Water Security Agency beefing up its flood risk mapping program

The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency is improving its ability to identify flood risk in the province.

An over $2-million investment is being made to its Flood Hazard Identification Mapping Program. The money is part of the WSA’s 2023-24 budget.

WSA Spokesman Sean Osmar says these improvements will help communities be more prepared for potential flooding.

“We work with these communities to develop a map for them to see where their potential risks of flooding may be, and then that will help those communities start planning for potential mitigation works that they may need or anything else that they want to do from that point.” said Osmar.

He says they’ve worked with up to 19 communities to this point but added they will work with many others, including Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Regina, Weyburn, Tisdale, and Melfort.

“Some are further along in the process than others,” Osmar said of creating maps for cities and towns, adding the process can take up to a year depending on, among other factors the community and their geography.

Osmar says the investment is worth it.

“For every dollar invested in flood prevention is worth about 20 dollars in potential flood damages so it’s huge savings for the province and for communities to partake in this and to get it done.”

He says once the maps are created, communities get physical copies, though there are online versions.

You can hear the interview with Sean Osmar below.

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