In April, the IJC published models and mapping tools developed through the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River flooding study. They’re intended for water managers, emergency responders, scientists, municipalities and other interested parties to use as they work to minimize future flood damage.
For nearly six years, the International Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Study Board explored the causes, impacts and potential mitigation measures of flooding in the basin. The IJC approved all the study recommendations and encouraged the governments of Canada and the United States to implement them.
Map showing water depths scenarios in the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River basin. Credit: IJC
Experts working on the study developed several tools to support their conclusions.
These tools fall under four main categories: flood mapping under different water conditions, flood hazard mapping, numerical models, and computer models mapping out flooding conditions and impacts under different mitigation measures.
The tools are focused on technical topics and datasets useful to experts. These include water elevations and levels as measured by both countries, water depth maps, social sensitivity flood maps, water flows, and ecological habitat and conditions under different flooding situations that affect a variety of local species.
The tools contain valuable information, such as modeled maps showing how different flood mitigation measures may affect black ash habitat, and maps of what different water levels due to flooding would look like in the basin.
Some of the datasets continue to be updated and will be made available in the coming months.
While the two federal governments have not yet announced a decision on the IJC’s recommendations, these tools provide those working and living in the basin with information to advocate for measures that are helpful and manageable on a local, state or provincial level to prepare for future flood events.
The products are available at ijc.org/en/lcrr/products.
Kevin Bunch is a writer-communications specialist at the IJC’s US Section office in Washington, D.C.