Council supports Sumas Prairie long-term flood mitigation


Today, Abbotsford City Council approved a flood mitigation option for Sumas Prairie and supported recommendations to prepare a funding submission to the Province of BC.

The preferred option is a hybrid concept, combining some of the key infrastructure enhancements and flood-mitigation concepts originally identified in Options 2, 3 and 4; and focuses on enhancing the City's existing flood protection system while maximizing agricultural land and food security, and minimizing the number of impacted properties. The preferred option meets minimum flood protection guidelines in B.C.

City staff presented the details of the new preferred option to Council this afternoon, and recommended that Council support the preferred option in principle as well as the first phase of a multi-year phasing program for its implementation. The first phase of implementation includes the construction of a new Sumas River Pump Station, improving resilience at the Barrowtown Pump Station, and replacing temporary works with permanent works along Sumas Dyke, as well as continuing to work with other jurisdictions on fine-tuning the remaining components of the new plan.

A key focus for the City is to ensure that agricultural land is preserved and to minimize impacts on properties by restricting water flow in the event of a flood. 

Following feedback from Abbotsford residents, farmers and business owners, additional technical analysis, this multi-phased option, starts with building a Sumas River Pump Station. The new Sumas River Pump Station will address impacts in the event the City is unable to open the flood boxes, which is what occurred in November and also occurs during spring Freshet. Throughout the public engagement sessions and in conversations with Semá:th First Nation, the addition of a new Sumas River Pump Station was consistently stated as needed and desired. 

The next steps toward project implementation include creating a more detailed plan to articulate the specifics of the scope of work, including where infrastructure will be built, as well as ongoing engagement with First Nations, residents, businesses and stakeholders.


To learn more about the preferred option and engagement report on Abbotsford flood mitigation, visit:

For more information contact:

Aletta Vanderheyden
Communications and Public Relations Manager
City of Abbotsford