced with a comprehensive sanitary and storm water sewer system. Although the Southlands f loodpla in has been predominantly used fo r ag r i cu l tu ra l a c t i v i t i e s and is s t i l l in the Provincial Agr icu l tura l Land Reserve (ALRT), i t i s becoming increasingly used fo r r e s i d e n t i a l , recreat iona l , and hobby farm a c t i v i t i e s . Today, there are approximately 160 homes on the f loodpla in lands (City of Vancouver 1986). The uniqueness of t h i s semi-rural area wi th in Vancouver has been maintained to date through a combination of local act iv ism, the ex is t ing low-density zoning (RA-1), and the absence of standard c i t y sewer services and road improvements. In recent years, however, the proximity of Southlands to downtown Vancouver has at t racted increasing construct ion of single^ family dwel l ings, especial ly those tha t represent very s i g n i f i c a n t bui ld ing and land investments (eg. $500,000). The present assessed value of the propert ies (land plus improvements) in Southlands have been estimated to be about $100,000,000 (City of Vancouver 1986). The pressure fo r new res ident ia l development and increasing appl icat ions fo r rezoning encouraged the c i t y to undertake a Local Area Planning Program to develop a comprehensive neighbourhood plan fo r the area. One of the p r i o r i t i e s i d e n t i f i e d ear ly in the planning program, was the need to establ ish f loodpla in po l i c ies to deal wi th the f lood hazard. 52. 5.3 THE FLOOD HAZARD In Southlands, the major two sources of f looding are from high t ides combined wi th winter storms, and intense ra in runof f . 5.3.1 High Tides/Winds Tidal e f fec ts combined with onshore winds, produce the major cause of high water levels and f looding in Southlands. H i s t o r i c a l l y , the f looding problems occur in the months of November-December, when the t ides from the Georgia S t r a i t inf luence the water levels of the Lower Fraser River (Ministry of Environment and Parks 1987). Although spring freshet has not been a major source of f looding in Southlands, i t may cause f looding i f combined wi th high t i des , and winds. I t should also be noted that high t i des , or winds alone have not resul ted in f looding to date. In the Southlands area, the normal recorded high t ide level i s approximately at an elevat ion of 98 feet (Vancouver City Datum) or 3 feet above the mean sea l e v e l . Unusually high t ide levels have been recorded in 1948, 1951 , 1967, 1968, 1972, and 1982 (City of Vancouver 1986). The greatest Fraser River f lood recorded in the past century occurred in 1894 as a resu l t of a spring freshet (Simmons 1980). The water levels reached an elevation of 102 feet (Vancouver City Datum) or 7 feet above the mean sea l e v e l . Flooding of the Musqueam Indian Reserve in 1951 prompted construct ion of the Wallace Street dyke 53. to protect Southlands from f looding (City of Vancouver 1987). The 1951 f l ood , l i k e those of 1967, 1968 and 1972, were caused by a combination of winter storms and high t i des . The l a s t major storm surge occurred on December 16, 1982 when water levels reached an elevat ion of 101 feet (Vancouver City Datum) or 6 feet above the mean sea l e v e l , resu l t ing in the water overtopping the ex is t ing dikes in some areas of Southlands inundating lower areas (City of Vancouver 1986). Because the large t rac ts of land remained e i ther undeveloped or have accessory bui ldings u t i l i z e d solely for equestrian and agr icu l tu ra l purposes, only minor property damage resulted from the 1982 f l ood . 5.3.2 Runoff Potential f looding due to r a i n f a l l and runof f , although more frequent, i s less severe than potent ia l f looding from the storm surges and high t ides . However, the water l e v e l , as a resu l t of ra in runof f , has been known to r i se up to 98 feet (Vancouver City Datum) equal to the normal high t ide l e v e l , but 3 feet above the ex is t ing s t reet elevat ion (City of Vancouver 1986). Presently, storm drainage in the area is provided by a system of open ditches and cu lver ts which discharge the ra in runoff through f lood gates to the Fraser River. However, the discharge of water from the area becomes a problem when the r i v e r level reaches, and exceeds the water level in the di tches. The ex is t ing drainage system ( including pumps and f lood gates) has proven not to funct ion properly during 1967 and 1982, when the combination of r a i n f a l l , wind, and high t ide has resulted in minor f looding of the area. 5.3.3 Environmental Factor - Flooding Probabi l i ty 54. While high t ide levels are cont inua l ly monitored by Environment Canada and the Provincial Minist ry of Environment and Parks and can be predicted years in advance, there i s l im i ted short and long term cer ta in ty in forecast ing weather disturbances that can create potent ial f lood condi t ions. This s i tua t ion was very evident during January 1987, when the alignment of the moon and sun (cal led a proxige) created a high t ide a l e r t i n Southlands and along the southwest coast, that would have resulted in extensive f looding i f combined wi th heavy winds and r a i n f a l l . Although the t ides were as high as predicted, a f lood did not occur in Southlands because of the r e l a t i v e l y calm weather condi t ions. Environment Canada and the Provincial Min is t ry o f Environment and Parks estimate that f looding can occur in Southlands, equivalent to a 1894 f lood level or greater, once every s ix ty years. This f lood level which is 102 feet (Vancouver City Datum) has been approached or exceeded six times since 1894 on the Fraser River (Fraser River Estuary Study 1978). This estimate of potent ial f looding by the senior governments has been pr imar i ly based on the 1985 Transport Canada Sea Island Dykes Report (Ministry of Environment and Parks 1987). The report confirms that there i s a high probab i l i t y that storm surges combined wi th high t ides and r a i n f a l l can cause serious f looding at the mouth of the Fraser River. The report presents s t a t i s t i c a l data on the high t ide levels and storm surge cycles, which the Min is t ry of Environment and Parks has reviewed and as a resu l t established the present Provincial Flood 55. Construction Level of 102.9 (Vancouver Datum). The report also suggests that i t would be desirable in the future to prepare a more deta i led and ref ined analysis of the f lood r i sk in the area. Added to t h i s concern has been the potent ia l impact of an earthquake on the ex is t ing agr icu l tu ra l dykes as increasing f lood r isk in the area. . 5.4 HISTORY OF FLOOD MANAGEMENT TO 1984 5.4.1 Early Responses to the Flood Hazard The f i r s t s e t t l e r s in Southlands were the McCleery family who came to the area in 1862 to farm the meadows where the go l f course now bearing t he i r name i s located (Park Board 1982). In 1894, the f i r s t major recorded f lood occurred. Damage estimates fo r t h i s f lood in Southlands are lack ing, but losses would have been comparatively small and local in nature. Subsequent f looding was to lera ted by the Southlands residents due to the agr icu l tu ra l use of the lowlands. However, during the 1920s and 1930s, they did begin to construct agr icu l tu ra l dikes along parts of the North Arm of the Fraser River to l i m i t the f looding frequency. Those dykes were of varying qua l i t y and subject to frequent f a i l u r e and seepage. Nevertheless the ear ly s t ructura l response to the f lood hazard set a pattern of f lood adjustment tha t would be repeated in future years. 57. 5.4.2 The 1948 Flood In 1948, wi th increasing res ident ia l use of the lowlands coupled wi th a forecast of a major r i v e r f l ood , speedy construct ion of most of the ex is t ing 3.5 ki lometre dike system was i n i t i a t e d (City of Vancouver 1987). Because the agr icu l tu ra l dykes were pr imar i ly b u i l t by pr ivate property owners (F ig . 5 ) , they varied i n construct ion standards and heights. As a r e s u l t , the present dyke system over much of i t s length does not meet current provincial government design fo r height or r i ve r slope pro tec t ion. The 1948 f lood level was recorded, at the then Fraser Street Bridge, at 98.23 feet (Vancouver City Datum) or 3 feet above mean sea l e v e l . Although a part of the f lood surge led to extensive f looding up r i v e r , when the spring runoff f i n a l l y reached the mouth of the Fraser River only nominal f looding occurred in the Southlands area, as the dikes provided protect ion. The 1948 f lood experience moved the c i t y to adopt a pol icy tha t placed the respons ib i l i t y fo r f lood protect ion and maintenance of dykes on the pr ivate property owners. City involvement in f lood protect ion measures would only occur on c i t y property ( i e . s t reet ends). 5.4.3 1965 Land f i l l i ng (Floodproofing) Policy In 1965, the Vancouver City Council established two l a n d f i l l i n g pol ic ies to guide development in the Southlands f loodp la in . These were: 58. o "Where the ground level i s below 100 feet a bu i ld ing permit w i l l not be issued unless the ground around the dwell ing i s at least one foot above the level of the adjoining s t ree t . " o "To protect the amenity of the low- ly ing area, and at the same time not to deny adequate f lood pro tec t ion , the maximum height of f i l l i n g w i l l be l im i ted to the elevat ion of 100 feet c i t y datum." (Cooper 1985) While these po l ic ies did meet the Provincial Flood Construction Level i n 1965, they did not set minimum f i l l i n g standards or f l o o r elevations to provide adequate f lood protect ion fo r homes. In f a c t , the 1965 Council pol icy prohib i ted land f i l l i n g above an elevat ion of 100 foot (Vancouver City Datum). This pol icy was to become an obstacle to new home bui lders in the 1980s, who t r i e d unsuccessfully to raise the houses through f i l l i n g above the one foot requirement to reduce the r i sk o f fu ture f lood damage. The po l ic ies were not amended u n t i l 1986, resu l t ing in most o f the homes in Southlands being b u i l t at one or two feet above the mean sea l e v e l . The maps on Figures 6 and'7 show the elevat ion of the roads and the f i r s t f l oo rs of houses ( in feet ) in the West Southlands and Blenheim Flats areas of Southlands. 5.4.4 1972 Waterfront Walkway and Dyking Study In 1972, a study was i n i t i a t e d by the Engineering Department to review .-109 3 J53.3 0 .•Mo • n a a * gag Wig A V E I I I I E 1 3 4 4 • o 0' • »98.5 *81tf iyEW)El06.4« j i n IQI 1 1 1 y 50TH AVEHUE 4 9 I H A V E J U E 51ST AVE>UC 96 9_ 0 <0 . 979 972 FIGURE 6: STREET ELEVATIONS WEST SOUTHLANDS (ELEVATIONS IN FEET) City of Vancouver Planning Department 60 l a g e r * ! FIGURE 7: STREET ELEVATIONS BLENHEIM FLATS (ELEVATIONS IN FEET) City of Vancouver Planning Department 61. means of providing land for a waterf ront walkway along the north shore of the Fraser River, west of Angus Drive (City of Vancouver 1972). As part of t h i s review, the c i t y ' s ex is t ing f lood protect ion pol icy was examined, as was the impl icat ion of pa r t i c ipa t ing in the 1968 Federal-Provincial Cost-Sharing Program for dyking improvements. The Program provided funding assistance fo r the construct ion and improvement of surface drainage works and dyking. The precise cost sharing depended upon the type of work being done, but the municipal share of costs was estimated at 10%. However, a condi t ion of the cost-sharing was tha t the munic ipal i ty must obtain access to dykes and carry out a l l dyking maintenance a f te r construct ion. The Engineering Department concluded that costs to the c i t y fo r dyke maintenance would increase substant ia l ly (estimated between $20,000 to $30,000 per yea r ) , as would i t s share of dyke construct ion costs (estimated at about $100,000), plus unspecified costs associated with obtaining access to dykes in the indus t r ia l zoned lands (Ci ty of Vancouver 1972). Although other munic ipa l i t ies in the region, such as Richmond, agreed to par t ic ipa te in the program, the .City of Vancouver did not. The c i t y ' s decision was based on the be l i e f that i t s ex is t ing dyking pol icy provided adequate protect ion against f lood ing , and tha t there was no need for fu r ther c i t y investment in f lood protect ion measures. City o f f i c i a l s also f e l t tha t a change in dyking pol icy to take advantage of senior government cost-sharing would increase maintenance costs and could place the c i t y in a posi t ion of being l i a b l e fo r fu ture f lood damage. 62. The 1972 decision reaff irmed Vancouver's ex is t ing dyking po l icy . F i r s t , that pr ivate property owners are responsible fo r the construct ion and maintenance of t h e i r dykes to protect themselves against f lood ing ; and second, that the c i t y only maintains dykes on c i t y property. Under t h i s po l i cy , the c i t y assumed no respons ib i l i t y fo r the soundness of the pr ivate dykes. 5.4.5 1974 Provincial Floodproofing Policy In 1974, the provincial government began a pol icy of f loodpla in management designed to reduce f lood damage. The Land T i t l e s Act was revised to require a l l subdividers to comply wi th t h e i r po l i cy : "82.(1) Where land w i th in a plan of subdivision i s subject, or could be reasonably be expected to be subject to f lood ing , no approving o f f i c e r shall approve the subdivision without the p r io r consent of the Deputy Minister of Environment and Parks who may requi re, as a condit ion of his consent, that the subdivider enter in to such covenants reg is t rab le under Section 215 as the Deputy Minister considers advisable" (City of Vancouver Technical Report on Flood Protection in Southlands 1986). The provincial pol icy required that subdivisions of land be floodproofed to the "Flood Construction Level" whether or not the land is protected by a "Standard Dyke". The Flood Construction Level i s defined as " the f lood level which has a s t a t i s t i c a l frequency of occurrence of once every 200 years plus an allowance fo r freeboard [normally 0.6 metres (2 f e e t ) ] and i s used to establ ish the elevat ion of the underside of a RIVER SIDE LAND SIDE A RIP RAP B FILTER C FILL 0 T0P80IL AND 8EEMN0 E CRUSHED ROAD SURFACING CITY OF VANCOUVER ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT FIGURE 8: IMPROVED. .DYKE SOUTHLANDS FLOOOPROOFING STUOY IO FEB 1986 j — ^ - FLOOO CONSTRUCTION L E V E L <FCL) REOUCEO TO IOL2 FEET GREATER THAN IOOO FEET FROM RIVER. CITY OF VMICOUVER EN6INEERIN6 DEPARTMENT ! FIGURE 9: •PROPOSED ; FLQQDP-RDDFTMG ^ S O U T H L A N D S F L O O D P R O O F I N G STUDY _cr wooden f l oo r system or top of concrete or asphalt pad upon which a mobile home or un i t rests" (City of Vancouver Southlands Floodproofing and Servicing Study 1986). A Standard Dyke is defined as "those b u i l t to a minimum elevat ion equal to the Flood Construction Level and meeting standards of design and construct ion approved by the Min is t ry of Environment and Parks and maintained by an ongoing author i ty such as a local government body" (City of Vancouver Southlands Floodproofing and Servicing Study 1986). Figures 8 and 9 show these regulations in diagram form. The Provincial Flood Construction Level fo r the Southlands area is 102.9 feet (Vancouver City Datum) or 7.9 feet above mean sea level (City of Vancouver 1986). This level can be reduced to 100.4 feet (Vancouver City Datum) or 5.4 feet above the f loodpla in at a distance greater than 1000 feet from the r i v e r (City of Vancouver 1986). With dykes b u i l t to less than the Provincial Flood Construction Level (or 200 year f lood standard), no basements, l i v i n g areas, and e lec t r i ca l and heating systems can be located below the minimum f l o o r level (Cooper 1985). With dykes b u i l t to the 200 year f lood standard, only an unfinished basement, carport and entrance can be located below the minimum f l oo r l e v e l . Implementation of the provincial standard in Southlands would in some cases resu l t in new homes being b u i l t up to six feet higher than a neighbour's house. The standards out l ined above have, however, varied since implementation of the new pol icy in 1974 (Cooper 1985). Unt i l 1978, no land f i l l requirements were placed on the subdivider. Between 1978 and 1982 the province required a l l propert ies in Southlands to be f i l l e d to 102.2 feet (Vancouver City Datum) without regard to whether or not they were wi th in 1000 feet of the r i v e r . Since 1982, the province has allowed a lower f i l l standard fo r propert ies more than 1000 feet from the r i v e r . F ina l ly in 1985, the Provincial Flood Construction Level was raised from i t s previous level of 102.2 feet (Vancouver City Datum) to 102.9 wi th in 1000 feet (300 metres) from the natural r i v e r boundary, and 101.2 beyond the 1000 feet threshold (City of Vancouver 1986). Exceptions to the provincia l pol icy are areas that were designated Established Urban in the province's 1966 O f f i c i a l Regional Plan and protected by Minis t ry of Environment and Parks standard dykes (as of August 29, 1966) (City of Vancouver 1986). The West Southlands is one such area where, because of i t s Established Urban designation, houses could be constructed below the Flood Construction Level provided that a standard dyke is in place. Either through oversight or lack of i n te res t in f lood pro tec t ion, the c i t y ignored the provincial po l ic ies on f lood protect ion fo r many years. I t was not un t i l 1984 that the c i t y ' s Director of Legal Services noted "there is a potent ia l fo r l i a b i l i t y to be found by a court where i t might f i nd the City Engineer was negligent in se t t ing a par t i cu la r standard be i t above or below the provincia l datum" (City of Vancouver Inter-Departmental Memo 1984). Current ly, no standard dyke ex is ts in Southlands, therefore, construct ion on a l l newly subdivided lands must meet provincia l f loodproof ing standards regardless of any p r io r O f f i c i a l Regional Plan designation. 67. 5.4.7 The L i a b i l i t y of the City of Vancouver City o f f i c i a l s quickly real ized that bui ldings on propert ies in existence p r io r to 1966 were constructed below the p rov inc ia l l y established f lood level with the c i t y ' s approval. Since two d i f f e r i n g standards ex is ted, the question of which standard i s appropriate could be relevant in terms of l i a b i l i t y should loss or damage resu l t from f lood ing. Even where the standards do not d i r e c t l y c o n f l i c t , the existence of the tougher provincial standard may cast doubt on the appropriateness of the c i t y standard. Furthermore, the City of Vancouver did not a t the time regulate the bui ld ing level wi th respect to f lood hazards. This, the c i t y o f f i c i a l s f e l t , heeded to be r e c t i f i e d . 5.5 SOUTHLANDS FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT Accordingly, the Engineering Department in 1983 i n i t i a t e d a review of i t s po l ic ies to establ ish safe f loodproof ing levels fo r new construct ion in f loodpla ins. Unt i l t h i s t ime, the City of Vancouver had not paid much a t ten t ion to the question of f lood hazard or to the management of f loodpla in lands. Many c i t y o f f i c i a l s f e l t tha t f looding was a serious problem in other Lower Fraser Valley mun ic ipa l i t i es , but not in Vancouver. This a t t i t ude was apparently based on poor information and knowledge about the issue, which was fueled by the h is tory of minimal property damage as a resu l t of f lood ing. A good example r e f l e c t i n g t h i s a t t i t ude i s a recent statement from the c i t y ' s Emergency Program O f f i c e r who indicated that there are no f loodpla in lands w i th in the City of Vancouver, nor i s there any chance that f looding w i l l ever occur 68. (telephone conversation March 10,1987). This indicates tha t studies since 1983 have not permeated the c i t y adminis t rat ion, despite intensive action over the past few years. 