PIV du Gouvernement du Québec

Speakers

Special Addresses


Plenary Sessions


Alain Bourque


Executive Director, Ouranos Inc.

Alain Bourque holds a MSc in atmospheric science from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). He was a meteorologist/climatologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada from 1989 to 2001, where he worked on the Saguenay flood of 1996, as well as on the 1998 Québec ice storm and climate services. Part of Ouranos since its inception in 2001, Mr. Bourque has implemented the Vulnerabilities, Impacts and Adaptation program, which includes more than 200 projects. He has served as Executive Director of Ouranos since 2013. During his career, he conducted many regional, national and international scientific studies and is a regular contributor to media articles and policy discussions about climate change and adapting to it.

Title of the conference: Québec floods in a climate change perspective

Climate change will intensify the water cycle and spur extreme precipitation, which will in turn affect flood frequency and intensity. Historically speaking, floods have been classified as among the most frequent and devastating natural disasters to hit Québec. The spring 2017 floods, which greatly impaired the hydrographic system of the St. Lawrence River, remind us of the vulnerability of our land to such events.

In a changing climate context, reassessing the risk of flooding that confronts Québec has become a necessity. To that end, understanding the impact of climate change on flooding requires the consideration of a combination of factors, which limits consequence certainty, and requires the deployment of complex assessment tools. Moreover, since the impact of climate change on flooding is only one part of the total number of factors that influence flood risk, Québec’s increased exposure and vulnerability are inextricably bound together for understanding the evolution of risk and our choices for action when adapting to floods. For this reason, the flood issue must be looked at from a multidisciplinary viewpoint that calls on the entire spectrum of science.

Science now provides us with a basket of knowledge that is favourable to taking informed decisions on how to manage flood risk. The goal of this presentation is to bolster the major scientific affirmations on flooding that will enable the development of a Québec that is resilient to flooding, in an evolutionary context.

Mr. Bourque recommends:

 

 


Katharine Burgess


Director of Urban Resilience, Urban Land Institute, Washington DC

Katharine Burgess is the Senior Director of Urban Resilience at the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a global non-profit and membership organization committed to the responsible use of land. At ULI, Katharine leads research, advisory services, convenings and outreach related to urban resilience, and was the primary author of Harvesting the Value of Water: Stormwater, Green Infrastructure and Real Estate.

An urban planner with twelve years of experience, she has practiced in the US, UK and Germany, with global project work across the US, Europe and Asia. She began her career managing post-Katrina hurricane recovery charrettes commissioned by the States of Louisiana and Mississippi and the City of New Orleans. Since then, her projects have included a range of large-scale, mixed-use masterplanning initiatives designed to encourage pedestrian activity and integrate green infrastructure, including campus plans, downtown revitalization plans, urban extensions and a new town for 10,000 people in Scotland. Her research work has included landscape performance research for the Landscape Architecture Foundation, as well as international urban policy research for the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship program. Katharine holds an MSc in Regional and Urban Planning from the London School of Economics and a BA from Williams College. 

Title of the conference: Returns on resilience: Value generation through resilient design and water management

The Urban Land Institute (ULI)’s Returns on Resilience research initiative has identified real estate development projects that have seen measurable returns on investment due to resilient design practices. Whether addressing sea level rise, coastal storms, drought, hurricanes or flooding, these development projects have acknowledged the climate risks inherent to their sites and proactively addressed them, through building elevation, elevation of mechanicals, back-up power provisions, on-site energy generation and water management mechanisms. This investment in resilience has led to a premium, such as increased real estate value, faster lease-up, more competitive insurance costs, lower operating costs, marketing advantage and others.

ULI’s Harvesting the Value of Water addresses similar themes, exploring opportunities for value generation arising from investment in best practice in stormwater management. Many American cities are increasingly encouraging private sector adoption of green infrastructure and other stormwater management approaches to improve local water quality, and decrease pressure on overloaded sewer systems. While this approach is increasingly required or heavily incentivized, many real estate developers have also chosen to invest in stormwater management and seen value generation as a result, including through enhanced aesthetics, operational efficiency and building user experience.

