May 21, 2014 2:29 pm

Province announces dams and reservoir upgrades to protect against flooding

The Bassano Dam

Government of Alberta

CALGARY – The province shared more details of its efforts to improve flood resiliency at a news conference in Calgary on Wednesday.

Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Robin Campbell announced $104 million in upgrades to water infrastructure like dams and reservoirs, which they hope will minimize the potential damage of any future flooding.

“These upgrades ensure these structures are as prepared as possible for future floods,” says Campbell.

Upgrades include:

  • Completion of the combined emergency spillway and connecting canal at the Travers/Little Bow Dam southeast of Vulcan. Also, the Little Bow Dam will be raised and the irrigation outlet will be replaced.
  • Construction of a new, concrete emergency spillway at the Bassano Dam to replace the existing earthen emergency spillway. The Eastern Irrigation District owns the dam and will cost-share the project with the Alberta government.
  • Replacement of the existing wooden emergency spillways at Taylor Coulee Wasteway and Bullhorn Wasteway near Cardston with larger, concrete spillways.

The upgrades will make it easier for excess floodwater to be released from reservoirs to protect dams from erosion or washouts.

The upgrades are in response to the June 2013 floods, which are considered the worst natural disaster in the province’s history.

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