5.5.1 The Beginning Star t ing in 1983, the Engineering Department in i t s d r a f t reports proposed land f i l l i n g and f loodproof ing options as the most e f fec t i ve means to deal wi th f lood problems in the c i t y , including adoption of the Provincial Flood Construction Level. The department wanted to present these recommendations d i r e c t l y fo r City Council consideration wi th l i t t l e or no public consul ta t ion. The Planning Department f e l t tha t as these measures represented major changes to ex is t ing c i t y po l i cy , there needed to be discussion with the affected Southlands residents p r i o r to any consideration and adoption by City Council. These dif ferences in departmental decision-making approaches led to two years of extensive discussion and debate, and more d r a f t repor ts . The Planning and Engineering Department i n t e r - o f f i c e correspondence also indicate that the lack of expert ise and understanding about f loodpla in matters was an added fac tor in prolonging th i s inter-departmental debate before a f i na l approach was f i n a l l y agreed upon. 69. 5.5.2 Southlands Local Area Planning On May 29, 1984, in response to numerous development enquiries and community ob jec t ion, City Council approved a Local Area Planning Program (LAP) in Southlands to prepare a comprehensive neighbourhood plan, covering such topics as land use, zoning, open space development, and equestrian a c t i v i t i e s (City of Vancouver 1984). This plan was to be undertaken in consultat ion wi th local residents, through the formation of a local area c i t i zens advisory committee (Southlands Cit izens Planning Committee). Af ter fu r ther departmental discussions about f loodproof ing, i t was decided tha t t h i s issue should also be resolved as part of the Southlands planning process. The Southlands LAP Program's approach to f lood hazard represented two basic f lood adjustment responses: f loodproof ing and dyking. The Engineering Department supported f loodproof ing because the option was p a r t i c u l a r l y close to the land f i l l i n g po l icy , which the c i t y had adopted in 1965 and implemented in several areas facing f looding problems. They f e l t tha t t h i s was the only viable means of e l iminat ing the f lood problem once and fo r a l l . The dyking opt ion, on the other hand, represented an approach which the c i t y had fo r years t r i e d to ignore, and had been successful. The Engineering s t a f f believed that i f the c i t y took on the respons ib i l i t y of upgrading and maintaining the dykes in Southlands, the c i t y acknowledged f lood r i sk and would be po ten t ia l l y l i a b l e i f property damage and personal i n ju ry occurred as a resu l t of f lood ing. Although the Planning Department re l i ed extensively upon the technical expertise of the Engineering Department to respond to the f looding issue in Southlands, they were not convinced that the f loodproof ing approach should be the only adjustment measure considered to reduce the f lood th reat . The planning s t a f f believed tha t considering only the f loodproof ing response placed the 160 ex is t ing homes at r i sk to f lood ing. The department also recommended tha t upgrading of the ex is t ing dykes should also be considered as part of the c i t y ' s f loodpla in management strategy to reduce the f lood threat in Southlands. The neighbourhood residents who had lobbied the c i t y fo r years fo r dyking improvements, believed tha t the dyking approach represented the most e f f i c i e n t and e f fec t i ve way to provide f lood protect ion fo r both ex is t ing and new homes. A major i ty of the residents were opposed to f loodproof ing, because the approach represented a piecemeal solut ion to the f looding problem, and only resolved the c i t y ' s l i a b i l i t y issue. To the surprise of no one involved in the Southlands LAP, these two s t ructura l measures were to encompass the c i t y ' s approach to f lood management in Southlands and in the c i t y as a whole. As no other a l te rna t ive f lood adjustment responses to f lood hazard were to be presented or discussed, questions can be raised as to the adequacy of publ ic information and education provided as part of the Southlands local area planning process. 71. 5.5.3 The Floodplain Management Program The formal decision-making process to review and formulate f lood protect ion measures for Southlands involved the creat ion of a Task Force on Floodproofing made up of community and c i t y representatives (Planning and Engineering s t a f f ) , under the auspices of the Southlands Citizens Planning Committee (SCPC) (SCPC Minutes of July 31 , 1985). Terms of reference were adopted that included: • the Engineering Department's concerns re la t ing to f lood problems, and t h e i r solut ions (Appendix A ) ; and • the Task Force's non-engineering agenda in f loodpla in management, consist ing of information on the preservation of the area's character, environmental impacts on w i l d l i f e and vegetat ion, and responding to the Engineering Department's f loodpla in study f indings (Appendix B). Between Ju ly , 1985 and A p r i l , 1986, regular meetings were held with progress reported at each Southlands Citizens Planning Committee meeting. The Task Force presented f indings on dyke ownership, h istory of drainage and f looding problems, ex is t ing bui ld ing and s t reet e levat ions, and the present provincia l f loodpla in regulat ions (SCPC Minutes of September 25, 1985). Representatives from various senior government agencies and pr ivate consult ing companies attended Task Force meetings and forums on such top ics , as: storm water discharge; f loodproof ing; sanitary sewers; and dyking (SCPC Committee Minutes of October 9 and November 6, 1985). They also discussed,the causes and probab i l i t y of f looding in Southlands, the condit ion of ex is t ing dykes, and possible sources of funding assistance fo r dyking improvements (eg. Fraser River Flood Control Program). In ear ly 1986, the Engineering Department presented t h e i r d r a f t f indings to the Southlands Cit izens Planning Committee (SCPC Minutes of February 19, 1986). Their report recommended tha t the c i t y should proceed wi th implementation of new f loodproof ing requirements to meet the new Provincial Flood Construction Level. On the subject of dyke improvements, the Engineering Department recommended to undertake fur ther study to assess costs and options fo r improving the dykes a l l along Southlands. The Southlands Ci t izens ' Planning Committee disagreed wi th the Engineering Department's recommendations noting " tha t dykes should be s u f f i c i e n t to protect the en t i re area without requi r ing f i l l i n g " (Committee Minutes of March 19, 1986). They were concerned tha t there would be no protect ion fo r the ex is t ing 160 res ident ia l houses on the f loodp la in . They f e l t tha t the dyking option provided bet ter long term protect ion fo r a l l the res ident ia l houses in the area, instead of f lood protect ion for newly constructed homes. In response, the Southlands Cit izens Planning Committee adopted the fo l lowing motions: "The Engineering Department accept the premise tha t dykes and pumps are adequate f loodproof ing measures"; and 73. "The SCPC urge the Engineering Department to take urgent considera-t i on of the matter of dyking and pumping and not re ly on the good w i l l of those who have pumps on t h e i r property." However, the c i t i z e n ' s committee chose not to voice i t s objections to the Engineering Department's recommendations too strongly at City Council, in the hope that fu r ther consideration w i l l be given to improving the dykes in Southlands in the foreseeable fu tu re . On Apr i l 17, 1986, City Council approved standards fo r f loodproof ing of res ident ia l structures in Southlands (City of Vancouver 1987). The method recommended by the City Engineer involves a combination of f i l l and s t ructura l means to elevate habitable areas of dwell ing uni ts to the Provincial Flood Construction Levels. These recommendations regarding f loodproof ing in Southlands, are attached as Appendix C. City Council also inst ructed s t a f f to fu r ther invest igate and report back on the p o s s i b i l i t y of upgrading the ex is t ing dyking system in Southlands. In the fo l lowing year, a f te r fu r ther discussion and debate between the various c i t y departments and the community on the topic of dyking, the City Engineer reported back recommending that City Council could e i the r : • rea f f i rm the c i t y ' s ex is t ing pol icy of leaving the respons ib i l i t y wi th the property owners to maintain t he i r dykes; or • support the upgrading of a l l Southlands dykes, subject to funding assistance from the ex is t ing senior government dyking programs. 74. City Council on Apr i l 28, 1987, chose to approve in "p r inc ip le a comprehensive dyking program fo r Southlands area only, subject to obtaining senior government sharing and property owner approval for a local improvement such that the to ta l c i t y cost does not exceed $425,000 for capi ta l expenditure" (City of Vancouver 1987). This s h i f t in c i t y pol icy on dyking was f a c i l i t a t e d by the Director of Planning and the community who were interested in invest igat ing whether senior government funding assistance was s t i l l avai lable fo r improving the dykes in Southlands. These recommendations, which are presently being invest igated by c i t y s t a f f fo r a report back to Council in 1988, are attached as Appendix D. 5.6 CONCLUSION Southlands i s a narrow s t r i p of land located along the North Arm of the Fraser River in Vancouver, between the Universi ty Endowment Lands and Angus Drive. Most of the area is located in the Fraser River f l oodp la in , which contains approximately 160 houses. The record since 1894 shows that the Southlands area i s a t r i sk from f lood ing. The pr inc ipal source of f looding i s from high t ides combined wi th winds and ra in runof f . As a consequence, the area residents have over the years financed and b u i l t most of the dykes to meet and reduce t h i s f lood th rea t . The c i t y has b u i l t dykes only on the street-ends. Although the environmental departments of senior governments have estimated that Southlands i s susceptible to serious f lood ing , serious f lood damage has been avoided because of the area's low res ident ia l densi ty. 75. For years the City of Vancouver regarded f lood protect ion in Southlands as adequate considering the low density agr icu l tu ra l nature of the area and the avai lable evidence that indicated a r e l a t i v e l y low r isk of f lood ing. In the l a s t decade, two factors emerged that stimulated c i t y act ion to protect the area from f lood ing. One fac tor was the increasing res ident ia l investment in the area, which could be at r i sk to serious f lood ing. The other factor was the increasing technical knowledge of the f lood r isks and the current i n te res t from the area residents to upgrade present standards fo r f lood protect ion. Added to these factors was the c i t y ' s concern about potent ia l l i a b i l i t y , i f i t did not act to meet the provincial government's f loodpla in standards. Through the Southlands local area planning process, the c i t y developed and adopted f loodproof ing measures fo r new construct ion and undertook fur ther evaluations regarding the f inancing and improvement of the ex is t ing dykes. The f lood adjustment measures tha t were considered were l im i ted to f loodproof ing and dyking. The c i t y ' s approach, as out l ined in t h i s chapter, raises as we shall see, cer ta in questions as to the qua l i ty and d i s t r i b u t i o n of information provided to increase public knowledge about e i ther the f lood hazard or a l te rna t ive f lood adjustment measures. The recent decisions made in Southlands combined wi th an ongoing planning process provide a rare opportunity to examine the qua l i ty and d i s t r i b u t i o n of information and education provided as part of the decision-making process and i t s impact on the f loodpla in management decisions. Chapters 6 and 7 make use of interviews of decision-makers and a questionnaire administered to residents to establish the participants' understanding of the flood hazard and the alternative measures to deal with that hazard. Chapter 8 draws conclusions about appropriate approaches which would improve upon the system used i n Southlands. CHAPTER 6 FLOOD-RELATED PERCEPTIONS OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS 77. 6.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter presents the perceptions of government o f f i c i a l s that were involved in the f loodpla in management decisions a f fec t ing Southlands and is based on interviews conducted during 1987. 6.2 BACKGROUND The f loodpla in management decisions that have recently been made in Southlands provide a rare opportunity to examine the perceptions of government o f f i c i a l s and to evaluate the impact of these perceptions on the information which was provided as part of the decision-making process. The l i t e r a t u r e review established the important ro le played by government o f f i c i a l s in determining the extent to which hazard information programs successful ly change the awareness of r i s k , the range and effectiveness of hazard adjustment measures, and the communication wi th other government agencies. This chapter describes the perceptions of the key government employees who developed, implemented, and influenced the Southlands hazard advisory information program. By examining these perceptions, i t i s possible to understand some of the reasons behind the recent pol icy decisions in Southlands and to recommend approaches that would improve the effect iveness of other hazard advisory programs. The subsequent chapter takes the next logical step by examining the f lood-re la ted perceptions of the f loodpla in residents in Southlands, including those involved in the Southlands Local Area Planning Program. From the study of government and publ ic perceptions, an evaluation of the Southlands approach i s presented in Chapter 8. 6.3 METHODOLOGY An unstructured interview format was used to examine the f lood- re la ted perceptions of government o f f i c i a l s . Ten professional planners and engineers representing senior posi t ions in the three levels of government (two federal o f f i c i a l s , four provincia l o f f i c i a l s , and four c i t y o f f i c i a l s ) were selected in consul tat ion wi th the Southlands Local Area Planner as having played key roles in a f fec t ing f loodpla in management decisions in Southlands. The i d e n t i f i e d candidates were inv i ted by l e t t e r to par t ic ipa te in the survey (Appendix E) and a l l agreed to be interviewed. Although senior government o f f i c i a l s are the most removed from the day-to-day f lood management decisions at the municipal l e v e l , the d iv is ion of powers and respons ib i l i t i es under the Canadian Const i tut ion allows senior governments to play an important information and advisory role in the development of local f loodpla in po l i c ies . I t i s wi th t h i s in mind that the i d e n t i f i e d senior government o f f i c i a l s were included in the survey. I t should be noted that a l l the survey par t i c ipan ts , including those representing the c i t y , have work respons ib i l i t i es that 79. include issues other than f loodpla in management and/or geographic areas other than Southlands. They are however the key ind iv iduals in the government organizations addressing f loodpla in management in Southlands. The topics covered in the interviews included f lood hazard, f lood adjustment measures, qua l i ty of in format ion, and method of information d i s t r i b u t i o n . The interviews were undertaken during the months of February and March, 1987. Each interv iew followed a general discussion format that focused on the speci f ic topic areas l i s t e d in the questionnaire. The same questions were presented to each par t i c ipan t in the same order. In some cases, the o f f i c i a l s were encouraged to elaborate fu r ther on t h e i r thoughts regarding a top ic . At no time in the interviews were the names of the other pa r t i c ipa t ing government o f f i c i a l s mentioned. 6.4 PRESENTATION OF INTERVIEW RESULTS The interviews made i t c lear tha t the level of government represented by the o f f i c i a l s was a more important determinant of f lood- re la ted perceptions than the speci f ic agency or department. The resul ts presented below emphasize t h i s general f ind ing and maintain the c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y of the indiv idual respondents by h igh l igh t ing the areas where perceptions d i f fe red only between levels of government. I t should be noted that the government o f f i c i a l s ' responses to the various topics represent t h e i r views at the time of the survey. These responses are presented in summary form and incorporate some in te rp re ta t ion by the author. 80. The par t ic ipants in the survey are personnel in the fo l lowing agencies and departments that address f loodpla in management decisions in Southlands: • Federal Government: the Planning Divis ion of the Water Planning and Operations Branch, Department of Environment; « Provincial Government: the Water Management Branch and the Inspector of Dykes, Min is t ry of Environment and Parks, Province of B r i t i s h Columbia; and • City Government: the Engineering Department and the Department of Planning, City of Vancouver. The perceptions are summarized fo r each of the topics examined: 1) TOPIC: Flood hazard in Southlands PERCEPTION: The federal o f f i c i a l s noted that any low l y ing lands along the sea or major r i vers are at serious r i sk from f lood ing. Although the record 8 1 . of f looding in Southlands does not ye t include serious floods or damage, the hazard i s viewed as being " s e r i o u s "J The provincia l o f f i c i a l s agreed that there is a f lood hazard in Southlands. They acknowledged there exists a potent ia l fo r serious floods and damage in the area, however the record to date tends to lessen the perception of that hazard. As a r e s u l t , they ranked the hazard as ranging from "moderate" to "se r ious" . 1 The c i t y o f f i c i a l s f e l t that there was a potent ia l f o r some f looding in Southlands. Most of the respondents ranked the hazard as "nominal", "neg l i g ib le " , or "not ser ious" ; however, one estimated i t to be "moderate". 1 A l l the respondents based the i r assessments on the record of small f loods and l im i ted damage in the area. 2) TOPIC: Potential causes of f looding in Southlands PERCEPTION: Al l the o f f i c i a l s noted that a combination of t i des , winds, and rain could be the main causes of f lood ing. i Quoted terms represent the words used by the government o f f i c i a l s to describe the degree of f lood hazard in Southlands . 82. 3) TOPIC: Level of protect ion being provided by the ex is t ing dykes in Southlands PERCEPTION: Al l the o f f i c i a l s agreed that the level of protect ion against f lood hazard provided by the ex is t ing dykes was well below the Provincial Flood Construction Level ( i . e . 