Okotoks, Foothills County to receive new water pipeline that connects Bow River to Highwood River

The Bow River pictured on Monday, June 7, 2021. Tom Reynolds, Global News

Alberta’s Okotoks along with Foothills County got the green light on a massive new pipeline that will connect the Bow River to the Highwood River in an effort to curb its water shortage problems.

The new pipeline will pump water from the Bow’s confluence through to Highwood River and will then be shared through a water system to both municipality’s water treatment facilities.

The funding — announced Wednesday — is pegged at $16 million which comes from the Government of Alberta’s Water for Life and the Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership grant programs.

A long list of restrictions and regulatory constraints had put a damper on the Town of Okotoks’ search for water security for more than 20 years, according to a news release, which is why it’s welcome news to the local mayor.

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“The Water for Life grant will allow us to take the necessary next steps to get the pipeline constructed and operational for 2025,” Okotoks Mayor Tanya Thorn said in a news release.

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“After many years of diligently working towards a long-term water supply solution, this milestone is significant. We look forward to continuing to work on this essential and collaborative project along with the Province, and our partner, Foothills County, now that this critical step is in place.”

Click to play video: 'Okotoks issues boil water advisory and outdoor watering ban'
Okotoks issues boil water advisory and outdoor watering ban

The Foothills Okotoks Regional Water Project (FORWP) will provide safe and secure drinking water to the region while supporting the vital water needs of new residential growth and business development in Okotoks and Foothills County.

The news release stated that a regional water system will also mitigate water resource constraints and pressure on challenged rivers within the project area.

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Meantime, Foothills Reeve Delilah Miller said they’re pleased to be able to work jointly with municipal neighbours to provide water security and support economic development in both Foothills County and the Town of Okotoks.

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