Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) has updated the terms it uses in flood and water safety messages effective Feb. 17.
The new terminology is being adopted by CVC, other conservation authorities across Ontario and Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). These changes will ensure messages are consistent and in line with severe weather terminology used by other agencies such as Environment Canada and the Weather Network. CVC issues three levels of messages:
Watershed Conditions Statement (previously High Water Safety Bulletin): a general notice of weather conditions that could pose a risk to personal safety or which have potential to lead to flooding. There are two variations of these:
• Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children and pets. Flooding is not expected.
• Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook: Early notice of potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff; cause ice jams; lakeshore flooding or erosion.
Flood Watch (previously Flood Advisory): Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
Flood Warning (no change): Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.
The new terms were developed by a committee of representatives of conservation authorities, Conservation Ontario, MNR, Environment Canada and other agencies. Monitoring weather and flood conditions is a shared responsibility of conservation authorities, MNR, and Environment Canada. The MNR Surface Water Monitoring Centre in Peterborough monitors weather forecasts and water levels across the province, providing information to conservation authorities. Other information is also available from Environment Canada. When flooding is possible or about to occur, CVC issues flood messages to municipal emergency management officials and the media. Municipal officials then take action to warn local residents.
Conservation authorities work in partnership with municipalities to protect people and property through flood warning, guiding development and implementing green technologies. CVC has been working for more than 50 years with municipalities and public stakeholders to protect and enhance the natural features of the Credit River area.
Water Operations Engineer
Credit Valley Conservation
905-670-1615 ext 269