Geohazard Risk Prioritization Report Provides Geohazard Overview of the Whole Regional district

Aug 27, 2020
All Areas

Geohazards consist of flood, steep creek and non-eruptive volcanic hazards; report to inform future risk-management and planning

Pemberton, BC – The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) Board has recently received the SLRD Geohazard Risk Prioritization Report.

The report identifies and prioritizes several geohazard risks, specifically flood, steep creek, and non-eruptive volcanic hazards (collectively referred to as geohazards) that might impact people, property and critical infrastructure in the region.

Commissioned by the SLRD and funded by Emergency Management BC and Public Safety Canada through the National Disaster Mitigation Fund, the report was completed by BGC Engineering Inc. and covers all land within the geographical boundaries of the SLRD, including First Nations lands, the SLRD’s four member municipalities (District of Squamish, Resort Municipality of Whistler, Village of Pemberton and District of Lillooet), and the SLRD’s four electoral areas (A, B, C, and D). 

It is a collective geohazards picture of the entire region that can be used to inform future coordinated disaster risk reduction and resilience initiatives and also includes consideration of the future effects of climate change.

“All of us should be aware of the risks posed by catastrophic events like flooding and landslides,” said SLRD Board Chair Tony Rainbow.

“We live in a region that is prone to a number of these geohazards. This report is extremely important to help us navigate the future, to help direct our planning and to have all of the information and tools we need to be able to keep our residents informed, and to plan for associated risks,” he said.

Provided that future funding is secured, the data in the report can be updated over time as new data becomes available.

“This report provides a regional framework and really has the potential to become a regional planning tool because geohazards don’t stop at jurisdictional boundaries,” explained Rainbow. 

 “Disaster risk reduction is a shared responsibility, and the information and recommendations in this report can influence future land use planning, emergency response and recovery planning.”

In the coming months, the SLRD Board will consider, in more detail, how to make use of the report’s information and looking for grant funding opportunities to undertake additional work related to geohazard risk management within its electoral areas.

As the scope of the report identified and prioritized risk within the geographic boundaries of the SLRD (irrespective of jurisdictional boundaries), the report is a resource that is available to various organizations, including First Nations, the SLRD’s member municipalities, and provincial ministries. In total, the report identified and prioritized 2,058 geohazard areas encompassing more than 1,615 km2 (10%) of the SLRD, including 1,845 clear-water floods, 201 steep creeks, and 12 volcanic geohazards.

The report also contains various recommendations, including data gaps, further geohazard assessments, long-term geohazard risk management, geohazard monitoring, policy integration, information management and training and stakeholder communication.

The full report and FAQ are available on the SLRD website: www.slrd.bc.ca/geohazard_risk

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Media Contact: 

Patricia Westerholm
Communications Coordinator
Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Phone: 604.894.6371 x244
Email: pwesterholm@slrd.bc.ca

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