VIDEO: Province Cuts Funding to ERCA Flood Programs

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The Essex Region Conservation Authority is going to have to crunch the numbers after a cut to its flood programs by the Ontario government.

ERCA was notified the province was reducing its payments to flood management programs by half, a nearly $100,000 loss in funding.

Authority General Manager Richard Wyma says despite the cut, it can't cut the program either because flooding is an important part of its management.

"We are low, we are surrounded by water, we are surrounded by Great Lakes which is a great thing but then we are also very low and when waves happens and when water happens, it has a real impact on us so I think everyone knows somebody who has been impacted by a flood" he says.

The local program helps with planning to make sure neighbourhoods aren't built on hazardous areas with flood plain mapping, mitigation work and understanding water levels.

"It involves us working ideally at the beginning to try and remove people from being in hazard lands in the first place and we do that through our flood plain mapping, through our watershed planning work working with municipalities on official plans to recognize hazards and things like that," says Wyma.

The program is also used for flood warnings and flood response.

Wyma calls the funding cut a big hit to the program.

"It is a real tough one for us to handle in fact because we know how important that small contribution that we get is" he says.

Wyma points out funding for the program has been the same since 1996, which was the last time it was cut.