The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority

Flood Management

The primary objectives of the Flood and Erosion Hazard Management program are to prevent loss of life, to minimize social disruption, and to minimize property damage within the watershed caused by natural hazards such as flooding, erosion and unstable slopes.

The NVCA is one of many agencies in a broader provincial and national framework that works toward developing communities that are much more resilient to disaster and disruption. The program is designed to meet those broad objectives and to meet our provincially delegated responsibilities that include:

  • Operation, routine, minor and preventative maintenance of flood and erosion control structures
  • Operation of a watershed based flood forecasting and warning system
  • Management of chronic ice problems
  • Watershed and floodplain management related to the provincial hazards policy including plan input, watershed & subwatershed studies, regulatory permitting, and technical studies
  • Administration and legal items related to the above tasks.

The province relies on Conservation Authorities to assist them with their delegated responsibility for flood, drought and newly delegated responsibilities for dam failures, erosion and landslides. As such, the Province identifies items that are eligible for grant funding to Conservation Authorities under Section 39 of the Conservation Authorities Act.  The program is currently funded at a rate of 50% of the total approved costs. To successfully implement the Authority’s strategy for this program, the following general tasks have been identified as high priorities for this program:

Bank Full Wye River @ Queen St Elmvale Apr 3 2014

Flood & Erosion Control Structures

The Authority owns, operates or has an interest in a number of water control structures and erosion control works. These structures include:

  • Pretty River Dyke Hamilton Drain
  • Alliston Greenbelt
  • Tottenham Dam
  • New Lowell Dam
  • Utopia Dam
  • Tiffin Dams
  • Black Ash Creek
  • Hockley Bank Work
  • Willow Creek
  • Shelburne Creek
  • Little Creek
  • Essa Park
  • Angus Bank Works
  • Adjala Bank Works
  • Carruthers Conservation Area

New legislation concerning dams and dam safety, proposed revisions to the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act and newly revised Canadian Dam Safety Guidelines are pending.  As the Ministry of Natural Resources has now been delegated responsible for dam failure emergencies, they have proposed a dam safety program that will be structured as follows:

  • Initial hazard classification of each dam to slot them into high, medium, low and very low consequence of failure categories
  • Safety reviews
  • Safety improvements including emergency plans, operations manuals and standards
  • Dam safety management
  • Registry
  • Periodic reviews
  • Compliance and selective audits 

Operation and maintenance of the water control structures are a high risk area for the Authority and as such it will receive high priority for staff time and efforts in the coming years. In 2005, staff prepared a detailed plan for complying with the proposed new legislation. The following tasks commenced in 2005:

  • development of detailed operation and maintenance manuals
  • installation of monitoring instrumentation for Utopia Dam, Tottenham Dam, New Lowell Dam
  • upgrading public safety equipment

The proposed dam safety legislation will also require dam owners to undertake detailed engineering safety reviews.  Additional funding for the maintenance of our flood and erosion infrastructure is available under the Conservation Authority Water and Erosion Control Infrastructure Program (WECI).  This program will permit the Authority and our municipalities obtain additional funding for these projects with 50% of the costs available from the Ministry of Natural Resources. 

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