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New flood mitigation program to help Sask. address emergencies before they arise

The new Flood Damage Reduction Program will remove the emergency focus and look more towards long-term projects in Saskatchewan communities.
The new Flood Damage Reduction Program will remove the emergency focus and look more towards long-term projects in Saskatchewan communities. File / Global News

A new long-term flood mitigation program will provide funding to Saskatchewan municipalities facing risks of recurring flood damage.

The Flood Damage Reduction Program (FDRP) was initiated on Aug. 1.

FDRP helps communities takes a proactive and preventative approach to prevent flooding instead of implementing temporary and reactive measures that could stretch a community’s capacity during an emergency.

READ MORE: Above normal spring runoff expected for northern Saskatchewan

Eligible projects will be cost-shared on a 50/50 basis with the Water Security Agency (WSA). FDRP will provide $1.5 million in 2018.

“Since the start of WSA’s Emergency Flood Damage Reduction Program (EFDRP) in 2011, over 3,400 Saskatchewan clients have accessed $74 million to design and construct both temporary and permanent flood works,” Dustin Duncan, the minister responsible for WSA, said in a press release.

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“Shifting away from an emergency flood mitigation program to a permanent program allows communities to undertake long-term flood mitigation, reducing the risk of flooding in future years.”

READ MORE: Community under water after North Saskatchewan River floods Wapiti Valley

Each spring since 2011, WSA has launched an emergency flood mitigation program that only dealt with imminent flood risk. The EFDRP will now transition to the FDRP, removing the emergency focus and looking more towards long-term projects.

FDRP will accept proposals in the following categories:

  • structural projects, where the municipality acts as the proponent for construction of permanent flood works;
  • mitigation planning, where municipalities undertake emergency planning or potential flood damage prevention construction design;
  • flood plain mapping projects; and
  • hydrologic and/or hydraulic investigations to develop risk assessments.

The mitigation of flood risk associated with cropland, golf courses, slope failure and shoreline erosion are not covered under the program.

FDRP will cover eligible costs incurred up to March 31, 2019 and may provide funding for works previously funded under EFDRP that were not completed.

Applications will be accepted until Oct. 30.