2020 Canada Flood Map update

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JBA’s team of flood experts have recently completed the latest update to JBA’s Canada Flood Map, enabling you to make use of the latest data and methods in your flood risk assessments.

JBA estimates that over 10 million people, almost a third of the population, are now exposed to inland flood risk in Canada.

We’ve been the proud provider of flood maps for Canada for seven years, empowering the re/insurance, financial, NGO, charitable and public sectors in their flood risk assessment and management.

We’re proud to support the Canadian Red Cross in emergency management and disaster risk reduction through the provision of our Canada Flood Maps, in partnership with LightBox and the RBC Foundation.

First released in 2014 and now in the fifth generation as part of our continuous improvement plan, JBA’s Canada Flood Map was the first to offer national coverage for all major flood types, including modelling of all rivers across the country regardless of catchment size.

2020 update

In response to client feedback and new data availability, the 2020 release includes updates to the fluvial (river), pluvial (surface water) and storm surge layers, as well as updates and new additions to the Defended Areas layer demonstrating the mitigating effects of flood defences where present.

Our mapping specialists have incorporated new, high-resolution terrain data, including over 100,000km2 of lidar data now covering almost 80% of the population, including the most densely populated cities across Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan. Where this lidar data is not available, we have used new and improved alternative terrain data.

Our sophisticated machine learning methods and technical team meticulously review and clean the terrain data, enabling us to define river channels, narrow urban streets, infrastructure, and topography more clearly and thus represent flow paths and flood extents more realistically.


2018 river flood map (left) vs 2020 river flood map (right) for Montreal, RP100

Comprehensive flood modelling

Our flood data can be used by re/insurers, mortgage providers, banks, asset managers and other investment organisations to effectively assess the extent and severity of flooding, screen properties and other assets, and quantify the financial costs of flood risk. This enables improved decision-making across risk selection, underwriting, pricing, portfolio optimisation and funding and investment opportunities. The data can also be used by public bodies for land use planning, disaster preparedness and more.

We use bespoke methods for each flood type to account for their unique hydrological characteristics. For example, rainfall totals are generated for different hourly durations to represent storms of different durations, with shorter, intense storms likely to cause more flooding in steep sided valleys and smaller river catchments, as opposed to longer, slower moving storms having proportional impacts in flatter regions.

Our storm surge modelling uses extreme sea-level and bathymetry analysis to capture storm surge, including scenarios of tropical cyclones and extratropical cyclones coinciding with astronomical tides, and observed, historical events are used to calibrate and validate sea levels.

Our mapping specialists also employ bespoke methods to capture seasonal conditions and changing flood risk throughout the year, including the impacts of spring snowmelt and frozen ground, as well as the effects of over 125,000 lakes and reservoirs on flows.

The mapping is complemented by our Canada Flood Pricing Data and Canada Flood Model and is part of our wider global flood data capability.

For more information on any of our data or bespoke consultancy service, get in touch today using the form above.