By Chad Ingram
Published Dec. 28 2017
Just how LIDAR mapping would be used to mitigate flooding throughout the Trent watershed was the central point of discussion during a meeting of the Upper Trent Watershed Management Partnership (UTWMP) in Peterborough on Dec. 19.
UTWMP consists of representatives from Haliburton County North Kawartha and Trent Lakes as well as members of the Coalition for Equitable Water Flow. Members met with representatives of the Trent Severn Waterway which is overseen by Parks Canada as well as the Kawartha and Ganaraska conservation authorities to discuss flood mitigation planning.
“It was a meeting of the minds” said Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin adding that one outcome of the meeting was an agreement that a technical working group would be established.
Representing Haliburton County on that working group will be Bruce McLennan vice-chairman of the CEWF.
“We have technical experts in our midst” Devolin said.
He encouraged residents who want to understand more about water management to look up the CEWF online.
“I can’t put it out there to the public enough that if they would like to increase their knowledge to look at the CEWF site” Devolin said.
Haliburton County has applied to the National Disaster Mitigation Fund to perform LIDAR mapping in the area. LIDAR or Light Detection and Ranging uses a laser-based system to produce extremely detailed topographical images.
While he said he realized he might sound like a broken record to some people “the LIDAR mapping is the cornerstone in moving ahead on any of this” Devolin said.
Flood planning including potential flood mitigation infrastructure will be based on the imagery produced by the LIDAR mapping process.
“Certainly we’re working with the assumption that will take place” Devolin said explaining most of discussion at the meeting was based on the premise of the funding application being approved.
Devolin said he expects the county to hear back regarding the funding application some time in 2018 hopefully within the first quarter.
He said he realizes the process is a slow one.
“To my neighbours on Anson Street I know this probably seems like watching paint dry or watching a snail move down the street” Devolin said.
Some Gull River residents have expressed concerns about the river’s high levels this winter.
“I understand that it creates anxiety” he said.
There was widespread flooding throughout Haliburton County in the spring of 2017 with the Township of Minden Hills declaring a state of emergency for the second time in four years.