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 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

Waterfront landowners are entitled to protect their property from flood damage through the planned construction of erosion protection works. However, 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 protect property during a flood emergency.

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.