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Federal Flood Mapping Guidelines Series

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The Federal Flood Mapping Guidelines Series are resources to advance and standardize floodplain mapping projects and activities in Canada. These guidelines address each step of the flood mapping process and provide advice to individuals and organizations in Canada that need to understand and manage flood risks and their consequences to communities.

The Standards Council of Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Public Safety Canada are working together to develop some of these guidelines into National Standards of Canada.

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1. Federal Flood Mapping Framework
This framework provides background and context on flood mapping in Canada, describes a vision and principles for flood guidance, and introduces the Federal Flood Mapping Guidelines Series. It provides a summary of each of the documents in the Series and explains how each document fits into the overall framework, including its roles in the flood mapping cycle.
2. Federal Guidelines for Flood Hazard Identification and Priority Setting (in progress)
This guideline outlines methods for determining where to conduct flood mapping and how to prioritize flood mapping projects.
3. Federal Airborne LiDAR Data Acquisition Guideline
This guideline is a resource for the acquisition of base elevation data from airborne LiDAR data undertaken across Canada. This guideline provides technical specifications to federal, provincial, and territorial departments, as well as individuals and organizations in Canada requiring information to understand and plan for airborne LiDAR data acquisition.
4. Case Studies on Climate Change in Floodplain Mapping
This collection of case studies describes projects from across Canada where climate change was incorporated into the floodplain mapping process. It provides examples for practitioners to draw upon and learn from others’ experiences and complements the climate change-related information and resources included in the “Federal Hydrologic and Hydraulic Procedures for Flood Hazard Delineation” document.
5. Federal Hydrologic and Hydraulic Procedures for Flood Hazard Delineation
This document provides guidance to municipal, provincial, and territorial agencies and Indigenous communities working to produce flood hazard maps. It provides technical information on the types of river and lake flooding, general practices, procedures for hydrologic and hydraulic analyses, procedures for incorporating climate change, and reporting best practices.
6. Coastal Flood Hazard Assessment for Risk-Based Analysis on Canada’s Marine Coasts (in progress)
This document provides guidance on methodologies for coastal flood hazard assessments using risk-based approaches.
7. Federal Geomatics Guidelines for Flood Mapping
This guideline contains information on the different types of flood maps and outlines technical specifications to consider when acquiring, managing, and disseminating these maps and their associated geospatial data.
8. Federal Guidelines for Flood Risk Assessment (in progress)
This guideline provides technical guidance on conducting flood risk assessments in Canada.
9. Federal Flood Damage Estimation Guidelines for Buildings and Infrastructure
This guideline provides guidance on how to evaluate potential economic losses, with a focus on buildings and infrastructure, incurred as a result of flooding.
10. Federal Land Use Guide for Flood Risk Areas
This guide provides guidance to communities in using risk-based methodologies for the purpose of land-use planning with attention to flood-prone areas.
11. Bibliography of Best Practices and References for Flood Mitigation
This bibliography contains lists of Canadian and international references and case studies pertaining to hydrology and hydraulics, climate change, risk assessment, and flood mapping. The purpose of this document is to provide a consolidated list of reference materials intended as further resources for practitioners involved in flood mapping.
  • Acknowledgements

    The Federal Flood Mapping Guidelines Series has been developed under the leadership of the Flood Mapping Committee, a partnership between Public Safety Canada (PSC), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Defence Research and Development Canada, Department of National Defence, Infrastructure Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, and Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. A Technical Working Group on Flood Mapping formed in 2015 and comprised of parties from federal, provincial, and territorial jurisdictions, as well as the private sector and academia, has also contributed valuable input to the development of the Federal Flood Mapping Guidelines Series documents. Provincial and territorial government representatives also provided essential feedback for this publication.

    The documents in the Federal Flood Mapping Guidelines Series are intended as a resource to support municipal, provincial, and territorial agencies and Indigenous communities working on flood hazard mapping. It is acknowledged that flood management in Canada is regulated at the provincial and territorial level of government, and that provinces and territories reserve the right to create their own guidelines specific to their jurisdictions.

  • Notice

    Disclaimer of Liability

    This technical documentation has been published by His Majesty the King in right of Canada, as represented by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). No warranties or representations, express or implied, statutory or otherwise shall apply or are being made by NRCan in respect of the documentation, its effectiveness, accuracy, or completeness. NRCan does not assume any liability or responsibility for any damages or losses, direct or indirect, incurred or suffered as a result of the use made of the documentation, including lost profits, loss of revenue or earnings or claims by third parties. In no event will NRCan be liable for any loss of any kind resulting from any errors, inaccuracies, or omissions in this documentation. NRCan shall have no obligation, duty, or liability whatsoever in contract, tort or otherwise, including negligence.

    Additional Information

    For more information about this document, please contact the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation of Natural Resources Canada:

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