102.9 Vancouver City Datum), and needed to be brought up to standard. They were also able to c i t e the speci f ic level of protect ion contained in these standards. The provincial and c i t y o f f i c i a l s noted that i f a major f lood resu l t ing in water levels of the 1894 Fraser River f lood were to occur, there would be f looding in Southlands resu l t ing in major f lood damage. 4) TOPIC: Probabi l i ty of the dykes being overtopped PERCEPTION: The o f f i c i a l s did not know the p robab i l i t y of the ex is t ing dykes being breached. To t h e i r knowledge, a f lood r i sk analysis had not been undertaken on the dykes in Southlands. Some c i t y o f f i c i a l s noted, however, that such an analysis should have been undertaken as 83. part of the Southlands program. No explanation was given as to why th i s analysis had not been done. However, not inc luding such an analysis may indicate that the c i t y was interested in responding to a possible concern about l i a b i l i t y , rather than the f lood hazard. 5) TOPIC: A l ternat ive f lood adjustment measures to reduce the f lood hazard PERCEPTION: Given the range of adjustments cur rent ly being used by governments to deal wi th f lood hazard (Chapter 2), the federal o f f i c i a l s were aware of the largest number. They noted: dyking, f loodproof ing, f lood 2 insurance, emergency plans, in format ion, and zoning. The provincial o f f i c i a l s were aware of the second largest l i s t of possible responses to f lood hazard. They noted: dyking, 2 f loodproof ing, informat ion, zoning, and f lood insurance. Floodproofing appears to be the preferred option of provincia l o f f i c i a l s . Although they did not re fer to i t d i r e c t l y , the Ministry These f lood adjustment measures were volunteered by the government o f f i c i a l s during the in terv iew; there is no s igni f icance to the order of presentat ion. 84. of Environment an Parks' recent report e n t i t l e d "Floodplain Management in B r i t i s h Columbia—A Discussion Paper" (1986) indicates t h i s to be a departmental po l i cy . The c i t y o f f i c i a l s were aware of the fewest a l te rna t i ve measures to 2 f lood hazard. They noted: dyking, f loodproof ing, and zoning . This response may r e f l e c t t h e i r perception of low f lood hazard in the area or t h e i r possible concerns regarding the l i a b i l i t y issue. 6) TOPIC: Bui lding in the Southlands f loodpla in PERCEPTION: Federal o f f i c i a l s f e l t tha t no new development should be allowed on the f loodp la in . Provincial and c i t y o f f i c i a l s noted that some new development should be permitted in the urban areas under s t r i c t e r f lood protect ion standards ( i e . f loodproof ing and dyking). 7) TOPIC: Upgraded dykes or f loodproof ing 85. PERCEPTION: Al l the o f f i c i a l s agreed that upgraded dykes or f loodproof ing represent a sat is factory solut ion to the f lood hazard. I t seems that because these f lood adjustment measures are the most widely used and promoted in the province, public o f f i c i a l s have had l im i ted experience with other f lood management approaches. The federal o f f i c i a l s added that a long term strategy fo r reducing the f lood hazard should be through non-structural f lood adjustment measures, such as f loodpla in regulat ions ( i e . zoning). They noted that fo r years they have been t r y i n g to persuade the provincia l o f f i c i a l s through federa l -prov inc ia l agreements to adopt a greater land-use emphasis to f loodpla in management. However, to date no formal agreement has been achieved. City o f f i c i a l s noted that storm water management should be considered an important part of a f lood management program. 8) TOPIC: Public in te res t about f lood hazard and ways to respond to that hazard PERCEPTION: Although the federal o f f i c i a l s f e l t tha t the public i s generally interested and concerned about f lood hazard and appropriate 86. responses, they noted that these issues are more a provincia l and municipal respons ib i l i t y because of t he i r day-to-day involvement with f loodpla in residents. The federal government usually plays a d i rec t role in a speci f ic area only i f the proposed local f lood management plan has a potent ial impact on f i s h habi tat or a major shipping waterway. The federal o f f i c i a l s appeared re luctant to become too closely involved in Southlands, where they f e l t they may be over-stepping the i r j u r i s d i c t i o n . The provincial and c i t y o f f i c i a l s acknowledged tha t the public i s interested and concerned about f loods and possible responses, and that "they t r y to provide as much information as i s avai lable as part of a f lood management program". This type of comment i s usually in terpreted as a purely publ ic re la t ions response, because government o f f i c i a l s usually determine the amount of avai lable information that i s presented to the publ ic as part of a decision-making process. The pract ice allows the government to maintain control during t h i s process and protect i t s e l f against unforeseen s i tuat ions or circumstances (possible court ac t ion , p o l i t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s , inter-governmental .di f ferences, e t c . ) . This comment represents a quoted response from the interv iews. 87. 9) TOPIC: Information held by the publ ic about the f lood hazard PERCEPTION: A l l the o f f i c i a l s agreed that information held by the publ ic about f lood hazard needed to be improved. 10) TOPIC: Increasing public knowledge about the f lood hazard PERCEPTION: Al l the o f f i c i a l s stated that they did not know what methods to use to bet ter inform the public about the f lood hazard. They d id , however, provide a number of suggestions. Federal and provincial o f f i c i a l s f e l t that more informational l i t e r a t u r e should be made avai lable to the publ ic . They said that to do t h i s , more public funds should be al located fo r informing and educating those residents po ten t ia l l y affected by f loods. Several federal and provincial o f f i c i a l s noted that brochures about f lood hazard and responses have been prepared and published. These brochures covered such topics as the f lood emergency program, f lood precautions fo r homeowners, and se l f -he lp advice about responding to f loods. They also said that there i s avai lable a publ icat ion on f loodproof ing. However, there i s some uncertainty as to whether t h i s information has been made accessible to local governments or affected residents. A few samples of these brochures are attached (Appendix F) . The c i t y o f f i c i a l s confirmed that they had received copies of the f loodproof ing informat ion; however, they had neither heard nor received copies of the other informat ion. 11) TOPIC: The Southlands program to develop f loodpla in po l ic ies PERCEPTION: A l l the o f f i c i a l s were aware that the City of Vancouver was developing f loodpla in po l ic ies in Southlands. 12) TOPIC: City of Vancouver's report e n t i t l e d "Policy on Flood Protection in Southlands" PERCEPTION: Neither of the two federal o f f i c i a l s had received a copy of the repor t . Two out of four of the provincia l o f f i c i a l s had received a copy of the report and had read i t . Al l four of the c i t y o f f i c i a l s were well acquainted wi th the report and i t s contents. 13) TOPIC: D is t r ibu t ion of f lood protect ion information to Southlands residents PERCEPTION: Although the federal o f f i c i a l s were inv i ted to attend a meeting in Southlands, they chose not to at tend. They f e l t tha t the f lood hazard issue in Southlands was a provincial and municipal respons ib i l i t y . Again, there appeared to be some reluctance to get involved in another government's j u r i s d i c t i o n . They said that no information by the federal government had been d is t r ibu ted to the community about the f lood problem. Aside from three provincia l o f f i c i a l s attending two community meetings (out of an approximate to ta l of 15 meetings) as speakers on the f lood problem, no information on the topic had d i r e c t l y been made avai lable to the Southlands residents. The o f f i c i a l s said that they only attended those community meetings to which they were i n v i t e d . However, i t should be noted that the Southlands program represented the f i r s t time that provincial o f f i c i a l s had been asked by a local government to attend public meetings p r i o r to the formulation of f loodpla in po l i c ies . The c i t y o f f i c i a l s said that t h e i r recommendations fo r reducing the potent ia l f lood problem only considered the dyking or f loodproof ing opt ions, and these recommendations were only made avai lable to the Southlands f loodpla in task force and the c i t i z e n s ' planning committee, pr imar i ly at meetings and through committee minutes. No information was d i r e c t l y made avai lable to the general Southlands community about the top ic . Many of the o f f i c i a l s assumed the affected residents would be informed through normal community networking, such as ratepayers associat ions, r i d ing and go l f c lubs, and other local groups. A c i t y o f f i c i a l noted that the c i t y ' s only d i rec t communication with community residents about the topic of f looding was a single hazard advisory l e t t e r warning about a possible high t ide and storm threat (Appendix G). Even though the c i t y ' s f loodpla in program was close to 91. completion including recommended po l ic ies and although c i t y s ta f f were presumably aware of ways that indiv idual property owners could reduce property damage as a resu l t of f looding ( e .g . temporary f loodproof ing - Chapter 3 ) , t h i s l e t t e r did not elaborate on how the local residents could respond to that th reat . This event c lear l y contradicts the e a r l i e r comments made by the government o f f i c i a l s , p a r t i c u l a r l y the c i t y , in question 8, about the extent and a v a i l a b i l i t y of publ ic hazard informat ion. I t shows that governments tend to determine the qua l i ty and d i s t r i b u t i o n of public information provided. In t h i s case, the c i t y o f f i c i a l s did not want to alarm the residents that there i s a f lood hazard in Southlands, possibly because of t h e i r concerns about l i a b i l i t y . 14) TOPIC: Communications with other levels of government ( p r o v i n c i a l , federal or c i t y ) on the topic of f loodpla in management in Southlands PERCEPTION: The federal and provincial o f f i c i a l s noted that there i s regular communication between t h e i r respective Departments of Environment about provincial stream f low and water qua l i ty data. However, representatives from both governments said that u n t i l very recent ly , there had been very l i t t l e communication or discussion wi th the c i t y of Vancouver about f lood matters. In f a c t , the provincial o f f i c i a l s 92. stated that the c i t y had tended to be a hold out among the lower mainland munic ipa l i t ies in get t ing involved in managing i t s f loodpla in areas. City o f f i c i a l s acknowledged that u n t i l the l a s t two years, there had been l i t t l e reason to contact the senior governments about the top ic . They had assumed that the c i t y did not have a f lood problem that required a t ten t i on , communication, or discussion wi th the senior levels of government. A change in c i t y a t t i tudes was prompted by i t s legal department (1984) advising that the c i t y could be l i a b l e for property damages and personal i n ju ry as a resu l t of f l ood ing , because no minimum Flood Construction Levels had been established on the f loodpla in lands. 15) TOPIC: The knowledge of Southlands residents about f lood matters and a l te rnat ive ways to deal wi th the f lood hazard PERCEPTION: Al l the o f f i c i a l s f e l t tha t the residents in Southlands had increased t h e i r knowledge about the top ic , especial ly since the Southlands local area planning program had been i n i t i a t e d . 93. 16) TOPIC: Government performance in communicating information about f lood matters PERCEPTION: Most of the o f f i c i a l s ' responses indicated that the performance of government in conveying f lood hazard information has improved substant ia l ly in recent years. They also noted that there s t i l l needs to be fur ther improvement in public information and education about f lood matters. However, the e a r l i e r responses by the government o f f i c i a l s (question 10, 13 and 14), demonstrate that government has done a pa r t i cu la r l y poor job in communicating f lood hazard information to the local government o f f i c i a l s or the publ ic . Their comments suggest that the senior governments have contr ibuted very l i t t l e d i rec t information in the Southlands f loodpla in management program. As a r e s u l t , the major pol icy maker a f fec t ing f loodpla in decisions in Southlands has been the c i t y . Given that the c i t y o f f i c i a l s ' perception of the f lood hazard in Southlands has been low (question 1 ) , and that they were prompted to focus on the area's f looding issue only because of t h e i r concern about l i a b i l i t y (question 14), i t i s understandable that the c i t y ' s f loodpla in management program would only provide enough f lood hazard information to the public (question 13) to support t he i r recommended f lood adjustment measure ( i . e . f loodproof ing) as a 94. response to the f lood problem as out l ined in Chapter 5. This conclusion strongly suggests that the c i t y was interested in responding to the l i a b i l i t y issue and not the f lood hazard. 17) TOPIC: Government performance in preventing f lood damage in Southlands PERCEPTION: The federal o f f i c i a l s f e l t tha t the c i t y was generally doing a capable job in reducing the f lood hazard in Southlands. They did note that t h i s question could be bet ter answered by the provincial and c i t y o f f i c i a l s , who had more d i rec t involvement in the area. Their comments did suggest some uncertainty as to how much the federal o f f i c i a l s knew about the c i t y ' s approach to the f lood problem in Southlands. The provincial o f f i c i a l s were quite pleased that the c i t y was f i n a l l y responding to the potent ial f looding problem in Southlands. As noted e a r l i e r , the provincial government i s a proponent of the f loodproof ing approach to f loodpla in management, which the c i t y had adopted in the community. They believed that f loodproof ing was an e f fec t i ve response to f lood hazard, especial ly in areas that faced possible increases in development a c t i v i t y , such as Southlands. 95. The c i t y o f f i c i a l s believed that f loodproofing and dyking would provide an e f fec t ive response to the f looding problem. This response was expected from the c i t y representat ives, because i t was they who par t ic ipated in the planning process that developed these responses to the potent ia l f lood hazard. 18) TOPIC: Government knowledge about f lood matters and ways to respond to f lood hazard PERCEPTION: Al l the o f f i c i a l s , except those representing the c i t y ' s planning department, indicated that they believed themselves to be well informed about appropriate responses to f lood hazard. Most o f f i c i a l s said they had gained the knowledge e i ther through work, education, l i t e r a t u r e , or experiences from other parts of North America. The planning o f f i c i a l s noted that they had l i t t l e experience in th i s area, and therefore re l i ed on the expertise of the c i t y ' s engineers in guiding them through the technical issues re la t i ng to the development of c i t y f loodpla in po l ic ies supported by the community. 96. 19) TOPIC: Type of t ra in ing or experience i n f loodpla in management PERCEPTION: Two out of ten government o f f i c i a l s interviewed said that they had taken courses as part of t h e i r formal education in f lood management techniques. These ind iv iduals were employed by the provincia l government. Al l others said that they had gained the i r experience or expert ise in the f i e l d or on the j o b , and from l i t e r a t u r e . Several o f f i c i a l s noted that they were not aware of any t ra in ing or education sessions to keep prac t ic ing professionals up to date about new advances in the f i e l d . Others said that there were some opportunit ies fo r learning through conferences and various repor ts . No speci f ic conference or report was mentioned. 6.5 ANALYSIS OF GOVERNMENT PERCEPTIONS The l i t e r a t u r e review (Chapter 2) demonstrates that the avai lable evidence is mixed on the re la t ionsh ip between awareness of hazard r isk and the consequent adoption of hazard adjustment measures. However, the review highl ighted several studies that show that information has led to behaviour change under speci f ic condit ions when properly executed and care fu l l y target ted to those facing the th reat . Ten general information pr inc ip les have been i d e n t i f i e d that should be per t inent to any f lood hazard advisory program (see page 19) and which should ensure a sound f loodpla in management plan. As noted in the l i t e r a t u r e review, an underlying factor v i t a l to any hazard advisory program is the perception of those government o f f i c i a l s who inf luence the development and implementation of the program. Their perceptions of the f lood hazard and possible responses have been found to have d i rec t and major impact on the design and del ivery of any information program to the af fected residents and on t h e i r perceptions about f lood r isk and appropriate responses. However, as stated in the l i t e r a t u r e , t h i s causal re la t ionsh ip between information and awareness i s not per fect , and t h i s must be real ized in the design and implementation of any hazard advisory program. There are numerous outside factors that inf luence both i t s design and de l ivery . These outside factors can take the form of governmental j u r i s d i c t i o n s , dif ferences in departmental phi losophies, and concerns about future precedents, or pol icy impacts. An analysis of the perceptions of government o f f i c i a l s involved in Southlands provides an understanding of the City of Vancouver's hazard advisory program and areas where improvements may be made. This understanding includes the o f f i c i a l s ' awareness about the f lood hazard, range of f lood adjustment measures, and the method which they chose to communicate that knowledge to the 98. publ ic . The author 's observation of the Southlands program in terms of the general hazard information pr inc ip les i s also presented as part of t h i s analysis. The analysis of the perceptions of government o f f i c i a l s i s therefore based on the fo l lowing c r i t e r i a : • Awareness of the f lood hazard; ® Understanding of f lood adjustment measures; « Delivery of f lood hazard informat ion; and ® Observations in terms of the general hazard information p r inc ip les . 6.5.1 Awareness of the Flood Hazard The interview resul ts indicate that the senior government o f f i c i a l s who are the most removed from the implementation of f loodpla in po l ic ies view the f lood hazard as the most serious. Their perception of the f lood r isk appears to r e f l e c t a greater awareness and knowledge about the high p robab i l i t y of f looding caused by high t ides combined wi th storm surges and r a i n f a l l . City o f f i c i a l s , who are the most involved in day-to-day f loodpla in management decisions, regard the hazard as being the least s i g n i f i c a n t . Their perception, on the other hand, appears to be based on l i t t l e experience and exposure to f lood management matters. The low recorded level of f lood damage in the area over the l a s t t h i r t y years has also appeared to have had a s ign i f i can t inf luence t h e i r perception of the hazard. 