The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority

NVCA's ro​​le in flood management

NVCA is one of Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities. Conservation authorities are part of a system that manages flood on a watershed basis. Protecting people and property from flood damage requires a shared responsibility between municipalities, conservation authorities and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).

The MNRF and the NVCA are primarily responsible for operating a flood forecasting and warning system. The Conservation Authorities of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), have developed a coordinated Flood Forecasting and Warning Service for the municipalities and residents within their collective  watersheds and shorelines of Lake Ontario, Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay. The purpose of this service is to reduce the risk to life and damage to property by providing local agencies and the public with notice, information and advice so that they can respond to potential flooding and flood emergencies.

Regulations and per​​mits

Through the Conservation Authorities Act, NVCA ensures development is outside of floodplains to avoid the loss of life and damage to property due to flooding.

Property owners should determine well in advance of a project if their property is located in a floodplain or other natural hazard area. Check to see if you are in a regulated area by using NVCA’s Interactive Property Map tool​. 

If any part of your property is regulated, submit an online property inquiry form to tell us a bit about your plans. We will review your property and your proposed plan, and may also ask you to submit additional information. We may also request an appointment with you to discuss your plans, by phone or in-person.

If your development is damaged due to river and shoreline flooding, property owners are required get a permit from NVCA to repair damages. The permitting process helps protect investments by ensuring the repair work doesn’t fail, impact neighbouring properties or the environment.

Water in Sheldon Creek full

Development ​​​planning

As experts in natural hazards in the Nottawasaga Watershed, NVCA’s Development Planning team works closely with municipalities, developers and consultants to prioritize the protection of communities from flooding.

This is achieved by utilizing the best available information to ensure new development is not affected by the flooding or other natural hazards. NVCA’s engineers, planners, ecologists and groundwater specialists review the proposed development plan to identify potential risks and features that may be impacted by the development. Permission for development is only granted once NVCA’s core mandate of protecting lives and property from natural hazards and preserving watershed health has been demonstrated. 

Flood forec​​​asting

NVCA works closely with municipalities, emergency response teams, school boards and the public to prepare for floods.

Our Flood Operations Field Specialist uses information from stream gauges, weather stations, snow surveys, meteorological forecasts and computer models to determine if there is a risk of flooding. If there is, we issue flood messages to alert municipal flood coordinators and the public about flood risks.


NVCA maintains the Pretty River Dike and Black Ash Creek Floodway to protect low-lying areas in the Town of Collingwood from flooding.

Pretty River Dyke 1970s - Permission from Ainley
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