Advancing flood resiliency in Canadian communities

Who we are

Partners for Action (P4A) is a research initiative that seeks to empower Canadians to become flood resilient by promoting awareness and preparedness actions that are inclusive and evidence-based.

Why our work is important

Across Canada, damage from extreme weather has cost taxpayers and insurers almost $10 billion since 1998. The true cost of these disasters is measured by how resilient individuals and communities are. Multiple social deprivations can leave populations unable to recover from a major shock, like a flood event. Natural hazard events are occuring more frequently and are augmented by climate change. In light of this evolving context, it's important to consider equity and resilience by directing resources and supports toward those who are most adversely affected.

What is a resilient community?

Flood resiliency involves the promotion of flood awareness and preparedness, as well as strategies to adapt to and to prevent flooding events.

A resilient community uses a combination of structural (such as dams and berms) and non-structural (such as policies, plans, and procedures) adaptation strategies and learns from past disasters in order to minimize the impacts of flooding and recover quickly.

Building community-engaged flood resiliency must be a part of our national climate adaptation strategy. P4A aims to accelerate community resilience by taking a systems-based approach, communicating early and often, and prioritizing the exploration of solutions at a watershed level to link downstream communities in partnership toward a common goal.

Featured Report:

The Canadian Voices on Flood Risk 2020 Report (PDF) shows findings from a national survey about how Canadian's view the increasingly costly and common natural disaster, flooding. The report was developed in collaboration with Anna Ziolecki, Jason Thistlewaite, Daniel Henstra, and Daniel Scott. It addresses the large flooding problem within Canada and delves into why public awareness on flood risk continues to be so low despite growing urgency.


Multi-year funding will help Canadians adapt to, prepare for and mitigate the significant risks of flooding.

Co-operators has renewed its multi-year funding commitment to Partners for Action (P4A), a research initiative at the University of Waterloo that focuses on empowering Canadians to become flood resilient, with a three-year commitment of $500,000 towards program delivery and research.

"People, communities and municipalities have to be empowered to enact change in the places they live, where the risks are the greatest,” says Jean Andrey, Dean, Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. “Our continuing partnership with Co-operators supports the heart of this work and allows us to build deeper, impactful connections across Canada.”