Municipal Affairs and Environment
August 16, 2018

Provincial Government Completes Flood Risk Maps of Waterford River

The Provincial Government has released a flood risk mapping study of the Waterford River and its major tributaries. The flood risk mapping study, maps and GIS files are available at:

This new study was undertaken in November 2015 as an update to the previous 1988 study. The study maps the river from its originating point in the eastern tip of the Town of Paradise through the City of Mount Pearl to where it discharges in St. John’s Harbour, as well as all major tributaries.

The maps demonstrate the depth and velocity of flooding, identifying hazards for emergency responders, and includes a detailed hydraulic capacity assessment of bridges and culverts for climate change flood flows. The study results will be used to derive precipitation-based flood triggers that will inform the Hurricane Season Flood Alert System. This system tracks all weather systems 72 hours ahead and generates flood alerts from June to December.

This project aligns with the Provincial Government’s Climate Change Adaptation initiative to update and undertake new climate change flood risk mapping studies and projections. Flood risk maps will enhance public safety, infrastructure design, water resources management, environmental assessments, municipal and land use planning, setting of structural design criteria, and flood response. The maps also incorporate the impact of climate change including increased rainfall and rising sea levels.

This initiative delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation and deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at

“This important new flood risk mapping initiative for the Waterford River will assist our government, residents, municipalities, and emergency management organizations in planning for and addressing emergency events. We are very proud of the collaborative work that has gone into this initiative. This work supports our government’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure that communities develop in a safe and sustainable manner.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment

“The Waterford River is an historic Newfoundland river that flows through the heart of my district. These new flood risk maps enable us to better understand risks that come during hurricane season and any time water levels change quickly in the river. This will allow a better understanding of the risks the river can pose and improve the quality and safety of life in the Waterford Valley.”
Honourable Tom Osborne
Minister of Finance and MHA for Waterford Valley

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Learn More

Flood risk mapping study, maps and GIS files:

Provincial Government Hurricane Season Flood Alert System:

Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment flood plain management policy

Public Safety Canada’s Federal Floodplain Mapping Guidelines Series: ( external link icon

Media contacts
Lynn Robinson
Municipal Affairs and Environment
709-729-5449, 691-9466

Jeremy Reynolds
Government Members Office

2018 08 16                              9:30 a.m.