Advertisement

Environmental Management

, Volume 64, Issue 5, pp 608–625 | Cite as

Flood Risk Management in Canada’s Prairie Provinces: an Analysis of Decision-Maker Priorities and Policy Preferences

  • Alasdair MorrisonEmail author
  • Bram F. Noble
  • Cherie J. Westbrook
Article

Abstract

If the aim of flood risk management (FRM) is to increase society’s resilience to floods, then a holistic treatment of flood risk is required that addresses flood prevention, defence, mitigation, preparation, and response and recovery. Progressing resilience-based management to flood risk requires both diversity and coordination of policy across multiple jurisdictions. Decision makers and the types of FRM policy decisions they make play a key role in implementing FRM policies and strategies that progress flood resilience. This paper explores how policy preferences held by FRM decision makers relate to the characteristics of resilient FRM policy. The research was conducted in three flood-prone provinces in western Canada using a multi-criteria analytical approach. The results show that while decision maker FRM priorities are similar across the Canadian Prairies, their preferred FRM policies differ. Further, preferred FRM policies were largely resistance-based and influenced at least as much by flood experiences and perceptions of flood risk as by more obvious administrative pressures such as cost, public acceptability, and environmental protection. Several observations emerge from these results for advancing a coordinated, diversified approach to FRM which is required for resilience, both for western Canada and for FRM more broadly.

Keywords

Flood risk management Decision support Flood resilience Flood adaptation Flood governance 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We wish to acknowledge Andrea Carroll for research support and study participants.

Funding

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada [430-2014-01116].