Case studies presented will include buildings and development projects in Boston, Massachusetts; Queens, New York; Washington, D.C. and elsewhere in the U.S.


Andre Corbould


Deputy Minister, Environment and Parks, Government of Alberta

Andre Corbould was appointed Alberta Deputy Minister of Environment and Parks effective February 8, 2016. He previously served as Deputy Minister for Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour, Deputy Minister of Transportation, Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs, Chief Assistant Deputy Minister for the Southern Alberta Flood Recovery Task Force and Assistant Deputy Minister at Alberta Transportation.

Mr. Corbould’s work in the public services stems from a 28-year career with the Canadian Forces that included tours in Iraq, Kuwait, Bosnia, East Timor, and Afghanistan. He led from the Platoon to the Division level, including time spent as Deputy Commanding General of the US Army 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. He also worked with 24 Afghan government ministries to develop a national reconstruction plan for that country in 2006. He has also been deployed on a number of domestic operations, including assistance during the Winnipeg floods in 1997, Swiss Air Recovery as a diver in 1998, and more recently during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, where he commanded 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group as part of the Games Security Force. He retired from the military as a Brigadier General.

A Royal Military College of Canada graduate in Civil Engineering, Mr. Corbould holds a Master’s Degree in Management from the University of Canberra, as well as a Master’s in Defence Management and Policy from the Royal Military College of Canada. He was inducted as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Engineers in 2015.

Mr. Corbould and his family live in St. Albert, where they enjoy camping, fishing and skiing.

Title of the conference: Flood management in Alberta

The Southern Alberta flood of 2013 was, at the time, Alberta’s worst disaster. Affecting a major metropolitan area, Calgary, and many smaller municipalities, it resulted in 5 deaths, the evacuation of 100,000 people, over 14,500 homes damaged or destroyed and an estimated $6 billion in damage. The social effects were incalculable and are still being dealt with.

As soon as the scale of the event became known, the Government of Alberta appointed DM Corbould to head the Southern Alberta Flood Recovery Task Force. The Task Force spearheaded the Government of Alberta’s recovery work through support to the affected communities and began the process of mitigating the effects of future flooding.

DM Corbould discusses the work of the Task Force and shares his experiences leading the organization. He focuses on Alberta’s approach to disaster recovery, the changes that the flood triggered, the ongoing work to make Alberta more resilient to flooding and highlight some significant strategic context when considering future risk.


Jérôme Dupras


Professor, Département des sciences naturelles, Université du Québec en Outaouais

Jérôme Dupras is Professor of Natural Sciences at l’Université du Québec en Outaouais and Researcher at l’Institut des sciences de la forêt tempérée, where he runs the Laboratoire d’économie écologique. He holds a PhD in geography from l’Université de Montréal and a postdoctoral degree in biology from McGill University. In 2014, he cofounded the Mouvement Ceinture Verte and is involved with numerous research centres and environmental organizations. His scientific interests bear on the economic evaluations of biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as on natural infrastructures and land development.

Title of the conference: Natural infrastructures: A strategy for adapting to climate change

 Natural infrastructures are natural urban environments that provide useful services to their communities. These services include wetland flood prevention, green plant air purification and urban trees that reduce the impact of heat islands. Natural infrastructures offer one of the most important and efficient ways of adapting to climate change and preventing extreme events. While the benefits provided by biodiversity and ecosystems are well-known, measured and crucial for the quality of life of the citizenry, understanding how they weigh into the land use decision-making process remains shaky. This can be in part explained by insufficient knowledge of natural infrastructure and the pressure exerted by urban sprawl. We know that the protection and restoration of nature in cities is more often perceived as a constraint on development, and seen as economic loss rather than investment. This conference will present the results of a study on the economics and use of natural infrastructure, citing examples from the greater Montréal area, and will discuss implementation strategies that can be used in Québec cities.


