Controlled River High-Flow Test Event: May 10

April 27, 2016 by CRC Action Group in News

Dear CRCAG Member:


The City’s Water Services Department has advised that it will be distributing letters to Elbow River community homeowners concerning an upcoming controlled river high-flow test event planned for May 10th, and have asked us to distribute this information to help ensure everyone is aware of it.


The letter is self explanatory and is reproduced here, in full. Please direct any questions you have to the City’s 311 number, as suggested below.


April 22, 2016


Dear Resident,


Re: Controlled river high-flow event scheduled for May 10, 2016


The City would like to provide important information regarding an upcoming controlled river high-flow event that will occur in preparation for the upcoming flood readiness time period.


On a routine basis, The City conducts river surveys and inspections to review river bed conditions and flow rates. Early this year, surveys and inspections of the Elbow River were completed for the area along 22 Avenue to 25 Avenue S.W. Based on our preliminary findings, the Elbow River bed and flow depth along this area have changed.


To confirm the findings and to calibrate the flow capacity in the Mission area, The City will be conducting a controlled river high-flow event, on or around May 10, depending on rain conditions. The City will carefully increase the Elbow River flow rate over a period of time to the range of 80 to 100 m3/s by controlling the release of water from the Glenmore Reservoir. This flow rate will not generate overland flooding.


Your safety
For your safety and that of others, all people and pets are asked to stay away from the river edge and banks, and closed pathways on the Elbow River and the Bow riverbanks downstream of Inglewood during this controlled event. River conditions will remain high throughout the day and into the evening on the Bow River. This will pose an elevated risk to river users. City staff and emergency personnel will be onsite monitoring, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., the river levels and looking at potential impacts to river adjacent properties and communities


Advisement of operational activities
If you would like to receive alerts about river operations specific to your area (such as the high-flow test) please call 311 to provide your residential address and email. Updates will also be available on
Personal Preparedness
The City is preparing for the risk of river flooding, which is greatest from May 15 to July 15 each year when we historically experience our largest rainfalls. Rainfall in the Rocky Mountains is the primary cause for flooding in Calgary. Rain hits the hard mountain surfaces and moves quickly from the mountains into the rivers. Flooding occurs quickly and with little warning because of the short, steep distance the rivers travel from the mountains to Calgary. The City monitors river conditions on 24/7 from May 15 to July 15 to provide Calgarians with as much warning as is possible. As part of The City’s annual citizen flood readiness efforts, Calgarians are reminded that river flooding can occur at any time and with little notice. One of The City’s priorities in a major incident is to ensure public safety and protect critical infrastructure and assets. Property owners remain responsible for protecting their property. The City offers opportunities and services for Calgarians to understand their flood risk, prepare for flood events and stay informed about flood conditions. Please see the enclosed attachment for further details.


Should you have questions or require further information please contact 311.




Dan Limacher, Director, Water Services
The City of Calgary