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Aerts JC, Botzen W, van der Veen A, Krywkow J, Werners S (2008) Dealing with uncertainty in flood management through diversification. Ecol Soc 13(1):Art 41Google Scholar
  2. Ahmari H, Blais EL, Greshuk J (2016) The 2014 flood event in the Assiniboine River Basin: causes, assessment and damage. Can Water Res J 41(1–2):85–93Google Scholar
  3. Armitage D, de Loë RC, Morris M, Edwards TW, Gerlak AK, Hall RI, Mirumachi N (2015) Science–policy processes for transboundary water governance. Ambio 44(5):353–366Google Scholar
  4. Asong ZE, Wheater HS, Bonsal B, Razavi S, Kurkute S (2018) Historical drought patterns over Canada and their teleconnections with large-scale climate signals. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 22(6):3105–3124Google Scholar
  5. Baruch Y, Holtom BC (2008) Survey response rate levels and trends in organizational research. Hum Relat 61(8):1139–1160Google Scholar
  6. Berkhout F (2002) Technological regimes, path dependency and the environment. Glob Env Change 12(1):1–4Google Scholar
  7. Berrang-Ford L, Pearce T, Ford JD (2015) Systematic review approaches for climate change adaptation research. Reg Environ Change 15(5):755–769Google Scholar
  8. Blais EL, Greshuk J, Stadnyk T (2016) The 2011 flood event in the Assiniboine River Basin: causes, assessment and damages. Can Water Res J 41(1–2):74–84Google Scholar
  9. Bozza A, Asprone D, Manfredi G (2015) Developing an integrated framework to quantify resilience of urban systems against disasters. Nat Hazards 78(3):1729–1748Google Scholar
  10. Brooks GR (2017) Red River Valley, Manitoba: The Geomorphology of a Low-Relief, Flood-Prone Prairie Landscape. In: Slaymaker O. (eds) Landscapes and Landforms of Western Canada. World Geomorphological Landscapes. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  11. Brunner RD (2010) Adaptive governance as a reform strategy. Policy Sci 43(4):301–341Google Scholar
  12. Burch S, Sheppard SR, Shaw A, Flanders D (2010) Planning for climate change in a flood‐prone community: municipal barriers to policy action and the use of visualizations as decision‐support tools. J Flood Risk Manag 3(2):126–139Google Scholar
  13. Burn DH, Whitfield PH (2016) Changes in floods and flood regimes in Canada. Can Water Res J 41(1–2):139–150Google Scholar
  14. Butler C & Pidgeon N (2011) From ‘flood defence’ to ‘flood risk management’: exploring governance, responsibility and blame. Environ and Planning C, Government Policy, 29(3):533–547Google Scholar
  15. Buttle JM, Allen DM, Caissie D, Davison B, Hayashi M, Peters DL, Pomeroy JW, Simonovic S, St-Hilaire A, Whitfield PH (2016) Flood processes in Canada: regional and special aspects. Can Water Res J 41(1–2):7–30Google Scholar
  16. Canadian Disaster Database. Public Safety Canada. http://cdd.publicsafety.gc.ca/srchpg-eng.aspx Accessed 24 Aug 2018
  17. Cigler BA (2007) The “big questions” of Katrina and the 2005 great flood of New Orleans. Pub Admin Rev 67:64–76Google Scholar
  18. Communities and Local Government (2009) Multi-criteria analysis: a manual. Department for Communities and Local Government, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Cook C (2014) Governing jurisdictional fragmentation: tracing patterns of water governance in Ontario, Canada. Geoforum 56:192–200Google Scholar
  20. Cutter SL, Mitchell JT, Scott MS (2000) Revealing the vulnerability of people and places: A case study of Georgetown County, South Carolina. Annals of the Assoc American Geographers 90(4):713–737Google Scholar
  21. De Bruijn KM (2004) Resilience and flood risk management. Water Policy 6(1):53–66Google Scholar
  22. Doberstein B, Fitzgibbons J, Mitchell C (2018) Protect, accommodate, retreat or avoid (PARA): Canadian community options for flood disaster risk reduction and flood resilience. Nat Hazards  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-018-3529-z Google Scholar
  23. Dumanski S, Pomeroy JP, Westbrook CJ (2015) Hydrological regime changes in a Canadian Prairie basin. Hydrol Proc 29(18):3893–3904Google Scholar
  24. Filatova T (2014) Market-based instruments for flood risk management: a review of theory, practice and perspectives for climate adaptation policy. Environ Sci Policy 37:227–242Google Scholar
  25. Filatova T, Verburg PH, Parker DC, Stannard CA (2013) Spatial agent-based models for socio-ecological systems: challenges and prospects. Environ Model Softw 45:1–7Google Scholar
  26. Gaddis EJB, Falk HH, Ginger C, Voinov A (2010) Effectiveness of a participatory modeling effort to identify and advance community water resource goals in St. Albans, Vermont. Environ Model Softw 25(11):428–1438Google Scholar
  27. Gilissen HK, Alexander M, Beyers JC, Chmielewski P, Matczak P, Schellenberger T, Suykens C (2016) Bridges over troubled waters: an interdisciplinary framework for evaluating the interconnectedness within fragmented flood risk management systems. J Water Law 25(1):12–26Google Scholar
  28. Gober P, Wheater HS (2014) Socio-hydrology and the science–policy interface: a case study of the Saskatchewan River basin. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 18(4):1413–1422Google Scholar
  29. Government of Alberta (2013) Alberta to support relocation from floodways. Government of Alberta, Edmonton, AB. https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=3482784398BCF-9405-835A-2DE3B19C7F64F031
  30. Government of Alberta (2014a) Respecting our rivers: Alberta’s approach to flood mitigation. Government of Alberta, Edmonton, AB. https://open.alberta.ca/publications/6801949
  31. Government of Alberta (2014b) June 2013 southern Alberta floods: one-year report. Government of Alberta, Edmonton, AB. https://www.alberta.ca/AlbertaCode/images/Flood-Recovery-One-Year-Report.pdf