Jean Francoeur


Chief engineer (floodplains), hydrology and hydraulics department, Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques

An engineer since 1999, Jean Francœur holds both a BEng in Civil Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Hydraulics. In 2002, he joined the Centre d’expertise hydrique du Québec agency, which was then associated with the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques. During his first years with the Centre, he wrote or edited more than 50 studies on flood-risk areas identification under the Programme de détermination des cotes de crues de récurrences de 20 ans et de 100 ans (PDCC). As team leader, he subsequently supervised floodplain update projects for several rivers, including those in Québec City and the rivières des Prairies and Mille Îles in the Montréal region.

As team manager since 2016, he today oversees a team of engineers and specialists working in the fields of hydrology, hydraulics, coastal erosion, climate change and hydrological forecasting. In particular, his unit produced the Hydroclimatic Atlas of Southern Québec, which assesses the projected impact of climate change on the water regime of Québec’s rivers. His unit also issues imminent water flow notifications at one hundred locations in Québec. 

Title of the conference: Québec flood zone management tools

This presentation addresses the evolution of knowledge, the status and mapping of flood zones in Québec, and how to determine them. We see how technical evolution has made it possible to enhance the studies and maps produced over the last 40 years, as technology moved forward from the initial efforts of the 1970s to the achievements of the current decade, spanning perforated and hand-drawn maps to hydrodynamic modelling using ultra-high-performance computers and satellite analysis. We also see how flooding is a natural, normal phenomenon that can unfortunately impact shoreline residents in major ways.

The retrospective review is followed by reflections on potential new approaches that are adaptable to our realities. As is the case elsewhere in the world, could it not be worthwhile for Québec to envisage a beneficial complementarity between maintaining current flood zone determination practices and developing new, more dynamic mapping and information systems?

In a climate change context, what new technical approaches should now be explored to reduce the vulnerability of Québec society and improve its resilience to future floods?


Jessica Grannis


Director of the Adaptation Program for the Georgetown Climate Center and Staff Attorney and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC

Jessica Grannis is the Adaptation Program Director for the Georgetown Climate Center and is a staff attorney and adjunct professor at the Harrison Institute for Public Law, at Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Grannis oversees staff and student research and analysis of federal, state and local adaptation efforts. Her recent publications include an Adaptation Tool Kit for Sea Level Rise (2012) and a book chapter on Coastal Retreat in the Law of Adaptation to Climate Change: U.S. and International Aspects (2012, with J. Peter Byrne). Prior to joining the Harrison Institute, she was staff counsel for the California State Coastal Conservancy and the Ocean Protection Council. She holds a B.A. in history from the University of Chicago; a J.D., Cum Laude, from University of California Hastings College of the Law; and a LL.M, with honours, from Georgetown Law.


Daniel Henstra


Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo

Daniel Henstra is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. His research centres on public administration and public policy, with a focus on emergency management, climate change adaptation, and flood risk governance. Within these subject areas, he investigates multilevel policy processes involving federal, provincial, and municipal governments, and the complex, networked relationships among elected officials, public servants, stakeholders, and the public.

Title of the conference: Flood risk management in Canada in the era of climate change

This presentation describes the challenge facing Canadian policymakers seeking to manage growing flood risk, and discuss opportunities to limit damage in an era of climate change. We will first discuss how flood risk is changing in Canada as a motivation for the adoption of policy supporting flood risk management. Indeed, flooding is Canada’s most costly and common natural hazard, with damages exceeding $1 billion annually. Second, the presentation describes how Canadian governments are responding to these risks by defining the flood risk management policy approach in contrast to traditional management strategies. More specifically, Canadian governments are adopting policies that seek to share responsibility for flood management among homeowners, the private sector, and municipal governments. Property owners are expected to support property-level-flood-protection and purchase flood insurance to limit recovery costs. Third, we discuss the results of a national survey, with a focus on Quebec that reveals potential barriers to the success of flood risk management due to a lack of knowledge and awareness among property owners. The presentation will then discuss opportunities to improve flood risk awareness and management in Canada

Mr. Henstra recommends:

 


Julie Lafleur


Operations manager, Direction principale des barrages publics, Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques

Julie Lafleur is operations manager at the Direction principale des barrages publics of the Québec Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC). In that capacity, she takes care of managing government dams, some 40 of which are managed in real time, 24/24.