99. There i s also support for the notion that the perception of f lood hazard has a d i rec t bearing upon perception of adjustment to the hazard. Those o f f i c i a l s who perceive the problem to be s i g n i f i c a n t , are also aware of more a l te rna t i ve responses to the hazard, and those who perceive the hazard as less s ign i f i can t have a reduced perception of possible a l te rna t ive responses. 6.5.2 Understanding of Flood Adjustment Measures There ex is ts a de f i n i t e bias towards s t ructura l f lood adjustment measures at a l l levels of government. Dyking and f loodproof ing are perceived as the most common responses by government o f f i c i a l s at a l l levels of government. This resu l t may be because these measures are promoted through funding assistance or in government pol icy papers by the senior governments. The survey suggests that there appears to be l i t t l e understanding, i n t e r e s t , and knowledge of non-structural approaches to f lood management, especial ly at the local government l e v e l . Information about other f loodpla in management experiences throughout North America does not seem to be applied to local circumstances. 6.5.3 Delivery of Flood Hazard Information Although the senior government o f f i c i a l s ' respons ib i l i t i es are spec i f i ca l l y focused on water management issues (as indicated by the agencies they represent) , there ex is ts l i t t l e evidence in the f indings 100. that suggest that t h e i r perceptions about f lood matters were presented or evaluated as part of the Southlands decision-making process. They attended only a few meetings in the community, and presented l i t t l e information about the f lood hazard or possible responses to the Southlands Cit izens' Planning Committee that d i f fe red from the c i t y ' s informat ion. To the i r knowledge, no information about the topic had been d is t r ibu ted by the senior governments to the Southlands residents. The resul ts indicate that the level of f lood hazard information provided in Southlands, tended to r e f l e c t the f lood hazard perceptions of the local o f f i c i a l s . This information included the i r views on the f lood hazard in Southlands, as well as t h e i r solut ions to the problem. Although the c i t y o f f i c i a l s attended a l l of the community meetings on the top ic , aside from f loodproof ing and dyking no other f lood adjustment measures were presented or discussed. There was no r i sk analysis undertaken to estimate the p robab i l i t y of f looding in the area. Al l estimation of area f looding appeared to have been taken from h is to r i ca l data, which basical ly represented the l as t t h i r t y years (Chapter 5). Except fo r one public n o t i f i c a t i o n about a possible f lood th rea t , there was no general d i s t r i b u t i o n of information to the area residents describing the problem or suggesting possible solut ions. The l im i ted attendance by the senior government o f f i c i a l s at these community meetings suggests that the c i t y was not interested in invo lv ing the senior governments, beyond adoption of the provincial f loodproof ing standards. On the other hand, the senior o f f i c i a l s appeared to be sa t i s f i ed that the c i t y was f i n a l l y developing f lood management po l i c ies . 101. Given that the awareness among c i t y o f f i c i a l s of the f lood hazard i s low, t h e i r understanding of avai lable f lood adjustment measures i s l i m i t e d , and that they were motivated to undertake the process of reviewing t h e i r f loodpla in po l ic ies because of l i a b i l i t y concerns, the f indings strongly imply that the c i t y ' s adopted f loodpla in polices in Southlands are largely a response to the l i a b i l i t y issue rather than the f lood hazard per se. Because they attended a l l the community meetings, i t i s reasonable to expect that t h e i r l im i ted perception of the f lood r isks and responses would be communicated to the area residents. 6.5.4 Observations in Terms of the General Hazard Information Pr inciples As the general hazard information pr inc ip les were i d e n t i f i e d from the l i t e r a t u r e as being a prerequis i te to a sound f loodpla in management plan, i t i s important to t h i s research that the fo l lowing observations be made about the Southlands hazard information approach. To ass is t the reader, these pr inc ip les are underlined in t h i s section in summary form (from page 19). The hazard information appeared not to be speci f ic to the target  populat ion, or to the res ident 's s i t u a t i o n . While the o f f i c i a l s noted the potent ia l causes of f lood ing , there was no analysis done on the r isk of the hazard in the area, especial ly since the prime threat came as a resu l t of t i des , winds, and rains from Georgia S t r a i t , very d i f f e r e n t from the f lood threat faced by most other lower mainland munic ipa l i t ies (spring f reshe t ) . There seemed to be very l i t t l e attempt to make the 102. information more applicable to the area residents, to s o l i c i t t h e i r support f o r the c i t y ' s response to the hazard, or to other f lood adjustment responses. In fac t as noted in Chapter 5 and by the survey f ind ings , the dissemination of information on the f lood hazard and the range of  possible adjustment measures appeared to be res t r i c ted to the adoption of f loodproof ing and dyking measures, which the c i t y had recommended p r io r to i n i t i a t i n g the consul tat ion process in the community. As part of the community consultat ion process, no attempt was made to contact the general community at large through the use of l e t t e r s , brochures, or l e a f l e t s to explain the f lood hazard and recommended responses. The presentations and discussions that took place on these measures were l im i ted to the Southlands Ci t izens ' Planning Committee meetings. The o f f i c i a l s did assume that hazard information would disperse in the area through various community groups. However, because no information was d is t r ibu ted to the area residents, i t appears that l i t t l e act ion was undertaken to consider the need to re inforce the recommended responses to the hazard, soc ia l l y and l o c a l l y i n the community. I t appears from th i s process that c i t y only wanted to provide that information that supported i t s preferred f lood adjustment measures ( f loodproof ing and dyking). A s i g n i f i c a n t question i s also raised about the c l a r i t y , content, and d i rec t ion of the hazard informat ion, and the type of appeal that the Southlands program promoted in the area. As evidence, the c i t y ' s hazard advisory l e t t e r about a possible f lood threat in ear ly 1987, 103. demonstrates that the communication did have a clear c i v i c purpose. However, the warning did not provide any information about the hazard and an appropriate response, and i t did not motivate the residents to take act ion to reduce property damage as a resu l t of f lood ing . This information should have been known to the c i t y o f f i c i a l s , because they had j u s t completed developing the f loodproof ing po l ic ies in Southlands. As Chapter 3 shows, there are several basic temporary f loodproof ing measures that a property owner can take to protect a house and i t s contents. The f indings show that there appears to be l i t t l e inter-government  cooperation among the various departments and agencies in the d i s t r i b u t i o n of hazard informat ion. This i s evident in t h e i r varying perceptions about the r i sk of f looding and the a l te rna t ive ways to respond to that r i s k , and also in t h e i r knowledge regarding local f loodpla in pol icy decisions in Southlands. The dissemination of general informat ion, including published documents about f lood matters also appears to be confined predominantly between the various government departments. Most or a l l the information that was presented to the community, was provided by the c i t y i n the form of reports and presentations at various publ ic meetings. As a resu l t , t h i s information about the hazard and appropriate responses tends to represent the c i t y ' s views on the subject matter. I t i s evident from the survey responses, that t r a i n i n g in f lood hazard  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , a l te rnat ive adjustment measures and emergency responses i s e i ther very l i m i t e d , non-existent or poorly communicated among the 104. various governmental par t ic ipants surveyed. The par t ic ipants noted that much of t he i r hazard education and information i s based upon on-the-job t r a i n i n g , voluntary attendance at conferences, and a v a i l a b i l i t y of reports. Only a few government o f f i c i a l s indicated that they had taken courses as part of t h e i r formal education in f lood management techniques. 6.5.5 Summary The information obtained from the interviews with key o f f i c i a l s involved in f loodpla in management decisions in Southlands indicates that there is a varying perception of the f lood hazard and about ways to deal wi th that hazard, especial ly at the local government l e v e l . The f indings suggest that there remains an inadequate understanding or awareness of non-structural f lood adjustment measures by a l l levels of government. A soon to be released r isk analysis on the ex is t ing dykes around the Vancouver International A i rpor t (Sea Island) by Transport Canada, should reinforce the senior or local government o f f i c i a l s ' perceptions of the f lood hazard in Southlands. Unof f ic ia l reports by Transport Canada s ta f f are that the f lood hazard i s serious (Transport Canada 1987). The survey suggests that hazard information del ivery as part of the Southlands' program re f lec ts the perceptions of the local government o f f i c i a l s . As a r e s u l t , the c i t y ' s approach to f lood management in Southlands has not been s p e c i f i c a l l y based on developing an e f fec t i ve response to the f lood hazard. Instead, i t appears tha t the c i t y ' s concern about l i a b i l i t y has had a greater inf luence on i t s f loodpla in decisions. Therefore, much of the c i t y ' s hazard information presented 105. was spec i f i ca l l y intended to support the adoption of a f lood construct ion standard ( f loodproof ing) fo r the City of Vancouver. The resu l t i s that the c i t y o f f i c i a l s have had s ign i f i can t inf luence in determining the qua l i ty and type of f lood hazard information presented in Southlands. The author 's observations regarding the general hazard information pr inc ip les reinforce a l l the f indings from the survey responses, because the responses c lear l y show that the Southlands program has not u t i l i z e d these or s imi lar pr inc ip les in the del ivery of information to the affected residents. The survey f indings also indicate tha t as long as there remains a strong perception among government o f f i c i a l s that s t ructura l adjustment measures are the most sui table response to f lood hazard, there appears l i t t l e l i ke l ihood of change in f loodpla in management pract ice in B r i t i s h Columbia. Similar conclusions were drawn by Gordon Shanks in his 1972 research on government perceptions in to the f loodpla in management process in Richmond. In his research, he states tha t public o f f i c i a l s at a l l leve ls of government tend to perceive s t ructura l f lood adjustment measures as the only e f fec t i ve means to reduce the f lood hazard. Shanks' resu l ts show that perception of the hazard i s a major factor in the f lood adjustment adoption process. " I t appears that a change in decision-makers' perceptions w i l l be necessary to bring about a change in the planning pract ice with respect to f loodpla in management" (Shanks 1972). However, i t should be noted that f loodpla in management pract ice has come a long way in the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia since Shank's thesis on the topic ( i . e . planning, f loodproof ing) . 106. 6.6 CONCLUSION The survey f indings in th i s chapter show that there i s a lessening of awareness and understanding about the f lood matters from the senior levels of government to the local l e v e l . The senior government o f f i c i a l s are more aware of the f lood hazard and the range of f lood adjustment measures than the local o f f i c i a l s . I f t h i s information f low holds t r u e , the Southlands residents ' awareness of f lood matters should be less, or s imi lar to the perceptions of the c i t y o f f i c i a l s . The adoption and implementation of the i d e n t i f i e d general hazard information pr inc ip les suggest that the perception of knowledge about f lood matters would great ly increase at a l l levels of government, inc luding the perceptions of those community residents involved in a local f loodpla in management program. The fo l lowing chapter w i l l demonstrate how aware the local residents in the Southlands local area planning program are of the f lood hazard and the ranges of responses, and whether t he i r a t t i tudes are r e f l e c t i v e of the c i t y o f f i c i a l s ' perceptions about f loodpla in management. 107. CHAPTER 7 FLOOD-RELATED PERCEPTIONS OF SOUTHLANDS RESIDENTS 7.1 METHODOLOGY A structured wr i t t en questionnaire was used to examine the f lood-re la ted perceptions of the f loodpla in residents in Southlands. The residents were i d e n t i f i e d by property address from the City of Vancouver's Property Tax Records. The resu l t was tha t a l l the recorded res ident ia l addresses in the Southlands f loodpla in ( t o t a l l i n g 160 households) would receive one questionnaire. No judgment was made whether the f loodpla in resident was a tenant or property owner. To ensure c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y , the names of par t ic ipants in the survey were not requested nor t h e i r addresses recorded. Pr ior to d i s t r i b u t i o n of the survey, the author met the members of the Southlands Floodplain Task fo rce, and attended a regular meeting of the Southlands Ci t izens ' Planning Committee to explain the object ives of the thesis project and an upcoming community questionnaire. The questionnaire was also pre-tested by a representative group to determine appropriate wording, spacing, f low and order of questions, and formating. Because the questionnaire would be sel f -administered, the pre- tes t group were also requested to note speci f ic problems with the questions and answers, as well as suggested areas fo r improvement. The f i na l survey was reviewed by the Chairmen of the Southlands Cit izens' Planning Committee and the Southlands Floodplain Task fo rce. 108. The questionnaire was d is t r ibu ted to only those residents who were residing at the recorded address on the f loodp la in . The i n i t i a l contact with the residents was made by a l e t t e r of in t roduc t ion , accompanied by the questionnaire (Appendix H) and a postage paid return envelope. To encourage par t i c ipa t ion in the survey, the l e t t e r was d is t r ibu ted under the let terhead of the Southlands Cit izens Planning Committee, and signed by i t s Chairman. The l e t t e r urged the par t ic ipants to f i l l in the survey as soon as possible, and use the postage paid return envelope as provided. The l e t t e r also noted tha t the author would be in the area on cer ta in days to pick up the completed surveys. Out of a to ta l of 160 questionnaires d i s t r i b u t e d , 104 were returned by mail or picked up by the author. This resu l t represents a 65% return of the d is t r ibu ted questionnaires. 7.2 QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS A summary of the questionnaire resul ts i s presented in t h i s sect ion, with some in te rp re ta t ion by the author. These resident responses represent t h e i r views at the time of the survey. To h igh l igh t the effect iveness of the hazard information program in Southlands, the resul ts provide comparisons between the perceptions of those residents who are members of the Southlands Cit izens'Planning Committee, and those who are not. The Southlands Ci t izens ' Planning Committee responses are noted by "SCPC", while a l l the other comments are presented under "non-committee" responses. The questionnaire responses are presented 109. under the fo l lowing sub-headings which, when possible, correspond to the categories used to analyze the perceptions of the government o f f i c i a l s : 9 Pro f i le of the respondents; » Flood experience; 9 Hazard evaluation p r i o r to home purchase; 9 Flood hazard perception in Southlands; 9 Knowledge about f loodpla in management in Southlands; 9 Perception of a l te rna t i ve f lood adjustment measures; and 9 Government information about f lood matters. 7.2.1 Pro f i l e of the Respondents The questionnaire responses represented a larger percentage return from the non-committee group than from the Southlands Ci t izens' Planning Committee members. However, only about ha l f of the non-committee group had attended any of the c i t i z e n planning committee meetings, and/or read the l i t e r a t u r e ( i e . minutes, repor ts , e t c . ) on the f loodpla in management program. The remaining non-committee group respondents said tha t they had no contact wi th the government o f f i c i a l s or the Southlands Ci t izens ' Planning Committee. 110. TABLE 1 : Committee Membership/Area Representation SCPC NON-COMMITTEE • Respondent 37% 63% . Attended Meetings 100% 32% . Read Committee L i tera ture 100% 34% . No Committee Contact 0% 34% A major i ty of the respondents ( in both groups) were in the 45 years or older age group. The respondents were well educated wi th a major i ty having a un ivers i ty degree or higher and a s i g n i f i c a n t por t ion having completed a masters or a doctoral degree. The occupations noted were pr imar i ly i n the managerial or professional f i e l d s . According to the 1981 Canada Census fo r the Southlands local area (age, education, occupation), the s t a t i s t i c a l p r o f i l e of the respondents i s generally representative of the area populat ion. The p r o f i l e also suggests that because of t h e i r high levels of education, these residents would be well informed about about community matters. 111. TABLE 2: Age, Education, and Occupation • Age SCPC NON-COMMITTEE . Under 24 years 3% 7% . 25 to 44 years 22% 37% . 45 to 64 years 43% 37% . Over 65 years 32% 19% • Education . Universi ty 78% 76% . Masters 32% 27% . Doctorate 13% 14% s Occupation . Managerial 25% 27% . Professional 32% 38% . Cler ical 5% 3% . Sales . . . . 5% 8% . Services 7% 8% . Other ( r e t i r e d , housewife, e t c . ) 26% 12% 7.2.2 Flood Experience About ha l f of the of committee respondents indicated that they had experienced a f l ood , while a much smaller percentage of the non-committee group said that they had. When asked about where the f looding took place, a major i ty of the respondents noted Southlands. 