May 26, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - GeoNB, the free Internet-based application for viewing maps and aerial photos of New Brunswick, is launching a new flood information tool.
Available online, the new application allows anyone to search GeoNB for historical flooding data, capture the data, and print them.
Real estate agents and potential homebuyers will be able to determine quickly whether a prospective property is in a historical flood zone.
"This is a great enhancement for the already-popular GeoNB map tool," said Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also the minister responsible for Service New Brunswick. "Any New Brunswicker wanting information on whether a particular property is at risk of flooding can now easily make the search online at no charge."
Flood risk information is developed by the Department of Environment Hydrology Centre in collaboration with Environment Canada. Since the mid 1970s, the centre has been providing critical information about water resource management in the province, including river flow forecasting and seasonal flood risk.
"Communities in New Brunswick are already experiencing serious impacts during extreme weather," said Environment Minister Rick Miles. "Given the need to plan for and adapt to climatic changes affecting our communities, this new online application will provide New Brunswickers easy access to information about flood risks so they may make better decisions and adapt to climate change."
The effects of inland flooding may become more frequent, with more mid-winter thaws leading to an increased risk of ice jam flooding. Increased precipitation and more high-intensity rainfall events may increase flood risk at times of the year not traditionally associated with flooding.
The Department of the Environment built the custom code for the flood information tool in collaboration with Service New Brunswick. This is the first example of two government agencies collaborating to build a custom tool for GeoNB. The flood map data was provided by the departments of Public Safety and Environment.
"One of the objectives of the GeoNB project is to bring together the geographic data and services that reside within the departments and agencies of the New Brunswick government," said Boudreau. "As GeoNB evolves and more partners come on board, the benefits to New Brunswickers will only increase."
GeoNB is a collaborative project led by Service New Brunswick's Business Infrastructure Branch, with participation from several provincial government departments and municipal governments. Its popularity has consistently grown since its launch in November 2009 and is now receiving more than 7,000 visitors a week.
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Safety is working actively to improve flood modelling. Work includes taking high-resolution aerial photography of flood-prone areas and identifying inundation areas for different flood scenarios. The department also provides a variety of flood-related information on the River Watch website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brent Roy, communications, Service New Brunswick, 506-453-6775.