Holding a BEng in Civil Engineering from l’Université Laval and an MSc in water science from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Ms. Lafleur began her career at the MDDELCC in 1997. She subsequently worked in various fields related to water management, including the determination of high water ratings, expert advice during ice jam events, and dam management. She was also the MDDELCC representative to various watershed organizations and the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board from 2003 to 2010.

Title of the conference: The role played by dams in integrated water management in Québec

Québec has a diversified inventory of dams and water control works, classified into various categories, within which different criteria determine contribution to the regulation of water inflow. One of the important features enabling these structures to play their proper role is the availability of sufficient space to store high water volumes. Higher capacity translates into better control.

At the start of each year, Hydro-Québec and the MDDELCC put into place a variety of management means to minimize the impact of the spring flood. Annual reservoirs are emptied to be able to accumulate the volumes of water generated in spring and reduce the impact on rivers downstream.

When more than one organization is responsible for different dams in a given watershed, co-operation is required to ensure the integrated management of the water system. It is for this purpose, for example, that the MDDELCC and Hydro-Québec sit on the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board.

Moreover, large reservoirs are often operated to meet different goals, including flood control; energy production, low-water support and the maintenance of a sufficient level of water for recreational purposes or drinking water supply. Reconciling these goals is a challenge for dam managers, necessitating the use of efficient dialog modes. In order to ensure sharing the resource fairly and taking account of anticipated changes to the hydric regime in a climate change context, all affected users are called upon to dialog on these issues.

Ms. Lafleur recommends:

 


Nicolas Milot


Associate Professor, Institut des sciences de l’environnement, Université du Québec à Montréal

Nicolas Milot coordinates the Table de concertation régionale Haut-Saint-Laurent–Grand Montréal and is also Associate Professor at l’Institut des sciences de l’environnement of l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). He holds a PhD in environmental science from l’UQAM, where he specialized in the study of the sociopolitical aspects associated with natural resource management. His past research mainly dealt with water management and governance and with the adaptation to climate change.

Title of the conference: Existing solutions at the watershed level

Riverbank and shoreline residents have historically adapted to the fluctuation of water levels. However, the recent floods are unfortunate reminders of what climate science suggests is coming: extreme, more intense and possibly more frequent events.

Understanding hydroclimatic watershed dynamics is imperative in weighing potential scientific and technical solutions for adapting our management of water resources (flow control) and land use (flood zone use). However, the changes needed to ensure this adaptation depend on a large number of individual and collective decisions that are made in a variety of places, from the living room of at-risk residents to the National Assembly of Québec, and including insurers, municipalities, regional county municipalities, metropolitan communities and regional dialog round tables.

In this presentation, we focus on potential solutions and their relationships with decision-making locations that characterize water governance in Québec. We address a number of challenges, including tension between short term and long-term solutions, moving from a risk-filled environment to a situation of uncertainty, the redistribution of responsibilities to deal with climate hazards; and calling traditional management references into question.

Mr. Milot recommends:


Henk Ovink


Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, The Netherlands

Henk Ovink was appointed by the Dutch Cabinet as the first Netherlands Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, in 2015. As Ambassador for Water, he is responsible for advocating water awareness around the world, focusing on building institutional capacity and coalitions among governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector and NGO’s in order to address the world’s acute water needs and help initiate transformative action.

Mr. Ovink is also Sherpa to the High Level Panel on Water, set up by United Nations General Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and President of the World Bank Jim Kim, with 10 Heads of State/Heads of Government that include Prime Minister Rutte of The Netherlands. Its purpose is to catalyze change in water awareness and implementation.

He is Principal for Rebuild by Design, the resilience innovation competition he developed and led for President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, where he was Senior Advisor to the Chair. He has also been Director General for Planning and Water Affairs and Director for National Spatial Planning in The Netherlands.

