April 29, 2014 1:28 pm

Alberta studies options for major flood mitigation projects

CALGARY- The province is moving ahead with two big projects designed to hold back flood waters along the Elbow River.

With the anniversary of last June’s floods just weeks away, Environment and Sustainable Resource Minister Robin Campbell gave an update on flood mitigation efforts at a symposium on Tuesday at Calgary’s BMO Centre.

He says the province will move forward with a consultation and review of two major projects as part of its $600 million flood mitigation plan.

One is a flood water storage site near Springbrank Road about 15 kilometres west of Calgary. The project would include a diversion weir and a 45 kilometre channel.

Artist’s rendition of a proposed flood water storage site near Springbank Road west of Calgary.

Government of Alberta

The other proposal calls for a 50 metre high dry dam at McLean Creek. In the event of another flood, it would protect Bragg Creek, Redwood Meadows and Calgary.

Artist’s rendition of proposed dry dam at McLean Creek west of Calgary.

Government of Alberta

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Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi says the two projects would significantly reduce the flood risk in Calgary and areas west of the city.

“The important thing about this is to remember the Glenmore Dam held back about half the water [in last June’s floods], so to have these two additional buttresses to the Glenmore Dam upstream will hold back big chunks of the water.”

“It won’t solve the whole problem,” Nenshi adds. “But it will certainly prevent a great deal of the flooding on the Elbow, depending on the size.”

At this point, the province does not have a timeline or cost estimate for either project.

The government also plans on conducting a feasibility study sometime in the future on an underground diversion channel in Calgary from the Elbow River into the Bow River.

Route of proposed diversion channel which would carry water from the Elbow River to the Bow River.

Government of Alberta

Participants in the Alberta Flood Mitigation symposium include Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Minister Robin Campbell, Assistant Deputy Minister Matthew Machielse and Barrie Brand from Alberta Emergency Management Agency.

 

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