Integrating Floodplain and Stormwater Management : Historical Perspective, Concepts and Case Study
Floodplain management and stormwater management have many similarities and should ideally be analyzed in an integrated way for effective planning. Historically, these two planning activities have evolved as separate tasks and are often carried out in an isolated way, the latter being most often associated directly with a local government, whereas the former is usually the responsibility (and financed by) a provincial or federal ministry. When some problems appear at the municipal level and part of the solution is tied to a regional and floodplain management plan, this artificial separation can sometimes prevent optimal solutions. Also, when land development in the floodplain is considered, specific and sometimes innovative solutions have to be implemented in order to be able to continue the urban development without affecting the level of protection.
After a general discussion of historical developments in North America and specifically in the Province of Québec, concepts and types of interactions between the two planning activities are presented. A case study for the City of Saint-Constant, on the south shore of the St-Lawrence River near Montréal, is then given to highlight specific stormwater management approaches. The approaches protect existing areas or enable land development in the floodplain, taking into account the entire watershed hydrologic response. The interface problems/opportunities between floodplain and stormwater management are also presented and discussed.
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