Mr. Ovink teaches at the London School of Economics and at Harvard GSD and is a member of the International Advisory Board for the City of Rotterdam. He was Curator for the 5th International Architecture ‘Making City’ Biennale in Rotterdam in 2012, and curated the ‘Design and Politics: the next phase’ debate series for the Aedes network Campus Berlin. He initiated the research program and is chief editor of the series of publications on Design and Politics with NAI010 Publishers.

 


David Paradis


Urban planner, Vivre en ville

David Paradis is an urban planner with more than 15 years of experience in municipal (Ville de Montréal, 1999-2000), university (landscape and environment chair, l’Université de Montréal, 2001; Comité d’aménagement, l’Université Laval, 2003-2008) and private sector (Bélanger Beauchemin Morency, 2008-2010) environments, with special expertise in sustainable urban planning and urban design. He joined the Vivre en ville team in 2010, and supervises publication editing, training activity preparation and mentoring projects for Québec communities. He has also been a lecturer at the École supérieure d’aménagement du territoire et de développement régional (l’Université Laval) since 2005.

Title of the conference: Using the land sustainably to cope with floods

In Québec land use documents, flood zone management is fundamentally seen as either the determination of areas that are at risk for lake and river overflow based on potential high water levels and frequency, or the possibility of building in such zones under certain conditions. If constraints associated with 20–100 year recurrence zones did not (until now) seem sufficiently important to completely prevent urban development or tear down what was previously built, recent exceptional weather events suggest that revisiting the way risks and vulnerabilities are detected and managed is necessary for reasons of public health and safety, environmental protection and urban viability. Since the status quo is no longer a viable scenario and maintaining communities in flood zones is humanly and economically risky, while destroying fragile urban and/or village environments could have major urban and identity consequences, what medium and long-term strategies should be adopted? Do flood zones as currently defined still have meaning? Which living environments should be protected, and which should be abandoned? Finally, what tools do municipalities possess to adapt urban planning to the difficult-to-define climate?

Mr. Paradis recommends :

 


Bernard Poulin


Vice-President, Production Equipment Operation, Hydro-Québec

After completing his engineering studies at l’Université de Sherbrooke, Bernard Poulin began a career in Hydro-Québec in 1985. His various positions in the Hydro-Québec production division provided him with opportunities to work in several regions of Québec.

Mr. Poulin participated in numerous projects in foreign countries such as Panama, Peru, Italy and Sweden. These experiences, combined with his participation in North American professional associations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), enabled him to observe how Hydro-Québec plays a leading role in the operation and management of hydroelectric production facilities.

Since September 2012 he has been Vice-President, Production Equipment Operations at Hydro-Québec.
He manages Hydro-Québec production facilities valued at more than 29 billion dollars.

Bernard Poulin is a member of a variety of professional bodies, including l’Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, the Canadian Dam Association and the International Commission on Large Dams.

Title of the conference: The role played by dams in integrated water management in Québec

Québec has a diversified inventory of dams and water control works, classified into various categories, within which different criteria determine contribution to the regulation of water inflow. One of the important features enabling these structures to play their proper role is the availability of sufficient space to store high water volumes. Higher capacity translates into better control.

At the start of each year, Hydro-Québec and the MDDELCC put into place a variety of management means to minimize the impact of the spring flood. Annual reservoirs are emptied to be able to accumulate the volumes of water generated in spring and reduce the impact on rivers downstream.

When more than one organization is responsible for different dams in a given watershed, co-operation is required to ensure the integrated management of the water system. It is for this purpose, for example, that the MDDELCC and Hydro-Québec sit on the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board.

Moreover, large reservoirs are often operated to meet different goals, including flood control; energy production, low-water support and the maintenance of a sufficient level of water for recreational purposes or drinking water supply. Reconciling these goals is a challenge for dam managers, necessitating the use of efficient dialog modes. In order to ensure sharing the resource fairly and taking account of anticipated changes to the hydric regime in a climate change context, all affected users are called upon to dialog on these issues.