112. However, only a small percentage said that they had experienced some damage to t h e i r garages, basements, pool decks, or workshops. The noted do l la r cost of the damages were also l i s t e d as minor (between $200 to $5000), as compared to the assessed property values in the area ($150,000 to $500,000). TABLE 3: Flood Experience SCPC NON-COMMITTEE « Flood Experience 49% 23% 0 Of Which: Southlands 56% 81% . Property Damage 15% 5% 7.2.3 Home Purchase in Southlands Less than ha l f of the respondents said that they had taken steps to evaluate the f lood hazard in Southlands p r io r to purchasing a house in Southlands. These evaluations pr imar i l y consisted of t a l k i ng to the area residents. However, a major i ty said that they would have s t i l l gone ahead and purchased a house in the area, even i f they had been e x p l i c i t l y made aware that the area might be subject to f lood ing. 113. TABLE 4: Home Purchase in Southlands SCPC NON-COMMITTEE 9 Evaluation of Hazard Prior to Home Purchase 36% 48% • Of Which: Talked to Area Residents 60% 56% • S t i l l Purchased A House 77% 77% 7.3.4 Flood Hazard in Southlands Although a s ign i f i can t number of the respondents (50% SCPC; 73% non-committee) were not aware of the causes of f looding in Southlands ( i . e . a combination of high t ides wi th winds and r a i n s ) , a major i ty believed that the r i sk of f looding in Southlands was not serious. Much of t h i s be l i e f appeared to have been based on the record of low f lood damage that has occurred in the area over the past t h i r t y years. Both groups noted that there was zero to a s l i g h t chance tha t t h e i r house or property would be flooded w i th in the next year or w i th in f i v e years. Although a smaller response, s imi la r perceptions were held about the chance of f looding w i th in the next twenty years, or w i th in t h e i r 1 i fe t imes. 114. TABLE 5: Flood Hazard Perception In Southlands SCPC NON-COMMITTEE » Not Serious 76% 86% • Serious 24% 14% • Zero Probabi l i ty Of Flooding . Next Year 84% 89% . Within 5 Years 79% 82% . Within 20 Years 66% 69% . Li fet ime 62% 64% I t i s therefore not surpr is ing , that a small percentage of the respondents acknowledged tha t they had undertaken some pr ivate measures to reduce possible damage to t h e i r houses in the event of a f l ood . These pr ivate measures included s t ructura l improvements (e .g . added a second f l o o r , or crawl space) on t h e i r house, or i n s t a l l i n g pumps/ditches in t h e i r yard. TABLE 6: Resident Measures To Reduce Flood Damage SCPC NON-COMMITTEE « Respondents 39% 21% . Structural Improvements 41% 30% . Ins ta l l Pump/Ditching 59% 70% 115. On the matter of home insurance, a s ign i f i can t percentage of the respondents (especial ly i n the non-committee group) were not aware whether t h e i r insurance pol icy covered against f lood damage to t h e i r home and contents. On the other hand, a noticeable percentage ( in both groups) did believe that they had such coverage, even though f lood insurance i s not avai lable in the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia. I t should be noted that only indus t r ia l property owners in B r i t i s h Columbia may obtain such an insurance po l i cy , i f they contact an insurance company in the United States (Minis t ry of Environment and Parks 1987). TABLE 7: Home Insurance SCPC NON-COMMITTEE • Home Insurance 100% 97% • Flood Damage Coverage . Yes 20% 20% . No 56% 38% . Don't Know 24% 42% When asked whether there was a warning system to a l e r t community residents against f lood ing , over ha l f of the respondents indicated that e i ther there wasn't one or tha t they did not know. Most of the respondents who marked yes to the question, stated that the only warning that they can remember rece iv ing, was a hazard warning l e t t e r from the City Engineer in ear ly 1987. 116. TABLE 8: Flood Warning System SCPC NON-COMMITTEE 9 Yes 31% 36% • No 49% 20% • Don't Know 20% 44% • City Engineer's Let ter 59% 83% 7.2.5 Knowledge about Floodplain Management in Southlands Well over ha l f of the committee responses indicated that they were aware that community discussions about f lood protect ion had taken place in Southlands, while less than ha l f of the non-committee group made the same response. When asked what those actions might be, most of the committee respondents noted pumping, dyking, or f loodproof ing. I t should be noted that dyking and f loodproof ing were the only f lood adjustment measures that were discussed in the Southlands Ci t izens ' Planning Committee meetings by c i t y s t a f f , and tha t the f loodproof ing regulations were subsequently adopted by City Council. 117. TABLE 9: Knowledge About Floodplain Management In Southlands SCPC NON-COMMITTEE e Aware of Floodplain Discussions 67% 47% e Possible Actions . Pumping 50% 36% . Dyking 33% 56% . Floodproofing 7% 21% Yet both dyking and p a r t i c u l a r l y f loodproof ing received the least amount of recognit ion by committee members. The low response to dyking may be a resu l t of l im i ted c i t y support fo r the option as a means to protect the area against f lood ing , while t h e i r low response to f loodproof ing seems to be based on the approach not providing f lood protect ion for the ex is t ing homes in Southlands. These low committee responses may also be based on varying meeting attendance, level of understanding of the top ic , or that the discussions about the topic were l im i ted to only cer ta in meeting dates. Pumping, on the other hand, may have been rated quite high in the responses because the residents had recent ly agreed to fund addit ional community pumps through property taxes in the Blenheim Flats area. The non-committee group showed a s imi la r response to the f lood hazard. However, a high response was noted fo r dyking, which appears to r e f l e c t 118. the general community's preferred measure to reduce f lood ing. This f ind ing was supported in a subsequent question, where support fo r dyking was high on both group's responses, while f loodproof ing options received s i g n i f i c a n t l y less support. TABLE 10: Support For Floodplain Management Measures SCPC NON-COMMITTEE • Dyking 87% 70% • Floodproofing 47% 37% 7.2.6 Perception of A l ternat ive Flood Adjustment Measures A major i ty of the committee respondents indicate that they are aware of the d i f f e r e n t types of protect ive measures tha t could lessen the impact of f loods, while a noticeably reduced level of the non-committee responses were as confident in t h e i r comments. However, when asked to l i s t these measures, about the same percentage in each group l i s t e d dyking and f loodproof ing as the primary responses to reduce f lood damage. Only a very few responses from e i ther group l i s t e d dams, f lood insurance, and storage as possible other f lood adjustment methods to reduce f lood damage. No other f lood adjustment responses were noted. 119. TABLE 11: Perception of Flood Adjustment Measures SCPC NON-COMMITTEE o Aware of Flood Adjustment Measures (Said Yes) 82% 48% t Types of Measures . Dyking 76% 72% . Floodproofing 21% 25% . Dams 0% 1% . Flood Insurance 1% 1% . Storage 1% . Other (pumps, sandbagging) . . 1% 1% These f indings show that resident perceptions about a l te rna t i ve f lood adjustment responses are as l im i ted as those perceived by the c i t y o f f i c i a l s . There i s l i t t l e awareness about other adjustment measures, in par t i cu la r those noted by the senior government o f f i c i a l s in the previous chapter. 7.2.7 Government Information about Flood Matters Most of the committee respondents (98%) were aware tha t there had been community discussion about f lood pro tec t ion, while a smaller share of the non-committee group (45%) had t h i s response. Of these responses, a major i ty (79% SCPC; 71% non-committee) noted that i t was the government and a local community organization (SCPC) tha t were pa r t i c ipa t ing in 120. these discussions. However, when asked whether t h i s discussion had influenced them about the f lood hazard in Southlands, about ha l f in both groups (49%) indicated that there had been no noticeable change in t h e i r perception. The remaining responses were divided between those respondents who noted that they thought about the topic less (34%), or those who said they thought about i t more (16%). When asked i f they were aware tha t a report had been wr i t t en on f lood matters i n Southlands, a greater percentage of the committee respondents knew tha t a report had been w r i t t e n . Of those responses, a high percentage of committee respondents also said that they had read the repor t . Although the committee responses do represent a noticeably low percentage of the en t i re committee membership, again varying meeting attendance, level of understanding of the top ic , or the number of times the topic was discussed at the meetings may have resul ted in not a l l members being aware of the report and subsequent government decisions. Also, the c i t y ' s i n te res t i n only pursuing the implementation of the f loodproof ing measures may have resul ted in decreasing numbers of committee members in being interested in the top ic , or continuing to attend fu r ther committee meetings. A much smaller response by the non-committee group indicated that they were aware of such a repor t , and had read i t . 121. TABLE 12: Awareness of City Report on Flood Management in Southlands SCPC NON-COMMITTEE 9 City Report On Floodplain Management . Yes 56% 28% . No 12% 5% . Don't Know 32% 68% 9 I f yes, did you read the report . Yes 94% 41% . No 6% 59% Regarding the question about f lood hazard informat ion, a major i ty of respondents in both groups noted tha t they had received no such information. A good example from the survey i s that most residents do not know the approximate boundaries of the Southlands f l oodp la in , when asked to locate i t on a map. A major i ty of the respondents in both groups (69% SCPC; 66% non-committee) were able to approximate the f loodpla in boundaries in Southlands. To t h i s question, the author determined which responses were generally acceptable, and which were not. The s l i g h t l y higher committee response is possibly a resu l t of the f loodpla in maps being presented at the meetings . 122. TABLE 13: Information On Flood Protection SCPC NON-COMMITTEE c Did You Receive Any Information On Flood Protection . Yes 30% 22% . No 70% 78% • I f yes, what . Leaflet/Brochure 9% 54% (Engineering Let ter ) . Personal Contact 27% 23% (Engineering s t a f f member, who delivered the l e t t e r ) . Public Meetings (SCPC) 64% 23% On the question of what f lood hazard information they had received from government, a major i ty of the respondents (76% SCPC; 80% non-committee) indicated l i t t l e informat ion. Some of the committee respondents did note that attendance at the Southlands Ci t izens' Planning Committee meetings was an important source of information about f lood pro tec t ion . However, a major i ty of these respondents also noted that the information that they had received was of l i t t l e use to them (69% SCPC; 60% non-committee). This response c lea r l y re f l ec ts t h e i r d i ssa t i s fac t ion wi th the c i t y ' s f loodproof ing approach for Southlands, instead of upgrading the ex is t ing dyking system (SCPC Committee Minutes of March 19, 1986 ) . 123. When asked to rate the government's performance in communicating information about f lood matters, a large major i ty in both groups said tha t i t generally had done a poor j ob . The lower committee response may represent t h e i r displeasure wi th the City Engineering Department and t h e i r in te res t to establ ish f loodproof ing standards in Southlands. The Engineering Department was not considered to be a part of the Southlands Local Area Planning Program, but more in the category of government (general) . However, they noted that the Local Area Planning Program has done a r e l a t i v e l y good job in ra is ing awareness about f lood matters. This l a t t e r response i s l i k e l y a comparison to the l i t t l e information that the community had received about the topic p r i o r to s t a r t of the TABLE 14: Government Performance in Communicating  Flood Hazard Information SCPC NON-COMMITTEE • Government (General) . Good Performance 9% 14% . Poor Performance 91% 86% o Southlands Local Area Planning Program . Good Performance 76% 61% . Poor Performance 24% 39% 124. local area planning program. Also, the Southlands program was perceived by the residents as responding more e f fec t i ve l y to other community issues ( i . e . land use, densi ty, equestrian a c t i v i t i e s , park lands, e t c . ) besides f loodpla in management, and as a resu l t received a favourable response on i t s performance. A s ign i f i can t port ion of the respondents (69% SCPC; 71% non-committee) did note that they were well informed about the f lood hazard in Southlands. When asked about the source of that in format ion, most indicated personal observation and experience in the area, and not information from government. This f ind ing suggests that the c i t y ' s f lood hazard information was not the source of the community's knowledge about f lood matters in Southlands. 7.3 ANALYSIS OF RESIDENT PERCEPTIONS To provide comparisons to the perceptions of the government o f f i c i a l s , the analysis of the resident perceptions is based on the fo l lowing c r i t e r i a : • Awareness of the f lood hazard; • Understanding of the f lood adjustment measures; c Delivery of f lood hazard informat ion; and • Observations in terms of the general hazard information p r inc ip les . 125. 7.3.1 Awareness of the Flood Hazard Although the responses show that a s ign i f i can t percentage of the area residents had experienced a f l ood , a major i ty of the respondents viewed the f lood hazard in Southlands to be nonexistent or low. As was the case with the c i t y o f f i c i a l s , much of t h i s perception i s based on the record of low f lood damage in the area. This low f lood hazard perception i s supported by the high degree of resident responses that indicated that there w i l l be no f looding in Southlands w i th in the next year, decade, or t h e i r l i f e t i m e s . Also, those respondents who did consider the p o s s i b i l i t y that the area might be subject to f looding indicated tha t the f looding problem was not serious enough to inf luence t h e i r decision about purchasing a house in Southlands. Other indicators that are consistent with these resident perceptions about the f lood hazard are: the lack of knowledge about home insurance coverage regarding f loods; the l i t t l e in te res t in undertaking home protect ion measures to lessen f lood damage; the lack of awareness about a neighbourhood f lood warning system; l im i ted knowledge of local discussions about f loodpla in management or recent reports on the subject presented to Council. In terms of neighbourhood perception about f lood hazard, there appears to be r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e di f ference between the committee and general community a t t i t udes . As a r e s u l t , the Southlands Local Area Planning Program was e i ther not successful in increasing resident knowledge about the top i c , above from what was already 126. generally known in the community; or the c i t y o f f i c i a l s focused on the established local perceptions about the topic to ensure the l i ke l ihood that the f loodproof ing approach would be adopted by the committee (or community) and City Council. These f indings suggest that there was l i t t l e i n te res t or e f f o r t by the government o f f i c i a l s to inf luence a change in resident perceptions about the f lood hazard by undertaking other methods of information dissemination to the community. A f ter a l l , the residents ' perceptions of the f lood hazard were s imi la r to the c i t y o f f i c i a l s ' perceptions, who were playing the major ro le in determining f loodpla in pol icy in Southlands. 7.3.2 Understanding of Flood Adjustment Measures The residents, l i k e the c i t y o f f i c i a l s , perceived dyking and f loodproof ing as the only f am i l i a r measures to respond to the f lood hazard. As noted e a r l i e r , the f ind ings demonstrate tha t no other measures were discussed as part of the Southlands f loodpla in management program. There were only a few respondents tha t indicated any knowledge about other types of f lood management approaches (eg. dams, f lood insurance, e t c . ) . However, the evidence suggests tha t t h i s information was not provided by the government o f f i c i a l s . The resident responses d i d , however, show that they preferred dyking to f loodproof ing, as a response to the f lood hazard. This f ind ing shows that the f loodpla in pol icy decisions in Southlands were based only on a choice between two 127. t r a d i t i o n a l f lood management approaches. The f ind ing also suggests that a discussion of a broader range of f lood adjustment measures as part of the decision-making process may have achieved more e f fec t i ve long term f loodpla in po l ic ies for the area and the c i t y , and greater community support for the adopted f lood adjustment measures. The questionnaire resul ts suggest that l i t t l e e f f o r t has been undertaken by the government o f f i c i a l s to inform the community about a l te rnat ive ways to respond to the f lood hazard. What information is known by the f loodpla in residents, appears to have been already known p r io r to the s t a r t of the f loodpla in management program in Southlands. 7.3.3 Delivery of Hazard Information On the whole, the resident responses confirmed that on the topic of f lood pro tec t ion , l i t t l e information had been d is t r ibu ted by government to the residents. In terms of resident awareness about f lood management discussions, the responses showed tha t those who were members of the Ci t izens' Planning Committee were more aware about f lood matters and decisions made by government in the area, because tha t information had been made avai lable only to them and not the general community. However, most of the committee responses did indicate tha t important sources of f lood hazard information were t h e i r own observations and experiences about f lood matters in the area as w e l l . This response suggests that the residents perceived the f lood hazard in Southlands to be low, and that the f lood hazard information provided by the c i t y o f f i c i a l s tends not to be the source of that view. 128. Except fo r the c i t y ' s hazard advisory l e t t e r , there was no mention by the committee members or the residents at large, about receiv ing any wr i t ten information on f lood matters, pa r t i cu la r l y those f lood management brochures that had been prepared by the senior levels of government. What information was provided, was provided at the community meetings only, and pr imar i l y by the c i t y o f f i c i a l s who supported the adoption of the f loodproof ing regulat ions. There was l i t t l e or no discussion about the f lood hazard, the p robab i l i t y of f lood ing, or other f lood management s t ra teg ies. In general, the survey f indings show that the government's performance in communicating f lood hazard information to the community represented a token e f f o r t to achieve the c i t y ' s object ive of establ ishing minimum Flood Construction Levels on i t s f loodpla in lands. The f indings do c lear l y show that the perceptions of the f loodpla in residents about f lood matters, c losely represent the perceptions of those key c i t y o f f i c i a l s who were involved in the f loodpla in management decisions in Southlands. There i s l i t t l e evidence to show that the perceptions of the senior government o f f i c i a l s about f lood matters had influenced the Southlands Ci t izens' Committee members. 