Flood Risk Management and Analysis: INRS joins forces with Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

The CSSP is proud to support a project, which aims to develop a risk analysis and management tool for floods.

The original French news release issued by the Ville de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu is available here. It was translated with permission from the Ville de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.


Flood risk management and analysis

INRS joins forces with Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, April 19, 2017 – The Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) is working with the city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to develop a flood risk management and analysis tool.

Although the number of major floods continues to increase, to date there is no operational tool for flood mapping and risk analysis. A team led by professors Karem Chokmani and Monique Bernier of INRS’s Centre Eau Terre Environnement is working to fill this gap by developing a new tool for flood management and risk analysis, known as GARI.

This project is receiving significant government funding totalling close to $1 million. Of that amount, $900,000 comes from the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP), a federal program led by Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS), in partnership with Public Safety Canada. “Many regions in Canada must deal with flooding every year, and it can have serious socio-economic impacts,” said Mark Williamson, Director General, DRDC CSS. “We are proud to support this project, which will contribute significantly to public safety by enabling more effective responses before and during potential floods.”

The tool is an application integrated into a geographic information system (GIS). It will be made up of operations modules for cartography and characterization that will make it possible to visualize and analyze flood risk, in both anticipatory (before a flood) and operational (during a flood) mode. It will provide real-time access to detailed information about

  • flood risk;
  • current actual state; and
  • the scope of actual and potential damage for people, buildings and infrastructures.

The project, which is aligned with work currently underway at INRS on dynamic mapping of flood risk in urban areas, will provide support for municipalities and governmental organizations when making important decisions about prevention, preparedness and response activities in the face of flood risk. The new tool “will make it possible to improve evacuation operations, as well as protection and surveillance of physical infrastructure when flooding occurs,” said Professor Chokmani.

This tool for helping communities improve their emergency planning will initially be tested and validated in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. After that, it will be applied to other flood-prone watersheds in Canada.

Project partners and their roles

Professor Chokmani’s team is recognized for its expertise in the development of operational GIS tools, hydrology and remote sensing. The team members will work closely with the following organizations:

  • Geological Survey of Canada – responsible for implementing the project and answering any questions about the administrative and scientific aspects of the project, jointly with INRS.
  • The city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu – end user at the local scale.
  • Québec’s Department of Public Safety – potential user at the regional and provincial scale.
  • Public Safety Canada – advisor and provider of satellite imagery.
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada and Québec’s Department of Sustainable Development and the Fight Against Climate Change – advisors on hydrological and hydrodynamic modelling.

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Source: André Labonté, Director, Information Technology

450‑357‑2136, extension 2435

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