  32. Government of Manitoba (2003) The Manitoba water strategy. Government of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB. https://www.gov.mb.ca/waterstewardship/waterstrategy/pdf/water-strategy.pdf
  33. Government of Manitoba (2009) Manitoba 2009 spring flood report. Government of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB. https://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/2011flood/flood_review_task_force_report.pdf
  34. Government of Manitoba (2013) Manitoba 2011 flood review task force report. Government of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB. https://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/2011flood/flood_review_task_force_report.pdf
  35. Government of Manitoba (2016) Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba basins flood mitigation study. Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation, Winnipeg, MB. http://www.gov.mb.ca/mit/wms/wm/study.html
  36. Green OO, Garmestani AS, van Rijswick HF, Keessen AM (2013) EU water governance: striking the right balance between regulatory flexibility and enforcement? Ecol Soc 18(2): Art.10Google Scholar
  37. Gupta J, Pahl-Wostl C, Zondervan R (2013) Global water governance: a multi-level challenge in the anthropocene. Curr Opin Environ Sustainability 5(6):573–580Google Scholar
  38. GWP (2000) Integrated water resources management. Global Water Partnership Technical Advisory Committee, TAC Background papers, 4. https://www.gwp.org/globalassets/global/toolbox/publications/background-papers/04-integrated-water-resources-management-2000-english.pdf
  39. Hegger DLT, Driessen PPJ, Bakker M (eds) (2016a) A view on more resilient flood risk governance: key conclusions of the STAR-FLOOD project. STAR-FLOOD Consortium, Utrecht, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  40. Hegger DL, Driessen PP, Wiering M, Van Rijswick HF, Kundzewicz ZW, Matczak P, … Larrue C (2016b) Toward more flood resilience: is a diversification of flood risk management strategies the way forward? Ecol Soc 21(4): Art. 52Google Scholar
  41. Hümann M, Schüler G, Müller C, Schneider R, Johst M, Caspari T (2011) Identification of runoff processes—the impact of different forest types and soil properties on runoff formation and floods. J Hydro 409(3–4):637–649Google Scholar
  42. Huntjens P, Pahl‐Wostl C, Rihoux B, Schlüter M, Flachner Z, Neto S, Nabide Kiti I (2011) Adaptive water management and policy learning in a changing climate: a formal comparative analysis of eight water management regimes in Europe, Africa and Asia. Environ Policy Gov 21(3):145–163Google Scholar
  43. Johnson CL, Tunstall SM, Penning-Rowsell EC (2005) Floods as catalysts for policy change: historical lessons from England and Wales. Int J Water Res Dev 21(4):561–575Google Scholar
  44. Klijn F, Samuels P, Van Os A (2008) Towards flood risk management in the EU: state of affairs with examples from various European countries. Int J River Basin Manag 6(4):307–321Google Scholar
  45. Kundzewicz ZW, Kanae S, Seneviratne SI, Handmer J, Nicholls N, Peduzzi P, Machler R, Bouwer L, Arnell N, Mach K, Muir-Wood R, Brakenridge GR, Kron W, Beniti G, Honda Y, Takahashi K, Sherstyukov B (2014) Flood risk and climate change: global and regional perspectives. Hydro Sci J 59(1):1–28Google Scholar
  46. Leiserowitz A (2006) Climate change risk perception and policy preferences: The role of affect, imagery, and values. Climatic Change 77(1-2):45–72Google Scholar
  47. Lyu HM, Sun WJ, Shen SL, Arulrajah A (2018) Flood risk assessment in metro systems of mega-cities using a GIS-based modeling approach. Sci Total Environ 626:1012–1025Google Scholar
  48. Messner F, Meyer V (2006) Flood Damage, Vulnerability and Risk Perception—Challenges for Flood Damage Research. In: Schanze J, Zeman E, Marsalek J (eds) Flood risk management: hazards, vulnerability and mitigation measures. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 149–167Google Scholar
  49. Mileti D (1999) Disasters by design: A reassessment of natural hazards in the United States. Joseph Henry Press. Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  50. MNP (2015) Review and Analysis of the Government of Alberta’s Response to and Recovery from 2013 Floods. MNP LLP, 300-111 Richmond St. W., Toronto, ON, M5H 2G4Google Scholar
  51. Morrison A, Noble BF, Westbrook CJ (2018) Flood risk management in the Canadian prairie provinces: defaulting towards flood resistance and recovery versus resilience. Can Water Res J 43(1):33–46Google Scholar
  52. Olmstead SM (2014) Climate change adaptation and water resource management: A review of the literature. Energy Econ 46:500–509Google Scholar
  53. OPBO (2016) Estimate of the Average Annual Cost for Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements due to Weather Events. Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. Ottawa, Canada. www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca
  54. Pahl-Wostl C, Becker G, Knieper C, Sendzimir J (2013) How multilevel societal learning processes facilitate transformative change: a comparative case study analysis on flood management. Ecol Soc 18(4):58Google Scholar
  55. Pahl-Wostl C, Craps M, Dewulf A, Mostert E, Tabara D, & Taillieu T (2007) Social learning and water resources management. Ecol Soc, 12(2): Art. 5Google Scholar
  56. Pahl-Wostl C, Knieper C (2014) The capacity of water governance to deal with the climate change adaptation challenge: using fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis to distinguish between polycentric, fragmented and centralized regimes. Glob Environ Change 29:139–154Google Scholar