7.3.4 Observations in terms of the General Hazard Information Principles The r e l a t i v e l y low understanding of the causes of f looding by a l l the resident responses, including those who are members of the committee, 129. demonstrates that the hazard information appeared not to be speci f ic to  the target population or to the res ident 's s i t u a t i o n . In f a c t , a high percentage of the respondents did not know the approximate locat ion of the Southlands f loodp la in , when questioned. As wi th the c i t y o f f i c i a l s , the resident responses showed tha t t h e i r estimation of the f lood r isk was based on the record of f lood damage in the area. This perception of r isk was s imi lar whether they were members of the committee or not. The res ident 's low perception about the f lood r isk and responses shows that the dissemination of information on the f lood hazard and the range  of possible adjustment measures were both res t r i c ted and l im i ted to the c i t y ' s information on the top ic . The f indings show tha t no attempt was made to inform the general community about the f lood management discussions and recommendations tha t were being considered by the committee. For instance, only a small percentage of non-committee responses indicated awareness about a f loodproof ing report or f lood management discussions that had taken place wi th government o f f i c i a l s . They noted tha t the only wr i t t en information that they had received on the topic from any level of government was a l e t t e r from the c i t y warning about a possible f lood . This response in i t s e l f demonstrates the success of the l e t t e r and tha t t h i s type of information del ivery to the general community can be an e f fec t i ve form of hazard education and information. The resul ts show tha t hazard information was not dispersed to the general community, but only presented at committee meetings. However, 130. the general community did appear to be as well informed about f lood matters as was the committee. There was no evidence to suggest that any a l te rnat ive e f f o r t had been undertaken to contact the area residents, aside from what was presented and discussed at the meetings. This c lear ly indicates that the c i t y was not pa r t i cu la r l y e f fec t i ve in seeking community reinforcement to the c i t y recommended responses to the hazard, e i ther soc ia l l y or l oca l l y in the area. In terms of c l a r i t y , content, d i r e c t i o n , and the type of appeal being promoted by the Southlands program, i t i s c lear tha t the c i t y wanted to discuss f loodproof ing and dyking as the only methods to respond to the f lood hazard. There i s l i t t l e evidence from the questionnaire to suggest that other options or d i rect ions were pursued. However as noted in the previous chapter, the c i t y ' s hazard advisory l e t t e r raises serious question about the qua l i t y of hazard information provided, especial ly since the Southlands Local Area Planning Program had recommended f lood protect ion po l i c ies fo r City Council adoption. I f the c i t y was concerned about the hazard, then i t should have recommended temporary f lood protect ion measures as part of the l e t t e r g iv ing the regional high t ide a l e r t . Most of the residents did acknowledge that the government o f f i c i a l s who attended the Cit izens'Planning Committee meetings were viewed as a credible information source. I t should also be noted that i t i s to the c red i t of the c i t y that i t i n i t i a t e d discussions and undertook a program to develop f loodpla in po l ic ies wi th the affected residents. However, 131. much of the hazard information communicated by the o f f i c i a l s tended to only r e f l e c t the community's long standing perceptions about the hazard. The f indings suggest tha t the c i t y was not ser iously interested in responding to the hazard and pr imar i l y based i t s f loodpla in management on the bias of i t s professional s t a f f . The f indings show tha t there appears to be l i t t l e inter-government  cooperation among the various departments and agencies as evidenced in t h e i r d i s t r i b u t i o n of f lood hazard information. The questionnaire reveals no evidence to suggest tha t any f lood hazard information was provided by the senior government o f f i c i a l s that d i f fe red from what was being presented by the c i t y . 7.3.5 Summary The questionnaire f indings show tha t although the Southlands community i s represented by a well educated and informed group of residents, much of t h e i r knowledge about f lood hazard and appropriate responses i s a resu l t of l im i ted hazard informat ion. For example, whether they are members of the c i t i zens ' committee or from the general community, t h e i r perception of f lood hazard in Southlands i s based on the record of low f lood damage and not on a f lood r i sk analysis. The s imi lar responses to questionnaires from committee members and non-committee members suggests that the qua l i ty of hazard information 132. was l im i ted to what was already known in the community to ensure that the c i t y ' s proposed f loodproof ing pol icy would be adopted fo r the area. Af ter a l l , the c i t y ' s object ive was to maintain i t s long standing pol icy on f loodpla in management that the f inancing and construct ion of f lood protect ion in Southlands should continue to be the responsib l i ty of the indiv idual property owner or the pr ivate developer. The s imi la r group responses also showed tha t the Southlands Local Area Planning Program was successful in d i f f us ing f lood hazard information to the community, f i r s t to the community leaders, and then to the general community; or that the program di f fused no new information above what was already known in the neighbourhood. I t i s therefore not surpr is ing that the f indings show tha t the residents ' view about the f lood hazard i s nonexistent or low, and the range of possible adjustments l i m i t e d . What hazard information has been provided as part of the Southlands f loodpla in management program appears to represent the equally l im i ted f lood related perceptions of the c i t y o f f i c i a l s . There i s no evidence to suggest that other hazard information by the senior levels of government was made avai lable during the decision-making process. Except at the Southlands Ci t izens ' Committee meetings, no attempt was made to contact the general community-at-large through newsletters, repor ts , or notices to raise t h e i r knowledge about the f lood r i sk and possible responses. The resul ts support the conclusion made in the previous chapter, tha t the c i t y o f f i c i a l s have had s i g n i f i c a n t inf luence in determining the qua l i ty and type of hazard information presented in Southlands. 133. The survey f indings also support Shanks' (1972) research conclusions on government perceptions in to the f loodpla in management process in Richmond. In tha t research, he states tha t "c i t i zens themselves are not well informed about the f lood s i t u a t i o n . With few exceptions, they do not exh ib i t any real concern about the f lood problem. As a resu l t one should not expect the general publ ic to stimulate planners to consider other adjustments to the f lood hazard. In short , one should not expect addit ional adjustments to be ser iously explored u n t i l there i s a f lood which breaches or tops the dykes" (Shanks p. 114). The suggestion i s that since the public does not perceive the hazard to be s i g n i f i c a n t , there is no public pressure to consider other f lood management approaches. 7.4 CONCLUSION The conclusion is that the questionnaire f indings show tha t the community perceptions about the f lood r isk and responses are congruent with the perceptions of the c i t y o f f i c i a l s only. No knowledge about the topic as understood by the senior government o f f i c i a l s was presented, or made avai lable as part of the decision-making process in Southlands to develop f lood management p o l i c i e s . I f there are varying perceptions about the hazard and ways to respond to that hazard, then there is question whether the most appropriate or sui table measures have been adopted in Southlands. For government and the public to gain an opportunity to make more e f fec t i ve f loodpla in po l i c i es , more appropriate 134. information about the hazard and responses i s required in any f lood management program. Not only w i l l the product of such hazard information raise the awareness of those government o f f i c i a l s involved in f loodpla in decisions, i t w i l l also increase the awareness and understanding of those residents af fected by the hazard and subsequent pol icy decisions. This concludes the evaluation of f lood hazard information as provided as part of the Southlands Local Area Planning Program. The f i n a l chapter w i l l recommend changes aimed at improving the f low of hazard information between a l l levels of government and those residents af fected by the hazard. 135. CHAPTER 8 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 8.1 INTRODUCTION The research on the development of f loodpla in po l ic ies in Southlands, has revealed information def ic iencies at various points in the decision-making process. This f i n a l chapter f i r s t i d e n t i f i e s the major weaknesses in the Southlands hazard information program, and second recommends ways of improving the del ivery of hazard information in other communities and t h e i r f lood management programs. 8.2 RESEARCH CONCLUSIONS The underlying theme of t h i s research project has been tha t bet ter information about the f lood hazard and adjustment measures leads to more informed f lood adjustment decisions on the part of governments and ind iv idua ls . Although the l i t e r a t u r e indicates that the re la t ionship between awareness of knowledge and consequent adoption of hazard adjustment measures is mixed, i t does state tha t much can be accomplished i f the qua l i t y and d i s t r i b u t i o n of information as part of a f loodpla in management program i s sophist icated and informs those affected by the hazard. However, there i s no guarantee that an indiv idual w i l l act upon tha t informat ion. 136. The l i t e r a t u r e review concluded tha t information may lead to behaviour change under highly speci f ied condit ions i f properly executed wi th speci f ic targets . Although the research on hazard education covered a range of natural hazards, i t was possible to i d e n t i f y spec i f ic condit ions ( information pr inc ip les p. 19) in which information can lead to awareness and awareness to the adoption of f lood adjustment measures. As a r e s u l t , the research was able to examine the qua l i ty and d i s t r i b u t i o n of hazard information in the development of f loodpla in po l ic ies in Southlands, Vancouver. I t i s acknowledged tha t there i s no easy solut ion to improving the manner wi th which f lood management decisions are made, however, t h i s thesis suggests tha t any improvement in the qua l i t y and del ivery of hazard information during the decision-making process correspondingly improves the opportunity for bet ter management decisions. Although there has been a noticeable improvement in the development of f loodpla in management po l ic ies in the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia since the 1948 Fraser River f l ood , t h i s thesis shows that there continues to be an inadequate awareness of the f lood hazard and a lack of understanding of non-structural f lood adjustment measures by o f f i c i a l s charged wi th the respons ib i l i t y of developing f lood management po l i c ies , spec i f i ca l l y at the local government l e v e l . The research concludes that t h i s s i tua t ion arose because the qua l i ty and del ivery of hazard information as part of the decision-making process was poor since l i t t l e 137. information interchange occurred between the various government levels and between government and the residents po ten t ia l l y af fected by the hazard. To support t h i s conclusion, the review of the Southlands f loodpla in management program shows tha t there were a number of information del ivery weaknesses in the decision-making process. • Although the senior government o f f i c i a l s were more concerned about f lood hazard, and more aware about the range of possible measures avai lable to reduce the f lood th rea t , there was no evidence that t h e i r views or ideas were presented to the local o f f i c i a l s or the affected residents; o The dissemination of f lood hazard information and a l te rna t i ve f lood adjustment measures appeared to have been blocked because of inter-government j u r i s d i c t i o n s ; • No r isk analysis was undertaken by the City of Vancouver to determine the p robab i l i t y of f lood ing. Instead the record of low f looding and f lood damage over the l a s t t h i r t y years was used as the basis to assess the f lood r i s k ; e There was l i t t l e in te rac t ion between the senior levels of government and local o f f i c i a l s in the development of the f loodpla in decisions. As a r e s u l t , the local o f f i c i a l s tended to pursue only t h e i r views 138. and perceptions about the f lood r i sk and appropriate responses, as well as the information techniques used to select t h e i r f lood adjustment approach; • Aside from the f lood management presentations and discussions that took place at the Southlands Ci t izens' Committee Meetings, there was no attempt to undertake an organized program to e i ther inform the community or to s o l i c i t opinions about the hazard, the select ion of f lood adjustment opt ions, and the f i na l recommendations; o There, was not a s i g n i f i c a n t di f ference in awareness about the f lood hazard or possible f lood adjustment measures between residents who attended the Southlands Ci t izens ' Committee meetings, and those who did not; and • Government o f f i c i a l s involved in developing and administering f lood management po l ic ies may not have had s u f f i c i e n t opportunity to obtain per t inent f lood hazard information to keep them informed about the l a tes t developments in the f i e l d . These weaknesses in the Southlands decision-making process raise considerable concern about expert ise of the c i t y o f f i c i a l s or local governments in f loodpla in management, and the ro le of senior governments in t h i s f i e l d . 139. 8.3 RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS Although local governments are the workhorse of land use regulat ion and management in the province, because of j u r i s d i c t i o n , funding, and expertise in environmental issues, munic ipa l i t ies are not well set up to assume major respons ib i l i t y i n f loodpla in management without assistance from the other levels of government. The management of f lood hazardous lands should be a shared respons ib i l i t y between a l l three levels of government. Any strategy to reduce f lood losses therefore depends on a coordinated action by a l l these par t i c ipan ts , none can do the job alone. To improve the f lood hazard information exchange and in te rac t ion between governments l eve ls , and between governments and residents, t h i s thesis recommends that a "Provincial Hazard Advisory Program" be established tha t provides f lood management services spec i f i ca l l y or iented to the needs of local governments/communities subject to f lood hazard. This program would require: • That the provincial government undertake a strong leadership, coordinat ion, and assistance ro le as part of any local program to develop f loodpla in management policies/adjustments/emergency evacuation plans; 140. • That a l l pert inent information ( f lood forecast data, r i sk analysis, f loodpla in mapping) be col lected and analyzed p r io r to the consideration of any f loodpla in pol icy opt ions; • That a l l levels of government be consulted on a regular basis, including the local res idents, during the decision-making process; § That a l l government o f f i c i a l s involved in developing and administering f lood management po l ic ies be trained/upgraded about current practices and procedures in the f i e l d ( i e . hazard i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , range of f lood adjustment measures, emergency preparedness plans, hazard information dissemination); • That an ongoing cost-shared publ ic information and education program be developed to increase community awareness ( inc luding developers, bu i lders , real estate agents, f inanc ia l i n s t i t u t i o n s ) about the f lood hazard and responses and government i n i t i a t i v e s ( i e . technical informat ion, emergency plans, and temporary f lood adjustment measures) in those areas po ten t ia l l y af fected by a f lood hazard; and e That local emergency o f f i c e r s and natural hazard experts be i n v i t e d , consulted, and informed during the development of local f lood management plans. 141. In the meantime, i t i s recommended tha t the hazard information pr inc ip les i d e n t i f i e d as part of the l i t e r a t u r e review be adopted as in ter im information guidelines in developing future f lood hazard advisory programs. Flood management is an evolving f i e l d and t h i s research has s t r i ved to increase the understanding of the re la t ionship between bet ter and more e f fec t i ve decisions. The recommendations proposed should improve the current approach to f lood management for B r i t i s h Columbia and the City of Vancouver, as well as other communities who w i l l be planning to develop f lood management decisions. This thesis also represents the history of a public decision and provides a gauge to measure future f loodpla in management decisions as well as fu r ther research in to the topic of natural hazards. As mentioned on a number occasions throughout t h i s research, a suggested topic for fu r ther academic work would be in the area of l i a b i l i t y and government r i sk management decisions. This topic i s becoming of greater concern and importance among local au thor i t ies because of t h e i r increasing roles in r i sk management decisions and t h e i r implementation ( i e . earthquake preparat ion, administrat ion of f loodproof ing standards, subdivision approvals in natural hazard areas, e tc . ) . 142. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. American Society of Planning O f f i c i a l s . 1972. Regulations for Flood Plains. Planning Advisory Service Report No. 277, Chicago, I l l i n o i s . 2. Anderson, W.A.. 1969. "Disaster Warning and Communication Processes in Two Communities", The Journal of Communication. 19.2:92-104 (June). 3. Arsdol, Maurice D. Van, George Sabagh, and Francesca Alexander. 1965. 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National Science Foundation Project, Ba t te l le Human A f fa i r s Research Center, Seat t le , Washington. 72. P i a t t , Rutherford H. 1982. "The Jackson Flood of 1979", Journal of the American Planning Associat ion. 48.2:219-331. 73. Preston, Valer ie, S. Martin Taylor, and David C. Hodge. 1983. "Adjustment to Natural and Technological Hazards: A Study of an Urban Residential Community", Environment and Behavior. 15 (March):! 43-1 64. 74. Regulska, Joanna. 1979. Public Awareness Programs fo r Natural Hazards. Natural Hazards Awareness Workshop, Corpus C h r i s t i , lexas (March 21-23). 75. Rossi, P.H., J.D. Wright, and E. Weber-Burdin. 1982. Natural Hazards and Public Choice: The State and Local Po l i t i cs of Hazard  M i t i ga t ion . New York: Academic Kress. 