Sally Priest


Head of Flood Hazard Research Centre, Middlesex University, London

Sally Priest is Associate Professor and Head of Flood Hazard Research Centre at Middlesex University, London, UK. She has a background in geography, holds a PhD (2003) from the University of Southampton and has investigated a wide range of social aspects of flood risks, including flood insurance and recovery mechanisms, public understanding and response to flood warning systems and flood incident management. Sally has researched various aspects of social response to and understanding of risk; including the effectiveness of public information in raising awareness about flooding and the influence that it has on attitudes and behaviour. Her Research Council-funded project investigated the public’s understanding and use of flood risk information through the medium of the EA’s web-delivered flood map. This work was advanced by securing additional EU funds from the ERA NET Crue initiative for the RISKMAP project. Amongst other elements, this research trialled flood map information and presentations with the public and provided recommendations for future presentations of mapped flood-risk information. Ms. Priest has been involved in many interdisciplinary projects funded by a variety of sources and partners, both delivering internationally recognized academic research but also undertaking studies targeted towards helping government bodies (e.g. Defra, Environment Agency, New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, the Dutch Government), industrial partners and communities. More recently, for EU STAR-FLOOD, she investigated the role of flood risk governance within flood risk management systems with the aim of evaluating their appropriateness and resilience in leading to the development of good design principles.

Title of the conference: Best practices for resilient, legitimate and efficient flood risk governance

Ensuring that flood risk governance delivers societal resilience in both a legitimate and efficient manner requires understanding of multiple factors such as the complex nature of the risk, the flood legacy experienced, the institutional and social context and views about the acceptability of risk. The EU funded STAR-FLOOD project (www.starflood.eu) undertook an in-depth comparative analysis and evaluation of flood risk governance at multiple levels in the EU and specifically in Belgium, England, France, The Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. This presentation draws on examples of best practices from these countries and elsewhere to illustrate potential lessons for flood risk governance. Comment are made about different levels of governance, from considering the overarching components of flood risk management including in relation to the diversification of Flood Risk Management Strategies (Flood Prevention, Flood Defence, Flood Mitigation, Flood Preparation and Flood Recovery), to more specific best practices for individual strategies such as effective and efficient flood risk instruments. Furthermore, the importance of establishing effective connectivity between actors, levels and sectors is highlighted in the context of diverse actor responsibilities for flood risk management, recognizing the need for effective coproduction of flood risk management between public and private actors and civil society.

Ms. Priest recommends:

 


Pascal Sarrazin


Team Leader, development and hydric environments, Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques

Pascal Sarrazin holds a BSc in urban studies from l’Université de Montréal and a MSc in environmental sciences from l’Université du Québec à Montréal. He worked for 10 years in various municipalities and municipal bodies.

He joined the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques in 2003 as an analyst in the hydric, natural and land development department of the Direction régionale de l’analyse et de l’expertise de la Chaudière-Appalaches. He was subsequently an expert analyst at the Direction de l’agroenvironnement et du milieu hydrique before becoming Team Leader (development and hydric environments) in the same department. Mr. Sarrazin is currently involved in land development, wetland and hydric environments and lake and river shoreline, littoral and floodplain regulations, among other files.

Title of the conference: The Québec normative framework for flood zone management

The Government of Québec adopted the Protection Policy for Lakeshores, Riverbanks, Littoral Zones and Floodplains in December 1987. The policy sets goals and protection measures for lakes and rivers, with the aim of ensuring the security of property and individuals in areas that are at risk for flooding. The government assigned responsibility for the policy to municipalities under the mechanisms of the Act Respecting Land use Planning and Development. The Protection Policy is a minimum framework, with municipalities being encouraged to use more stringent management practices.

On the cusp of the 30th anniversary of the Protection Policy and in the light of the major floods that took place this spring in numerous regions of Québec, many calls for a review of the Protection Policy have been raised so that it can tackle new challenges, climate change in particular. This presentation seeks to share our thoughts on how to improve the Protection Policy, which requires going back to the basic principles that guided its adoption and implementation mechanism. An overview of its contents and main application problems follows. Finally, potential avenues for improving the Policy is laid out.

