Thompson Okanagan Guidance for Instream Work During a Flood Emergency

Flooding is a common, naturally occurring event in B.C. This page provides guidance to local governments and waterfront landowners on conducting “changes in and about a stream” under the Water Sustainability Act during a flood emergency. 

Information for Local Governments

The Water Sustainability Regulation authorizes local governments to construct certain erosion protection and flood protection works during a flood emergency. As part of this authorization, local governments must report all works to a Habitat Officer within 72 hours. This is a legislative requirement whether the works were authorized and/or funded by Emergency Management BC (EMBC) or completed using local government resources. Local governments are encouraged to retain qualified professionals to assist in designing appropriate emergency works, following best practices for the protection of aquatic ecosystems where possible.

Local governments must apply for a Change Approval or submit Notification of instream work for all changes in and about a stream once the immediate flooding emergency has subsided, including any post-flooding recovery works.

Information for Waterfront Landowners

Before a flood emergency:
Waterfront landowners who wish to undertake works to protect their property from erosion due to flooding must apply for an authorization under the Water Sustainability Act and Regulation if any works are below the present natural boundary (i.e., property boundary).

During the flooding emergency:
The Water Sustainability Regulation does not allow for waterfront landowners to construct flood protection or other works in and about a stream during a flood emergency. Waterfront landowners are permitted to use sandbags to temporarily protect property during a flood emergency.  

After a flood emergency:
All post-flooding recovery works that require making changes in and about stream (i.e., debris removal, erosion protection, dredging, fill placement, repairs to culverts or bridge abutments) require authorization under the Water Sustainability Act.

Waterfront landowners must apply for a Change Approval or submit Notification of instream work for all changes in and about a stream including any post-flooding recovery works.

Please contact FrontCounter BC to apply.

Additional Information