Water Stewardship Division

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Hydrologic Forecast Centre (Flood Forecasting) - Objectives

The Hydrologic Forecast Centre is a part of the Forecasting and Flood Response Coordination Branch within the Regulatory and Operational Services Division, Manitoba Water Stewardship.

Its primary objective is the provision of flood condition reports, forecasts and warnings to enable effective coordination of flood response planning and flood fighting activities at all levels of government and the private sector. The Centre thus promotes public safety and flood damage reduction.

An important additional responsibility is the operation of dams and the provision of data and forecasts for the operation of floodways and diversions. Such operations help to prevent or reduce flooding and to ensure adequate water supplies for irrigation, industrial and personal use.

The Forecast Centre prepares spring flood outlooks during the winter and issues daily flood reports and specific river forecasts during spring flood events. Specific reservoir forecasts and operating plans are prepared and special forecasts are provided for floodway operations and for use by cities. Flash flood watches, warnings and flood advisories due to heavy rainfall are issued when significant impacts are anticipated.

In addition, weekly river flow reports are prepared throughout the year and periodic lake and reservoir status reports and forecasts are prepared during the open water period.

The Centre also reviews development and subdivision proposals to ensure that they comply with provincial regulations regarding flood, erosion and banks stability risks. It also provides data and expertise for flood proofing and for design of water control works or other infrastructure sensitive to water levels. This includes information on soil moisture, precipitation, snowcover, evaporation, wind, and rainfall intensities. The centre also performs hydrologic and hydraulic analysis and modeling to determine impacts of developments, land use changes and climate change on water regimes.