76. Ruch, Carlton E. 1978. Hurricane Perception Clues as Related to Response Patterns. Annual Natural Hazards Research Workshop, Boulder, Colorado. 77. Russell, C l i f f o r d , S. 1969. Losses From National Hazard. 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APPENDICES Appendix A: Southlands Floodplain Management Program Terms of Reference: 152 Engineering Department's Concerns Relating to Flood Problems, and Their Solutions Appendix B: Southlands Floodplain Management Program Terms of Reference: 156 Task Force's Non-Engineering Agenda in Floodplain Management Appendix C: Vancouver City Council Approved Recommendations Regarding 162 Floodproofing in Southlands Appendix D: Vancouver City Council Approved Recommendations Regarding 166 Dyking in Southlands Appendix E: Letter I n v i t i n g Government O f f i c i a l s to Par t ic ipate in the 169 Southlands Interview Survey Appendix F: Samples of Published Senior Government Handouts on Flood 172 Hazard Information Appendix G: A Copy of a City Engineering Hazard Advisory Let ter 177 Dist r ibuted to the Southlands Residents in Early 1987. Appendix H: Let ter of Introduct ion and Questionnaire Dis t r ibuted to the 1 7 9 Southlands Floodplain Residents APPENDIX A SOUTHLANDS FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT PROGRAM TERMS OF REFERENCE: ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT'S CONCERNS RELATING TO FLOOD PROBLEMS, AND THEIR CONCERNS SOUTHLANDS FLOODPLAIN STUDY 153. ENGINEERING ISSUES TERMS OF REFERENCE DRAFT FOR SUB-COMMITTEE COMMENT 1. Introduction The purpose of th is study is to analyze Engineering issues related to the Southlands Floodplain. The study i s to be conducted by the City Engineering Department in consultat ion wi th the Southlands Ci t izens' Planning Committee and the City Planning Department. The Southlands area contains many res ident ia l homes which are at or below the f loodp la in . In add i t ion , much of the area has open ditches for storm drainage with septic f i e l d s and holding tanks fo r sewage discharge. These issues make the area a special case in Vancouver in which appl icat ion of appropriate Engineering solut ions needs to be evaluated care fu l l y in the context of the local area. 2. Timing and Process The study should be concluded by December 1, 1985. Regular reports w i l l be made to the Southlands Ci t izens' Planning Committee; Task Force on Floodproofing. Other relevant agencies and experts w i l l be consulted as required. 3. Scope The report w i l l analyze the cause, e f fec t and p robab i l i t y of potent ial f lood ing; i d e n t i f y options fo r p r a c t i c a l , cost e f fec t i ve f lood protect ion w i th in the context of ex is t ing development and future development p o t e n t i a l ; i d e n t i f y legal issues and areas of respons ib i l i t y ; assess environmental impacts of i d e n t i f i e d so lu t ions; develop a plan fo r the short and long term provision of sanitary sewage service and storm water discharge fo r the Southlands area, consistent wi th the goals of the Southlands Planning Program. 4. History This section of the study w i l l cover a range of information to i den t i f y c lear ly the h is tory on development of the area. Included w i l l be information on ex is t ing dikes (e levat ions, s ize , ownership), elevation .2 154. - 2 -of ex is t ing homes, elevations of roadways, elevations of ex is t ing grades and locations of f i l l e d land, ex is t ing services and land uses, case history of f looding problems. 5. Source of Flooding This section of the study w i l l discuss the sources of possible f looding in the Southlands f l oodp la in , and a best guess of the frequency of f looding recurrence. Information w i l l be obtained from Provincial and Federal Government departments as well as the City records. 6. Legal and Regulatory Issues This section w i l l explore the legal requirements fo r f lood protect ion in the Floodplain ( inc luding subdivision procedures and legal control over land f i l l i n g ) . The in ten t i s to discuss Provincial and Vancouver City applicable standards, and out l ine also the legal requirements in other munic ipa l i t ies in the GVRD and perhaps related experience in s imi la r geographical areas in the USA. 7. Flood Protection Solutions and Implications This section of the study w i l l involve a technical evaluation of a l l of the options to provide f lood pro tec t ion. For example, ra is ing level of land and s t ree ts , ra is ing bu i ld ings, improving dikes and pumping, and increasing storage capacity for storm water. I t may involve the d iv i s ion of the Southlands in to separate areas as impacts of an option may be quite d i f f e r e n t because of variance in ex is t ing dens i t ies . The options avai lable to resolve the f lood protect ion issue w i l l be examined fo r - cost impl icat ions ( inc luding sources of funding, i . e . , Federal Diking Program) - health and safety impl icat ions - implementation time frame - environmental impact wi th emphasis on ex is t ing development, land use and landscape features - zoning scenarios which include ex is t ing zoning and one or two scenarios for changes where possible. 3 155. - 3 -8. Sanitary Sewer System The ex is t ing sewage disposal method, p a r t i c u l a r l y in the Blenheim F la ts , w i l l be reviewed and opt ions, e . g . , conventional, se l f contained or d i s t r i c t sewage disposal systems evaluated to improve the system i f required. The study w i l l provide a review of the ex is t ing system and analyze a l te rnat ive methods and costs of i n s t a l l i n g services where none ex is t today. Both short and long term solut ions and methods of f inancing w i l l be discussed. 9. Storm Sewer System This section w i l l analyze the ex is t ing system which includes open ditches and pumping, and i d e n t i f y any needed improvements in the short term. The report w i l l examine also long term options to improve the ex is t ing storm drainage system and/or change the system to el iminate ditches (considering both grav i ty and pumping). The role of Southlands as a drainage area fo r a larger area to the north w i l l be considered. The report w i l l consider the cost impl icat ions of each option and assess the time frame to achieve implementation. 10. Streets This w i l l include information on the condit ion of the ex is t ing s t reet system in the area, and w i l l evaluate a l te rna t ive design standards fo r any possible fu ture upgrading. The method of f inancing s t ree t improvements through the local improvement process w i l l be discussed. 11. Conclusions - Recommendations The technical study w i l l produce options for which advantages and disadvantages can be established c lea r l y . Recommendations w i l l then be forwarded to the Southlands Ci t izens ' Planning Committee and subsequently to City Council fo r t h e i r considerat ion. APPENDIX B SOUTHLANDS FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT PROGRAM TERMS OF REFERENCE: TASK FORCE'S NON-ENGINEERING AGENDA IN FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT SOUTHLANDS CITIZEN PLANNING COMMITTEE 157. TASK FORCE ON FLOODPROOFING  DRAFT TERMS OF REFERENCE A. Background At i t s July 31 , 1.985 meeting the Southlands Ci t izens ' Planning Committee passed a motion proposing creat ion of a Task Force on f loodproof ing. The overal l object ive of t h i s Task Force is to formulate pol ic ies that w i l l resu l t in achievement of consensus preliminary goal #7 adopted by the SCPC, which reads "Resolve the issue of f loodproof ing in the study area (Southlands) without a l te r ing the character of the area". The t iming of the creat ion of the f loodproof ing Task Force coincided wi th the i n i t i a t i o n of a study by the Ci ty Engineering Department on the engineering issues involved in the Southlands f loodp la in . In i t s i n i t i a l meetings the Task Force worked wi th representatives from the Engineering Department in the wr i t i ng of terms of reference for the engineering study. This study w i l l examine engineering issues re lated both to f looding problems and the i r amel iorat ion, and to sanitary sewage disposal. The Task Force w i l l contr ibute to t h i s study by co l l ec t i ng information on f looding history in the study area and by reviewing relevant l i t e r a t u r e obtained from other f loodpla in j u r i s d i c t i o n s . Other types of information may be provided in the future i f deemed 158. desirable by City Engineering and the Task Force. In add i t ion , regular reports on the progress of the study w i l l be received from the Engineering Department and conveyed to the f u l l SCPC. While the engineering study w i l l deal la rge ly wi th the technical aspects of f lood protect ion and sewage disposal , an important role of the Task Force w i l l be to consider these problems in a wider context. In pa r t i cu la r , various non-engineering matters must be examined. In attempting to achieve f lood protect ion fo r the area, while maintaining i t s character, at least two other d r a f t goals must be kept in mind, namely goal #1 (maintain semi-rural character) and #4 (protect and enhance natural w i l d l i f e and vegetation of the study area). As a consequence of the presentation on semi-rural character to the f u l l SCPC and numerous discussions wi th in the f u l l committee, elements that are important in maintaining semi-rural character have been i d e n t i f i e d . These w i l l be used by the Task Force in evaluating various options fo r f lood protect ion and sewage management. What i s lacking at present is detai led information on w i l d l i f e and natural vegetation in the area and on the re lat ionships between the study area and the Fraser River foreshore, p a r t i c u l a r l y in regards to the drainage system in the Southlands area. This information i s required to provide an accurate assessment of the environmental impact of various f lood protect ion and sewage disposal opt ions. Hence another object ive of the Task Force is to co l l ec t such data. 159. Objectives 1. Develop po l ic ies on f lood protect ion fo r the study area which maintain the character of the area. 2. Develop po l ic ies on sewage disposal for the Blenheim Flats region. 3. Obtain information on: w i l d l i f e and natural vegetation in the study area, pa r t i cu la r l y in regards to the drainage di tches; water qua l i ty in the drainage system (b io log ica l and chemical contaminants); impact of southlands drainage water on the Fraser River. Work Required 1. Receive and evaluate reports from City Engineering on the Southlands Floodplain Study (Engineering Issues). (Whole Task Force) 2. Assist Engineering wi th submissions on f i r s t hand accounts of f looding in the area. (Whole Task Force) 3. Assist Engineering wi th review of relevant l i t e r a t u r e col lected and d is t r ibu ted by Planning S ta f f . ( Indiv idual volunteers report ing to the Whole Task Force) 160. 4. Inv i te relevant experts from the un i ve rs i t i es , the pr ivate sector, government agencies and any other areas who w i l l enable c i t i zens and s t a f f to broaden t h e i r knowledge of f loodpla in management and sanitary sewage disposal. (Whole Task Force and in some cases, f u l l SCPC) 5. Obtain information on the natural environment of the Southlands area and Fraser River Foreshore. (Task Group) 6. Obtain information on water qua l i ty in the Southlands drainage system, in re la t ion to water qua l i ty in the north area of the Fraser River, and on the human health r isks and environmental impacts of any contamination found. Ident i fy major sources of any contaminants. (Task Group) 7. Report to the f u l l SCPC on the progress of the above matters. 8. Upon completion of the Engineering Study (scheduled fo r Dec. 1 ) , review the f indings and conclusions and determine whether an independent review from qua l i f i ed experts i s warranted (as per section 11 of the Engineering Terms of Reference). 9. When the Engineering s t a f f present t h e i r report to the SCPC and City Council, ensure tha t the Task Force and SCPC responses are also presented. D. Products to be Reported to SCPC 1. Submissions on f i r s t hand accounts of f looding problems in the area. 161. 2. Documentation of presentations from inv i ted experts and agencies. 3. Report on the w i l d l i f e and natural vegetation in the study area. 4. Report on water qua l i ty in the drainage d i tch system. 5. Review and analysis of Engineering Floodplain study. 6. Pol ic ies on f lood pro tec t ion , drainage and sanitary sewage management which are consistent with the d r a f t goals o f the SCPC. Include a chart showing land use and density options and the f lood protection/sewage options and/or requirements fo r each. E. Timing Since the Engineering study i s scheduled fo r completion on December 1, the Task Force should complete i t s work by December 31, 1985. APPENDIX C VANCOUVER CITY COUNCIL APPROVED RECOMMENDATIONS R$GARDING FLOODPROOFING IN SOUTHLANDS 163. Extract from the Minutes of the Vancouver City Council Meeting Apr i l 15, 1986 The City Engineer Recommends: A. THAT f loodproofing requirements fo r Blenheim Flats (area shown on Appendix I ) be established as fo l lows: . 1 . Require l a n d f i l l i n g to be a minimum of 36 inches above the ex is t ing s t reet f ron t ing the s i t e . This required f i l l i n g need only extend to 15 feet beyond the foundation wall and include an area s u f f i c i e n t to contain the required septic f i e l d . 2. Require a l l habitable f loors or features subject to damage to be at the f lood construct ion level o f : o elevat ion 101.2 feet City datum beyond 1000 feet from the r i ve r o elevat ion 102.9 feet City datum wi th in 1000 feet of the r i v e r . 3. To protect the amenity of the low- ly ing area, i t i s considered advisable to meet the f lood construct ion level by s t ructura l means above elevat ion 100 fee t . However, where adjacent streets are above elevat ion 99.5 fee t , the f u l l f lood control level could be achieved t o t a l l y by f i l l i n g . 164. 4. Runoff from development s i tes to be retained during ra in storms and not to be discharged to adjacent lands at any greater rate than i t was p r io r to development. B. THAT f loodproof ing requirements fo r West Southlands or Dunbar Flats (area shown on Appendix I ) be established as fo l lows: 1. Require l a n d f i l l i n g on any ex is t ing or subdivided l o t to be a minimum of 18 inches above the ex is t ing s t reet f ron t ing the property. 2. Require a l l habitable f loors and other features subject to damage by f lood waters to be at the f lood construct ion level of 101.2 feet Vancouver City datum. 3. (a) To protect the amenity of the low- ly ing area, i t i s considered advisable to meet the f lood construct ion level by s t ructura l means above elevat ion 100 fee t . However, where adjacent streets are above elevat ion 99.5 fee t , the f u l l Flood Construction Level could be achieved t o t a l l y by f i l l i n g . C. THAT the Director of Legal Services be requested to prepare the necessary by-laws and to pursue Charter amendments ( i f necessary) to implement the po l ic ies out l ined in A and B. 165. D. THAT Council d i rec t the City Engineer to carry out the study of a comprehensive dyking pol icy fo r report back concurrent wi th the overal l planning report . E. THAT the City Engineer prepare storm water retent ion guidelines for developments in the RA-1 zoning d i s t r i c t . The Director of Planning supports Recommendations A (1 -4 ) , B (1-2 on ly ) , C, D and E. As an a l te rnat ive to Recommendation B-3 (a) he Recommends the fo l low ing : 8.3(b) To protect the amenity of the low- ly ing area, and at the same time not to deny adequate f lood pro tec t ion , require that the Flood Construction Level be met by s t ructura l means above elevat ion 100 fee t . However, where adjacent st reets are above elevat ion 99.5 fee t , the f u l l Flood Construction Level could be achieved t o t a l l y by f i l l i n g . Further, the Director of Planning submits the fo l lowing addit ional Recommendation: F. THAT the City Engineer and the Director of Planning, in consultat ion with the Director of Permits and Licences, prepare guidelines for l a n d f i l l i n g in those port ions of the Southlands covered by the Agr icu l tura l Land Reserve and the Soil Conservation Act. APPENDIX D VANCOUVER CITY COUNCIL APPROVED RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DYKING IN SOUTHLANDS 167. Extract from the Minutes of the Vancouver City Council Meeting Apr i l 28, 1987 Page 2 Southlands Progress Report #7 Fraser River Dyking (cont 'd) Report B summarized an attached report of the City Engineer on a Fraser River Dyking Policy in Southlands, wherein the City Engineer and Director of Planning submitted options fo r Counci l 's considerat ion. However, instead of the s ta f f recommendations A, B and C, the City Manager recommended: D. (1) Council approve in p r inc ip le a comprehensive dyking program fo r the Southlands area only, subject to obtaining senior government sharing and property owner approval fo r a local improvement such that the to ta l City cost does not exceed $425,000 fo r capi ta l expenditures. (2) Council i ns t ruc t the City Engineer to apply fo r cost sharing under any applicable senior government program, and consider options for d i s t r i b u t i o n of cost to local property owners via local improvement. 