Flood History Analysis and Socioeconomic Implications of Flooding for Indigenous Canadian Communities

Authors: McNeill, Kelsie Shae; Singh, Ashutosh; Binns, Andrew
Description: Flooding poses a significant threat to the water security of indigenous communities across Canada. The primary objective of this study is to explore the issue of flooding in indigenous communities across Canada in order to characterize the severity of the problem and investigate the socioeconomic consequences. The issue is quantified and illustrated by assembling a map that depicts the locations and number of floods that occurred in these communities between January 2006 and November 2016. The results of this study reveal that during this period approximately 67 First Nations communities in Canada experienced close to 100 occurrences of flooding, and about half of these floods occurred in Manitoba or Ontario. This analysis is used to propose a framework to identify factors responsible for flooding in these communities, and several of these factors become the focus for further investigation in the Northern Ontario First Nations community of Kashechewan, which has been especially susceptible to flooding. Stream flow in the adjacent Albany River is analyzed over this period to provide a preliminary assessment tool to identify flood risk. To assess the potential socioeconomic impact of flooding in this community, direct consequences of floods are analyzed and linked to potential indirect impacts to health and security. It was found that the community was disrupted by evacuations due to flood warnings during seven of the eleven years over 2006-2016, while property and infrastructure damage, disruptions to education and medical services and mental health issues are consequences of the high flood risk.
Keywords: flood, water security, Indigenous communities, risk, socioeconomic impact
Conference name: CSBE/SCGAB 2017 Annual Conference, Canad Inns Polo Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 6-10 August 2017.
Session name: Session 2B: Soil & Water: Mitigating Environmental Impact
Publisher: Canadian Society for Bioengineering
Date: 2017-08-07
Publication type:
  • Technical conference
Type: Text.Article
Format: PDF
Identifier: CSBE17137
Coverage: Canada
Language 1: en
Rights: Canadian Society for Bioengineering

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