  57. Petak WJ (1985) Emergency management: a challenge for public administration. Public Admin Rev 45:3–7Google Scholar
  58. Pomeroy JW, Stewart RE, Whitfield PH (2016) The 2013 flood event in the South Saskatchewan and Elk River basins: causes, assessment and damages. Can Water Res J 41(1-2):105–117Google Scholar
  59. Qin XS, Huang GH, Chakma A, Nie XH, Lin QG (2008) A MCDM-based expert system for climate-change impact assessment and adaptation planning—a case study for the Georgia Basin, Canada. Expert Syst Appl 34(3):2164–2179Google Scholar
  60. Rayner J, Howlett M (2009) Introduction: understanding integrated policy strategies and their evolution. Policy Soc 28(2):99–109Google Scholar
  61. Red River Basin Commission (2011). Red river basin commission’s long term flood solutions for the Red river basin. https://www.redriverbasincommission.org/resources
  62. Rijke J, Farrelly M, Brown R, Zevenbergen C (2013) Configuring transformative governance to enhance resilient urban water systems. Environ Sci Policy 25:62–72Google Scholar
  63. Saaty TL (1980) The analytic hierarchy process: planning, priority setting, resource allocation. McGraw-Hill International Book Company, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  64. Sandink D, Kovacs P, Oulahen G, Shrubsole D (2016) Public relief and insurance for residential flood losses in Canada: current status and commentary. Can Water Res J 41:220–237Google Scholar
  65. Schanze J (2006) Flood risk management—a basic framework. In: Schanze J, Zeman E, Marsalek J (eds) Flood risk management: hazards, vulnerability and mitigation measures. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 1–20Google Scholar
  66. Scottish Environment Protection Agency (2015) Strategic environmental assessment: flood risk management strategies. Scottish Environment Protection Agency. https://www.sepa.org.uk/media/163415/sea_environmental_report.pdf
  67. Seher W, Löschner L (2018) Balancing upstream–downstream interests in flood risk management: experiences from a catchment‐based approach in Austria. J Flood Risk Manag 11(1):56–65Google Scholar
  68. Sheehan KB (2001) E-mail survey response rates: a review. J Computer-Mediat Commun 6(2):1.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2001.tb00117.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Shrubsole D (2013) A history of flood management strategies in Canada revisited. In: Keskitalo J (ed) Climate change and flood risk management: adaptation and extreme events at the local level. Edward Elgar Cheltenham, UK, pp 95–120Google Scholar
  70. Singer MB (2007) The influence of major dams on hydrology through the drainage network of the Sacramento River basin, California. River Res Appl 23(1):55–72Google Scholar
  71. Sizo A, Noble B, Bell S (2016) Connecting the strategic to the tactical in SEA design: an approach to wetland conservation policy development and implementation in an urban context. Impact Assess Proj Apprais 34(1):44–54Google Scholar
  72. Smith MS, Horrocks L, Harvey A, Hamilton C (2011) Rethinking adaptation for a 4 C world. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Phys & Eng Sci 369(1934):196–216Google Scholar
  73. Stadnyk T, Dow K, Wazney L, Blais EL (2016) The 2011 flood event in the Red River Basin: causes, assessment and damages. Can Water Res J 41(1–2):65–73Google Scholar
  74. Thaler TA, Priest SJ, Fuchs S (2016) Evolving inter-regional co-operation in flood risk management: distances and types of partnership approaches in Austria. Reg Environ Change 16(3):841–853Google Scholar
  75. Underdaal A (1980) Integrated marine policy: what? why? how? Mar Policy 4(3):159–169Google Scholar
  76. van Herk S, Rijke J, Zevenbergen C, Ashley R (2015) Understanding the transition to integrated flood risk management in the Netherlands. Environ Innov Soc Transit 15:84–100Google Scholar
  77. van Huylenbroeck G (1995) Multicriteria analysis of the conflicts between rural development scenarios in the Gordon District, Scotland. J Environ Plan Manag 38(3):393–408Google Scholar
  78. Wachinger G, Renn O, Begg C, Kuhlicke C (2013) The risk perception paradox—implications for governance and communication of natural hazards. Risk Anal 33(6):1049–1065Google Scholar
  79. WaterSmart (2013) The 2013 Great Alberta Flood: Actions to Mitigate, Manage and Control Future Floods. Alberta WaterSmart Management Solutions Ltd. 200, 3512–33rd Street NW, Calgary, Alberta T2L 2A6Google Scholar
  80. Watson N, Shrubsole D, Mitchell B (2019) Governance Arrangements for Integrated Water Resources Management in Ontario, Canada, and Oregon, USA: Evolution and Lessons. Water 11(4):663Google Scholar
  81. White GF & Haas JE (1975) Assessment of research on natural hazards. M.I.T. Press. Cambridge, Mass., USAGoogle Scholar
  82. White L, Noble B (2012) Strategic environmental assessment in the electricity sector: an application to electricity supply planning, Saskatchewan, Canada. Impact Assess Proj Apprais 30(4):284–295Google Scholar
  83. Winsemius HC, Aerts JC, van Beek LP, Bierkens MF, Bouwman A, Jongman B, Ward PJ (2016) Global drivers of future river flood risk. Nat Clim Change 6(4):381Google Scholar
  84. Zevenbergen C, Gersonius B (2007) Challenges in urban flood management. In: Ashley R, Garvin S, Pasche E, Vassilopoulos A, Zevenbergen C (eds) Advances in urban flood management. Taylor and Francis, New York, NY, p 1–11Google Scholar
  85. Zhu F, Zhong PA, Xu B, Wu YN, Zhang Y (2016) A multi-criteria decision-making model dealing with correlation among criteria for reservoir flood control operation. J Hydroinform 18(3):531–543Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and PlanningUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

Personalised recommendations