Mr. Sarrazin recommends:


Pierre Thibault


Architect, Atelier Pierre Thibault

Pierre Thibault is an architect with 28 years of experience in his field. The body of his work stems from the concept that puts human beings and the natural or urban territory they inhabit in constant interaction. His very personal approach is materialized in large-scale architectural achievements by the Atelier Pierre Thibault, including the Centre d’exposition de Baie-Saint-Paul, the Villa du lac du Castor and the Val Notre-Dame Abbey.

Eternal traveller, admirer of the immense transformational power of the seasons in Québec, enamoured with contemplation as a way of slowing down time, Pierre Thibault also devotes much of his practice to ephemeral architectural sites that are set up with sensitivity to the landscapes they share.

Title of the conference: New pathways for the future


Jason Thistlethwaite


Assistant Professor and Director of the Climate Change Project, University of Waterloo

Jason Thistlethwaite is Assistant Professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on the financial risks of climate change, natural disasters, and extreme weather. His recent work explores the role of insurance and government risk management in promoting climate change adaptation and reducing economic vulnerability at the local level. To inform this research, he has worked directly with business and government leaders in the insurance, banking, real estate, building, and investment industries. This research has been published in numerous academic and industry journals and is supported by government and private-sector funding.

Title of the conference: Flood risk management in Canada in the era of climate change

This presentation describes the challenge facing Canadian policymakers seeking to manage growing flood risk, and discuss opportunities to limit damage in an era of climate change. We first discuss how flood risk is changing in Canada as a motivation for the adoption of policy supporting flood risk management. Indeed, flooding is Canada’s most costly and common natural hazard, with damages exceeding $1 billion annually. Second, the presentation describes how Canadian governments are responding to these risks by defining the flood risk management policy approach in contrast to traditional management strategies. More specifically, Canadian governments are adopting policies that seek to share responsibility for flood management among homeowners, the private sector, and municipal governments. Property owners are expected to support property-level-flood-protection and purchase flood insurance to limit recovery costs. Third, we discuss the results of a national survey, with a focus on Quebec that reveals potential barriers to the success of flood risk management due to a lack of knowledge and awareness among property owners. The presentation then discusses opportunities to improve flood risk awareness and management in Canada

Mr. Thistlethwaite recommends:


Herman van der Most


Flood Risk Management Strategy Specialist, Deltares, The Netherlands

Herman van der Most is an experienced policy analyst and strategic advisor on integrated water resources management and flood risk management at the Deltares Research Institute. He studied civil engineering at the Delft University of Technology and has over 30 years of experience in research and consultancy, both in The Netherlands and elsewhere. Over the years, he has built up a thorough understanding of all the disaster risk dimensions of flooding and drought with respect to hazard, exposure and vulnerability. As of 2000 he joined the Dutch Expertise Network on Flood Risk working group on safety.

As a policy analyst, he is used to working with different levels of government and participated in the Dutch Delta Program. A major achievement of his work in this program was the development of new flood protection standards, which were unanimously adopted in the summer of 2016 by the Dutch parliament. Mr. van der Most compiled a guidance document for developing strategies to enhance flood resilience for the Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM). He was also project leader of a major interdisciplinary research study on risk perception and communication. He currently coordinates an in-house strategic research program with research lines on flood risk assessment, flood risk management and critical infrastructure.

Title of the conference: Development of well-balanced strategies to enhance flood resilience

Integrated Flood Management planning looks for a proportionate response to flood risk. An iterative process of joint fact finding helps to create a common knowledge base and enables risk-informed decision-making. A thorough understanding of flood risk is in fact a precondition for the successful development of strategies.

The design of strategies for flood risk management is basically the search for an optimal balance of structural and non-structural measures, including both long-term and short-term intervention. To develop effective and coherent strategies, a strategic framework is needed. Through stakeholder engagement, this framework should be developed within a programme of specific measures. This type of planning approach is illustrated with examples from both The Netherlands (e.g. Room for the River programme) and the EU (Flood Risk Directive).

The planning process should preferably be supported by quantitative analysis, using various methods and tools. An important question to be answered in planning is always: What risk is acceptable? This question of “how safe is safe enough?” is discussed on the basis of the new flood protection standards in The Netherlands. Several other cases are also discussed, including flood risk analysis of complex systems of rivers and reservoirs and the cascading impacts of floods on critical infrastructure.