168. (3) Council i ns t ruc t the Director of Legal Services to seek Charter amendments fo r assessing a port ion of those costs as a local improvement. (4) Council i ns t ruc t the Supervisor of Properties to negotiate fo r the required r ights-of-way for dyke upgrading. (5) The City Manager report back w i th in six months on the resul ts of the s t a f f work. MOVED BY Aid. Put 1 THAT recommendations A, B, C and D, as contained in the Manager's Report dated March 25, 1987 (Southlands Progress Report #7) be approved. - CARRIED (Alderman Boyce opposed) APPENDIX E LETTER INVITING GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SOUTHLANDS INTERVIEW SURVEY F e b r u a r y 2 0 , 1987 D e a r I n t e r v i e w on F l o o d A w a r e n e s s i n S o u t h l a n d s My name i s K a r i H u h t a l a , a g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , p r e s e n t l y c o n d u c t i n g r e s e a r c h f o r a t h e s i s a s s e s s i n g t h e a t t i t u d e s o f g o v e r n m e n t o f f i c i a l s a b o u t a l l t y p e s o f f l o o d h a z a r d a n d p o s s i b l e w a y s t o d e a l w i t h t h a t h a z a r d . The o b j e c t i v e o f t h i s r e s e a r c h i s t o d e v e l o p a n d e v a l u a t e t h e most e f f e c t i v e p r o c e s s t o d i s t r i b u t e i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t f l o o d p r o t e c t i o n o p t i o n s . As g o v e r n m e n t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s i n v o l v e d i n t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o r a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f f l o o d p l a i n p o l i c i e s i n S o u t h l a n d s , y o u a r e i n v i t e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n an i n t e r v i e w . I t i s e x p e c t e d t h a t t h e i n t e r v i e w w i l l t a k e no more t h a n o n e - h a l f h o u r o f y o u r t i m e . B e c a u s e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a P o l i c y r e q u i r e s w r i t t e n s u b j e c t c o n s e n t f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n i n t e r v i e w s , a w r i t t e n c o n s e n t f o r m h a s b e e n a t t a c h e d . I f y o u a g r e e t o t h e i n t e r v i e w , p l e a s e f i l l i n t h i s f o r m a n d u s e t h e p o s t a l p a i d r e t u r n e n v e l o p e a s p r o v i d e d . Upon r e c e i p t o f y o u r r e s p o n s e , I w i l l c o n t a c t y o u a b o u t an a p p r o p r i a t e d ay a n d t i m e f o r t h e i n t e r v i e w . The i n d i v i d u a l s u r v e y r e s p o n s e s w i l l be k e p t c o n f i d e n t i a l . You do h a v e t h e r i g h t t o r e f u s e t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s i n t e r v i e w o r w i t h d r a w a t any t i m e . A summary o f t h e f i n d i n g s ( n o t i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s e s ) w i l l be made a v a i l a b l e t o y o u u p o n r e q u e s t . Thank y o u f o r y o u r t i m e a n d p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s s t u d y . Y o u r s t r u l y , K a r i H u h t a l a APPENDIX F SAMPLES OF PUBLISHED SENIOR GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS ON FLOOD HAZARD INFORMATION epeueo epeueo • s a o o u 30IACSV <n3HJ13S pouvez vousadresseriCP 10.000 dana volte capitals provinciate ou conlacler le bureau regional de Planilication durgence Canada dans celte ville; ou conlacler: PtanlllcaUon r f u r j « i n Canada, 3B. 125 promenade Sueaei . Ottawa. Ont.. K tAOWS Teh Code regional e l 3 M2-3322 M 2 - M M MESURES INDIVIDUELLES INONDATIONS Plans de d e m a i n p o u r au jou rd 'hu i INONDATIONS Habituellement, il est possible d « prevoir une inondation locale en surveillant constamment le niveau de I'eau e la suite de lories pluies. la condition de la neige dans has ba sains de drainage et let observations el previsions meleorologiques. Un inondation soudalne, qui ne laisse QUO re le temps d'avertir (a population, peut aire associee a d'autres causes, telles qu'un tremblemeni de terre. un raz de maree. un ouragan, une violente tempete ou I'enflondrement d'un barrage. Quelle qu'en soit la cause, les autoritea locales tiennent la population des secteurs menaces au courant de I'evolution du sinistra. Au moyen de divers organes de diffusion aires recommenderont les mesures a prendre pour circonscrire ou preventr le desastre Lea autoritea munlcipales ou provinciates emettenl des instructions detainees afin de re pond re aux besoins immediate. Precautions generates a prendre en cas d inondation Courant electrique Coupez le courant dans les locaux menaces, mais non sf ('emplacement du commutateur principal esl deja inonde. St le plancher est humide, tenez-vous sur une planch* seche et aclionnez le commulaleur au moyen dun baton sec. Tool appareil electrique expose au« «aux de (inondation devrait etre examine par un professional avant d'etre remis en service. Appareil de chauffage Des precautions specialee doivent etre prises pour proteger les appa rails de chauffage a letectricite. au gaz natural ou au g u propane contra les degata. ou du moin* pour reduire ces degats au minimum 8i vous an a vet le temps, consultez voire four niaaeur au su)et dea mesures a prendre. Si voire appareil de chauffage a eta expose a I'eau. laites-leexaminer par un expert avanl de le remertre an service. Contamination de I'eau Si le gout, la couleur ou I'odeur de I'eau vous porta a croire quelle aete con t ami nee. purifiez-la avanl den boire en la faisant bouillir ou en utilisant des com primes appropries ou du chlorure de chaux Dans le cas du chlorure de chaux. meltez de t a 2 goutles par litre d'eau et laissez i'eau reposer pendant 30 minutes avant den boire. Precautions generates • Assurez-vous que votre radio a pile fonctionne et ecoutez les instructions ditfusees localemenl. • Faites-vous une reserve d aliments, d'eau potable el de fournitures medicates. • Demenagez vos meubles et effets personnels a letage superieur • Metlez en lieu sur les polluants tels qu'inseciicides. herbicides, etc • Apres avoir enteve la cuvette du cabinet, bouchez le conduit ainsi que le conduit d'egoutau sous-sot au moyen dune cheville de bots ou dun sac de grainedelin. • Assurez-vous que vos goutlieres ne se deversenl pas dans le system* d'egoul de la maison. • Certains domiciles peuvent etre proteges au moyen de sacs de sable ou de barr ie res en polyethylene, mais I'emploi de ces materiaux exige des melhodes speciales. Avant de les employer, consultez les agents tocaux proposes aux mesures d'urgence Si I'inondation vous lorce a quitter voire d o m i c i l e . . . Apponez: • Voire radio transistor et des piles de rechange; • une lampedepoche el des piles de rechange; • des vetements chauds et des vetements de dessus et des couvre-chaussures impermeables ainsi que des couvertures; • les medicaments essentials, les articles necessaires au soin des bebes, des articles de toilette personnel!* et lous les approvisionne-mentsde secours possibles; • un document quelconque d'identite pour cheque membre de la famtlle. • vos documents personnels etfamiliaux. Si vous conduisez votre voiture. laites-le avec prudence. Pour avoir, d'autres renseignements au sujet des tem petes de vent, des tremblements de terre. des pannes d'e tec Incite en hiver. la conduite en hi vet du tan l les lempetes, ou de la guerre nucleaire. vous i A V Q O l - MOJJOUJOI JOJ u e i d 9986-186 UCC-266 CIS epoa ee iy :euoqd M M V I * l u o ' e a t e u o •a*Ma «••«*« «('gc ' epcueo Suiuuavj Aauaf t iau i j p e i u o a JO :A\to laq i ui eoftio leuoiSej apeueo 6u|uueid Aouef l je iu^ »MI PBJUOD JO |B|td«3 IBpUIAOjd jnoA ui 000'Ot *°8 eiuM eseeid ' J B M JBappu JO 'SUJJOIS JQIUIM U I 6ut AMP 'eejnjtei jaMOd J B I U I M 'saitenbquae s tu jo t tpu iM ui op 0 | ieqM uo eaiApa d|eq-||ec jaq io J O J 9JBO euiaj |xe u)tm S A U P *JB3 jnoA Buitn j | s iueumaop AIIUJBI pus leuosiad • :A| IUJBI jnoA j o iequjaui qoee JO I uot|«3i|i|uapi jo sueeui « !UB3 noA se sei|ddns AousOjouje Aueui se pue seutai ioi leuosjed cujaif MO tupfui ' sau i^pau/ tetjuecsa • rsiexueiq pue ' J B B M I O O I pue siuauue6 JOino j o o j d j e i e « o u i q t o p UJJBM • 'souaueq ej»de gjiM m6?|use|j • :saijaueq ejeds pue o ipe j pajawod-Aja i ieg • noA UJ IM one± • • • e u i o q j n o A UIOJI noA s a o j o i p o o i j e \\ B|«I0 I | |0 Aouefij»UJ9 |B30| inoA UJOJ) suot)3nj)sut oijiaads inou . i i* u o i p e i o j d jo adAi s iq i iduja i is I .UOQ q3ea JO | pesn aq lsntu spoqiauj ieioads inq 'sjaujsq auaiAqiaAtod JO sGeqpues6uisnAqpejMioid aqABUJsaujoq eujo$ • jaMac ssnoq aq i o i p e p e u u o 3 eje Aaqi |i sqGnoiisaAea \OOUUOO%\Q « v 'leapt si 6n(d UOOOOM to Beq paesui) v UOIIDBUUOD ia| ioi pus su ie jp iBMes luauvaseq 6n(d pua i « o q jOfio) aAOuja^ • uoi inuod tuoAQid o i ate Gepioipacui 'sjaniH pee* eAOtuoy * SJOOIJ jaddn o j s6ui6uO|aq j aq io pue sasuatidde leauiseia ejniiujn) aAOfi • pueq uo saiiddnc leoipauj pue J S I B M pooj A3ua6jauja B A S H • suoi ianj | f iu i ie30| o i uaisi) pue j a p j o 6ui)fjOM ui si oipBJ Ajauaq jnoA s ins a ^ e ^ , S t t U i t n i ' . l O K l | L ' I . 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Aq I « B D « I O | aq Aijensn ueo ssajB je in3i | jBd oi s iea jq i p o o i j saoou WHEN TO RETURN HOME D o not return h o m e until there is a safe supply of water a n d a satisfactory system for d isposal of h u m a n waste and garbage. If in doubt , contact your local health unit office. If your h o m e is in a n area served by a public water supply, it is very possib le the water will be safe. Contact your local health unit regarding possib le contaminat ion of water or foodstuffs. Generally, however, to avoid a health hazard f rom eat ing food that has been contaminated with flood waters, health officials recommend that the fol lowing foods be destroyed: Non- l iquid foods, including dried fruits, cereals, flour, shortenings, spices, packaged goods , meats (fresh and cured), canned goods (if d a m a g e d or showing signs of seepage), bot t led food products, including home preserves, bot t led dr inks because of contamination under the e d g e of the cap, leafy vegetables. ELECTRICITY  Do not turn o n electrical switch or f looded electrical equipment unless checked by a quali f ied electr ician PROVINCIAL EMERGENCY PROGRAM Most communit ies have establ ished municipal emergency programs to coordinate f lood fighting and other countermeasures. Look in the telephone directory white pages under the listing Emergency Program for the emergency program nearest you. The Provincial Emergency Program head office in Victoria (387-5956) is suppor ted by several field offices located throughout the province. Consult your local l istings for the office serving your area. Use phone for emergencies only. Please do not phone the police, fire department, city hal l , or the emergency program office unless you need help or wish to report an emergency. Your radio will keep you informed. FLOOD RECOVERY  Your local media will carry information about assistance programs. Additional information may be received f rom your local government. Q u e t n i ^Z?*!™'*"™*' ° PROVINCIAL ^0^^. EMERGENCY PROGRAM V - M M FLOOD PRECAUTIONS FOR HOMEOWNERS MS48 REV 67 1 FLOOD THREAT PRECAUTIONS In order thai flood damage to your personal property and the disruption of your day-to-day life is minimized, there are certain precautions you may take. Of necessity, the information provided Is general and we suggest you contact your local government for specifics related to your community. The following suggestions apply when there Is Immediate danger of flooding. ELECTRICAL SERVICE Shut off power to premises, if the main switch is In an area that is already wet, stand on a dry board and use a dry stick to turn switch off. Do not attempt to turn off power if the room is already flooded. ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES Disconnect all electrical appliances and. If possible, move them to a higher level. Thermalry-lnsulated appliances such as freezers, refrigerators, and ranges should be given priority. Any appliances that cannot be moved should have motors, fans, pumps, etc. removed to higher levels. GAS OR OIL FURNACES AND APPLIANCES Oil or water tanks wilt float H not full. RR them If possible, then plug vent holes. If unable to All, weigh down with sandbags or wedge against a solid object. Propane gas tanks will float whether fuN or empty, so turn off valve, and disconnect and plug tubing. Tie a chain or cable around the tank and anchor it to prevent it from floating away. PLUMBING FIXTURES AND WATER SUPPLIES Turn off water supply. Ptug all basement sewage connections, i.e. toilet, sinks, showers, etc., with a wooden plug or other device. The ptug should be held in place with a weight or wood brace to the joist above. OTHER PRECAUTIONS Pesticides, weed killers, fertilizers, and other articles that may cause pollution should be moved to higher levels. In order to relieve overloading of the storm drain and sewer system, disconnect any downspouts draining to them. Move or remove all furniture and personal effects that could be damaged by flooding or which may float and cause damage. EVACUATION OF YOUR RESIDENCE Prepare a personal needs checklist now before there is an emergency; lentember you may not be able to return for forgotten items. Here are some suggestions; take the following with you for all family members: Warm clothing, waterproof footwear, sleeping bags or blankets, personal care Items, prescription medication, personal Identification, battery-operated radio, flashlight, and spare batteries. Lock all doors and windows and double* check to ensure gas, electricity, and water are shut off. Give reasonable consideration to you. pets. l a k e extra care when driving; once-familiar roads may be dramatically different when ttmm mm Jn ml D^a. ul..! * - S m, * — * • -" — nH«in — ttoorjoa. t ie a ien n r r n m a g e a onages, seaes, washouts, and downed power Rnes. Look for emergency personnel and intormation signs. Obey officials who may be directing traffic and other operations related to the flood — they are there to assist you. WATER CONTAMINATION If, through taste, color, or odor, you suspect that your drinking water has been contaminated, purify it before drinking by boiling, or adding purification tablets, or chlorinating with a bleaching compound, if the latter is used, add one or two drops per litre and allow to stand for 30 minutes before drinking. 177. APPENDIX G A COPY OF A CITY ENGINEERING HAZARD ADVISORY LETTER DISTRIBUTED TO THE SOUTHLANDS RESIDENTS IN EARLY 1987 APPENDIX H LETTER OF INTRODUCTION AND QUESTIONNAIRE DISTRIBUTED TO THE SOUTHLANDS FLOODPLAIN RESIDENTS QUESTIONNAIRE OH FLOOD AWARENESS IH SOUTHLANDS 181 This questionnaire i s being d i s t r i b u t e d to those residents i n Southlands below South West Marine Drive, r e s i d i n g on the f l o o d p l a i n between Angus Drive and the Shaughnessy Golf Course. You do have a r i g h t to refuse to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s questionnaire or withdraw at any time. > INSTRUCTIONS; Please f e e l free to make a d d i t i o n a l comments on any of the following questions. Have you ever ( i n your l i f e t i m e ) experienced a flood? ° Yes ° No . ° If YES, when, (year) where, (location) and what, (cause) Please shade the area on the map below where you think the f l o o d p l a i n i n Southlands i s located. CO - 2 182. How long have you l i v e d at your present address i n Southlands? ° Less than 2 years ° 2 - 1 0 years ° 1 1 - 2 0 years ° More than 2 0 years To your knowledge has any part of Southlands ever been flooded? ° Within the past year ° Within the past 2 to 5 years ° Within the past 6 to 1 0 years ° More than 1 0 years ago ° Don't know Do you know what are the p o t e n t i a l causes of flooding i n Southlands? °. Yes ° No ° If YES, what? Has your house or property i n flooding? ° Yes ° No ° Don't Know Southlands ever been damaged by If YES, what was the cause of the fl o o d and what d o l l a r cost i n damage d i d you suffer? - 3 183. When you moved to Southlands, did you consider that your home might be subject to flooding? ° Yes No If YES, what checks did you make to evaluate the flood hazard? 8. If you were e x p l i c i t l y made aware that the area might be subject to flooding, would you s t i l l have gone ahead and bought the house? ° Yes ° No 9. Do you believe that i t i s important that prospective home buyers are made aware of the possible r i s k of flooding? ° Yes ° No ° If YES, whose r e s p o n s i b i l i t y should that be? 10. Do you know whether the community or the government has looked i n t o f l o o d protection i n Southlands? ° Yes ° No ° I f YES, who? - 4 184. Did they write a report? ° Yes ° No ° Don't Know o If YES, did you read the report? ° Yes ° No To your knowledge has there been much discussion of the flood hazard i n t h i s d i s t r i c t ? ° Yes ° No ° If YES, who? (Mark a l l appropriate) ° Neighbour ° Government O f f i c i a l ° Local Community Organization ° Other (please specify) Compared to others you know i n Southlands, do you think you t a l k about floods: ° More often ° Less Often ' ° Just about the same as others - 5 185. 14. Do you think the flood hazard i s serious i n Southlands? ° Very Serious ° Serious ° So-so ° Not serious ° N e g l i g i b l e ' 15. Using a scale of 0 to 100, what would you say i s the l i k e l i h o o d of your house or property being flooded (under present circumstances)? (Please choose once i n each column) A B C D E Within Within Within Within Within the the the the your next next 5 next 20 l i f e t i m e l i f e t i m e year years years of your house 0% (won't happen) 25% ( s l i g h t chance) 50/50 (odds even) 75% (sure i t w i l l flood)_ 100% ( c e r t a i n flood) 16. Do you know of anything that has been or i s being done to lower the - chances of flooding i n Southlands? ° Yes ° No ° If YES, what? - 6 186. 17. Do you know the d i f f e r e n t types of protective measures that can lessen the impacts of floods? ° Yes ° No ° If YES, what are the possible measures? 18. Have you done anything that would reduce the damage to your house or property i f there were a flood? ° Yes ° No ° If YES, what? 19. Is there a warning system set up i n the community so that you would be n o t i f i e d i f there was a chance that you would be flooded? ° Yes ° No ° Don *t know ° If YES, what i s that system? ° If NO, do you think i t would be good to have such a system? ° Yes ° No 7 187. Do you have insurance on your home and contents? ° Yes ° No ° If YES, does i t cover flo o d damage? ° Yes ° No ° Don't know Do you think more buildings should be allowed on the floodplain? ° Yes ° No ° If YES, should the new housing not be e l i g i b l e f o r compensation fo r floods? ° Yes ° No How high above the watertable ( i . e . l e v e l of ground water) i s the lowest f l o o r of your house (that could be damaged i f there was a flood)? ° f e e t ° Don't know Do you f e e l that new or improved dykes would provide you with s u f f i c i e n t protection from flooding? ° Yes ° No ° Don't know - 8 188. 24. Do you f e e l that s t r u c t u r a l floodproofing ( i . e . r a i s i n g the house) would provide you with s u f f i c i e n t protection from flooding? ° Yes ° No ° Don1 know 25. Do you think enough i s being done to prevent flood damage i n Southlands? ° Yes ° No ° Don1 know ° If NO, what else could or should be done? 26. Within the l a s t two years, have you received any information on what you can do to protect your property from flooding? ° Yes ° No ° I f YES, i n what form was the information? ° Leaflet/brochure ° Radio ° T e l e v i s i o n ° Personal contact ° Public meetings ° Newspapers o Other (specify) 189. 27. Has the government provided you with any information on flooding and possible fl o o d protection measures? Yes No ° If YES, which l e v e l of government: ° Prov. Min i s t r y of Environment ° Environment Canada ° C i t y Engineering Dept. ° C i t y Planning Dept. ° C i t y Permits & Licenses Dept. ° Other (specify) ° If YES, was the informations ° Not useful ° Somewhat useful ° Very useful 28. Do you f e e l that you are well informed about floo d hazards i n Southlands? ° Yes o If YES >source of information? No o I f NO, why? io - 190. 29. Do you f e e l that you are well informed about ways to deal with the flood hazard situation? ° Yes o If YES, source of information? ° No o If NO, why? 30. Do you f e e l that generally government has done a good job i n communicating to you information about flo o d matters? ° Yes o If YES, why? o No o If NO, why? 31. Have you had any exposure to the Southlands Local Area Planning Program? <® ° Yes, I am a member ° Yes, I have attended meetings ° Yes, I have read the l i t e r a t u r e (committee minutes reports, etc.) ° No, I have had no d i r e c t contact o If YES, do you think the Southlands Local Area Planning Program has been of any value i n r a i s i n g awareness of flood hazard, and possible ways to deal with that hazard? o Yes o No 11 191. 32. i n which of the following age groups are you? ° Under 17 years ° 1 8 - 2 4 years ° 2 5 - 4 4 years ° 4 5 - 6 4 years ° Over 65 33. What i s your occupation? ° Managerial, administrative and related occupations ° Professional and technological occupations ° C l e r i c a l & re l a t e d occupations ° Sales occupations ° Service occupations ° Primary resource occupations (eg. f i s h i n g , farming, etc.) ° Manufacturing occupations ° Other, please specify 34. Education: (Please check highest l e v e l completed) ° Less than 12th grade ° High school graduate ° Some college _ ° College graduate -, ° Professional t r a i n i n g (nursing, etc.) . . ° Some graduate work ° Master's degree ° Some graduate work beyond masters o Doctorate (M.D., Ph.D., etc.) - 1 2 -192. 3 5 . In which one of the following areas i n Southlands i s your house located? ° Musqueam Indian Reserve ° West Southlands ° Blenheim P l a t s ° Angus ° Other, please specify 3 6 . A d d i t i o n a l Comments: T H A N K YOU FOR YOUR T I M E AND P A R T I C I P A T I O N I N C O M P L E T I N G T H I S Q U E S T I O N N A I R E . 

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