Market Intelligence
Safety and Security Environmental Technology Canada

Canada Flood Management

Flooding in Canada is mainly caused by heavy rainfall, rapid melting of a thick snowpacks, and ice jams, all of which are expected to increase in frequency. For instance, according to Canada‚Äôs Changing Climate Report 2019, precipitation in Canada could increase by as much as 24% by the end of the 21st century and this projected surge in the intensity of precipitation will likely lead to an increase in frequency of floods in Canada. Thus, because of rapidly changing climates, damages due to flooding are expected to rise which will prove to be very costly for Canadians if not adequately prepared.  As a result, the demand for flood prevention and mitigation equipment  and infrastructure has increased to help minimize the effect floods have on Canadian infrastructure and its residents.

Flooding has impacted multiple provinces across Canada. According to statistics presented by Public Safety Canada during the Cat IQ Connect virtual series, the total average annual loss (AAL) for all provinces combined in 2022 amounted to an excess of CAD 2.5 billion dollars (USD 1.9 billion). Historically, the province of Quebec has had the highest average annual loss of CAD 861.3 million dollars (USD 654 million) compared to other regions across Canada. The province of Ontario is not far behind averaging CAD 805.1 million (USD 611 million) in annual losses and the province of British Columbia is third averaging CAD 689.4 million (USD 524 million) in annual losses due to floods.

As the need for flood mitigation solutions increases, the Canadian government is expected to become a more active procurer of flooding equipment. This includes equipment and infrastructure such as dams, dykes, and diversion mechanisms to help flow regulation. Additionally, more emphasis has been placed on implementing storage reservoirs and retention basins to prevent flooding in urban areas. In Canada, provinces and territories use an online procurement portal to purchase goods and services (the links to these procurement websites can be found here).

Having received a C grade in flood preparedness by the Intact Center on Climate Adaptation (ICCA), the Canadian government, in addition to becoming a more active procurer of flooding equipment, has increased government support to moderate the effect of floods. For instance, in 2018 the Canadian government started the Disaster and Mitigation Adaptation Fund (DMAF) which commits CAD 2 billion (USD 1.5 billion) over 10 years to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better endure natural disasters such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and more. Furthermore, in 2022 the Government of Canada developed the National Adaptation Strategy which pledges CAD 1.6 billion (USD 1.2 billion) in federal funding to build resilient communities to address various climate risk to Canadian communities.

In Canada, the overall management of natural disasters, such as flooding, is the responsibility of provincial and territorial governments to handle emergencies within their own jurisdictions. On a national scale, the federal government leads the emergency management response, particularly in areas under its exclusive jurisdiction like federal properties and lands. In the event of an emergency, local authorities or provincial/territorial governments are normally the first ones to respond since disasters happen locally. If a provincial or territorial government finds itself overwhelmed and lacking sufficient resources to handle the situation, they can request assistance from the federal government, which promptly responds to such requests.

U.S. exporters are poised to help Canada in it’s flood prevention, mitigation, and relief efforts. For more information, please contact: Commercial Specialist Philipp Fortin