The University of Waterloo's Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (Intact Centre) has introduced a diagnostic tool, for municipalities to assess and identify solutions for reducing flood risk. 

The report entitled A Flood Risk Check-Up For Canadian Municipalities: Tackling Flooding Together was made public on April 17. Authored by Joanna Eyquem and Mélie Monnerat from the Intact Centre, the report includes an Excel workbook, called the Municipal Flood Risk Check-Up, containing 50 questions divided into three sections. The first section focuses on flood hazard and exposure with 16 questions; the second on flood preparedness and risk analysis with 12 questions; and the third on risk mitigation, which includes 22 more questions. 

Intact Public Entities (IPE), a provider of municipal insurance, contributed to the preparation of the report accompanying the Check-Up tool. According to the Intact Centre, municipalities can use this tool to: 

  • Gain an understanding of flood exposure, even where flood mapping is not available; 
  • Benchmark and document their current flood preparedness by drawing on Canadian guidance and standards; 
  • Document progress towards reduction of municipal flood risk over time; 
  • Access a library of key resources on flood risk and preparedness, including National Standards of Canada; 
  • Demonstrate municipal flood preparedness to interested parties; 
  • Prioritise actions for different flood types and at different scales; 
  • Inform future investment planning and funding applications; 
  • Anticipate and answer questions that may be asked by municipal insurers in developing insurance policies; 
  • Contribute to objectives and targets identified in Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy; 
  • Support municipal staff and service delivery.
Funding for municipalities 

Since the start of 2024, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been offering financing to reduce climate risks through its Green Municipal Fund. By using the Check-Up tool to target vulnerabilities, municipalities can secure funding to minimize losses for property owners and taxpayers. 

“As climate change supercharges heavy rainfall events, local governments from coast to coast to coast are finding they are changing policies, infrastructure, and services in order to keep up with new realities,” stated Carole Saab, CEO of the FCM. 

“This tool allows local governments to benchmark their flood risk management practices against national best practices, identifying areas of strength and opportunities for improvement in the mission to keep communities safe from climate hazards,” she adds.