Mr. van der Most recommends:


Antoine Verville


Acting General Manager, Regroupement des organismes de bassins versants du Québec

Antoine Verville is Acting General Manager of the Quebec network of watershed organizations (ROBVQ), contributing to the implementation of integrated water resource management for almost 10 years in co-operation with some 40 watershed organizations. He initiated the Rés-Alliance, a community of practice dealing with adaptation to hydroclimatic change.

From 2013 to 2016, he co-chaired the Community-University Research Alliance on Coastal Communities Facing Climate Change Challenges (CCC-CURA).

As a research professional at the Université du Québec à Rimouski in 2015, he contributed to the analysis of the anticipated effects of hydrocarbon development on Anticosti Island and that community’s capacity for adaptation and resiliency.

He has served as an advisor to the North American Network of Basin Organizations since its foundation in 2009, leading the development of several international collaborative integrated water management efforts, including projects with France and Mexico.
Since 2016, he has also been a lecturer in the Laval University Master’s Program in Urban Planning and Regional Development.

Title of the conference: Integrated watershed management and Québec floods

Emerging from the 1992 Dublin Conference and the Rio Summit, the notion of integrated water resource management—which has been applied at the watershed level in Québec since 2002—may make it possible to address flood-related issues in a way that is both sustainable and equitable for all water actors.

If master water plans make it possible to raise the existence of these issues and determine what actions should be implemented at the watershed level, they unfortunately are not always considered when taking land use decisions. Moreover, Québec does not possess a consolidated water knowledge base that makes it possible to efficiently manage flood-related risks.

This conference l addresses the foundations of integrated watershed management of the water resource, as well as its current application in Québec. It exposes the limits of this management mode with respect to flood management, and formulates avenues for resolving flood documentation, prevention, risk governance, and water actor capabilitiy strengthening issue. These solutions draw particularly upon the concepts of ecological services, risk analysis, green infrastructure and watercourse areas of freedom.

Mr. Verville recommends:


Catherine Wright


Director of Digital and Skills, Flood and Coastal Risk Management, Environment Agency

Ms. Wright is Director of Digital and Skills, Flood and Coastal Risk Management within the UK Environment Agency. She leads the Environment Agency’s work on data, knowledge and innovation, ensuring that quality support for decision-making is shared with the public and agency partners. Her brief is also to make certain that staff working on flood and coastal risk management have the skills and capabilities needed to tackle the challenges of the day and those of the future. In addition, Ms. Wright is in charge of strengthening relations with local organizations that are involved in flood risk management. She is one of the Environment Agency’s National Duty Managers, with responsibility for directing operational responses to major emergencies, and a Director of the Association of Drainage Authorities.

Ms. Wright has worked for the Environment Agency for over 20 years and has comprehensive experience in water planning, marine environment and waste regulation issues. She has held senior management Functions in evidence, monitoring and regulatory improvement.

Title of the conference: Mapping flood risk—Its role in improving flood resilience in England

England has a history of significant flooding, including the 1953 extreme tidal surge, 2007 summer surface water flooding and the 2015/16 winter floods from prolonged rainfall.

The Environment Agency has a strategic overview of all sources of flooding and coastal erosion in England. We are responsible for the delivery of flood risk management activities on rivers and the coast, regulating reservoir safety, forecasting and mapping flood and coastal erosion risks, providing warnings, advising on development in the floodplain, building and keeping defences in good order and taking part in emergency planning and response.

Mapping and modelling informs all aspects of our work, enabling us to understand flood risk and to communicate to the public. We model and map flood risk at the local and national scales, as well as over different time scales, from real time to long-term planning scenarios, including climate change.

Future developments in modelling will include improving the integration of local and national models, the representation of flooding at the community scale, and developing digital tools to better inform the public.

We work with colleagues in the Netherlands, the USA and Australia to share good practice and expertise. The main differences in how flood risk is managed in each of these countries are explored.

Ms. Wright recommends: