NEW DRP Survey/Water Collaborative Notes/Hillhurst Sunnyside Notes/More Info on Stampede Flood Walls.

March 24, 2014 by CRC Action Group in News



Files are being closed and cheques are being issued. We are hearing lots from our members on this and it is important that we collate information on this quickly. Please click on this link to access the Survey. Please also forward the Survey to anyone who has a DRP file.


Water Collaborative Notes


The Water Collaborative meets monthly to review and comment on Government of Alberta and Municipal mitigation plans.


Notes from Water Collaborative Meeting / Wednesday, March 12


Groups present at this meeting:

Government of Alberta – Flood Recovery Task Force (FRTF)

City of Calgary

Ghost Lake

Town of High River

Hillhurst-Sunnyside Residents’ Association

Calgary River Communities Action Group


Town of Okotoks

City of Medicine hat


Government of Alberta – Environment & Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD)


Municipal District of Foothills

Eastern Irrigation District


Andre Corbould’s update:

Andre encourages people to share spring runoff advisory information from the Province, then presents slides showing the Ministerial Task Force org. chart after cabinet shuffle and our four recovery elements.


Rumour control – Andre addresses some rumours that are not true:

The only decisions made are the ones publicly announced. There is no decision on Highwood river diversion route.

Transition plan for FRTF – we are not closing down the task force. Secondments are extended until July. Actively working on transition plans to transition work to home ministries like ESRD and Municipal Affairs.


Robust discussion on public safety and big focus on spring readiness to make sure people understand how we are preparing for spring melt. Example is funding for municipalities to purchase equipment.


Andre runs through timelines on upcoming consultant reports, ongoing spring readiness info sessions, and watershed management symposium.


Gives overview of some of the mitigation requests we are currently considering, including High River, Calgary, and Black Diamond.


EQ1 and BG1 on the ghost are being assessed as a priority. Consultation has begun and is in progress but will continue throughout the spring. Andre gives overview of some of the information available on our website, including the flood mitigation project map.


Other updates:

Andrew Wilson (FRTF) presents on the FRTF’s trip to tour Ohio dry dams. Andrew notes there were 5 dams built between 1918 and 1922, built to 1:500 plus 40% level and they have never filled to max capacity. They are paid for by special levy on property tax by homeowners who benefit from the dam. Andrew notes the difference between dry and wet dams, that dry dams are simpler, eliminate operating decisions about when to release water.


When dry dam is “wet”, must actively manage debris. Need to access inlet during flood event. Full service wet dams offer more flexibility but come with greater operations complexity. Using floodplain more effectively works better than multiple pieces of infrastructure. Chief engineer from Ohio says dam can rise 15 – 20 feet in a day during a flood event. He also notes environmental impact is minimal because river flows normally most of the time, only held back during flood event.


Cathy Maniego (FRTF) gives an update on a couple of potential holding sites in the Highwood basin.


Andre speaks about budget and the financial commitment over three years, approximately $700 million. Also federal budget had $200 million over 5 years for flood mitigation, but when split between provinces and first nations there won’t be too much money for Alberta.


Megan Van Ham (WaterSmart) presents on the Bow River Basin quarterly forum.


Objective is to assess mitigation options throughout the basin, including consequences of mitigation throughout entire watershed.

Will submit report to FRTF and share publicly at end of March.

Looking at natural, infrastructure and operational solutions with short, medium, and long term timing considerations.


Key question: What are we mitigation to? What should the target flow level be (CMS)?


Key themes: maximize natural capacity of watershed, getting out of way is only sure protection, don’t shift risks elsewhere, cost/benefit analysis.


Specifically notes impact of Glenmore reservoir level being taken down before flood. Big impact on flow rates on Elbow downstream.


Best possible forecast will make mitigation operations as effective as possible.


Also shows impact of regulated flows on Bow river if Transalta dam is operated to mitigate flood risk. Impact is not quite as significant and Glenmore / elbow ops.


Noted some assumed flow targets and mitigation required to get there. Mitigation solutions included operations for Transalta and Glenmore, as well as land management and wetland storage, and infrastructure solutions.


Find the WaterSmart Power Point Presentation  here:


Following presentation, Allan Markin notes that berms will eventually allow water under the gravel layer so you would flood, not over the top of the berm but underneath. Need to focus on upstream.


Question: Why was Ohio the model?

Answer from Andre: because Ohio has a long history of successful dry dams and notes it isn’t the only place we will go. Other ideas are under consideration as well.


Andrew speaks about watershed management symposium, notes agenda is still being developed but engineering consultants will present. Also, we are looking at keynote speakers. Communications will start to roll out end of next week. Allan asks if there will be timelines presented at symposium. Andre is hopeful there will be timelines.


Round Table:


City of Calgary – Starting feasibility study on underground diversion. Report to council end of June. Homeowner level mitigation tradeshow will not happen in spring. Third party organizer can’t pull it off in time.


City of Medicine Hat – Preliminary engineering model by end of March to address stormwater issue. Open houses March 24 and 25. Tender and construction on mitigation projects this summer, with projects coming online by 2016. They are concerned about bringing together provincial and local engineering reports so they can make effective decisions.


Municipal District of Foothills – Received FREC approval and those projects are going to tender. Preparing for spring readiness info session later in March. Tendered 498 Avenue project, waiting for budget approval to award project.


Town of High River – Open house to update status of flood mitigation (local) mid-April. Building robust emergency plan, including info for best way to leave and get back into town. Contracts awarded for golf course and west town dikes.


Okotoks – Community meeting with residents, discussed sandbagging and placement of sandbags. Pre-placement of palettes is part of the solution. Working on protection for water treatment plant, downtown and the rail line.


Eastern Irrigation District – Completed repairs on dam, undertaking feasibility study for emergency spillway because they are concerned with diversion impacts.


Transalta – Waiting for upcoming meetings with Transalta and province.


Watersmart and CRCAG – CRCAG wants to see process continue as quickly as possible.


Hillhurst Sunnyside Residents’ Association – Infrastructure challenges within community, including stormwater collection and distribution. They have an open house tonight (March 12)to discuss this topic and mitigation efforts to date.


Millarville – Have been flooded as early as April previously, looking at emergency response plan and what the MD has planned for mitigation. Working directly with emergency management director of MD Foothills. (Postscript – Residents flooded a week after this meeting.


Ghost Lake – This meeting has generated some questions for them, but they can wait.

Allan Markin – Drives home point that berms will allow water underneath over time.


Next meeting: mid-April, date to be confirmed.



HillHurst/SunnySide Meeting Notes:


Summary of Sunnyside Community Flood Update Mar 12, 2014


PRESENTER: Francois Bouchart, Manager of Infrastructure in the Department of Water Resources, City of Calgary provided the following information to the community.


Update on Riverbank Restoration

There were two areas compromised along Memorial Drive due to the June 2013 flood:


1. Memorial Drive & 3rd Street NW

Phase 1 restoration has been completed, this involved rip-rap installation, outfall repairs and major earthwork. Phase 2 is scheduled to start May 2014, which will involve raising the permanent pathway to a 1:100 level plus 0.50m freeboard (actual height not provided), site reclamation and landscaping.


2. Memorial Drive & 19th Street NW

Phase 1 and 2 restoration will begin some time in March 2014.


Update on Remote Gate Operation

The automation of gates B48/B48A and B47 continues, with a target of completion for the end of March 2014. Automation of the gates only allows for opening and closure from a remote location. Gates will have back-up power and can also be operated manually.


Revised NW Inner City Drainage Study

This study will include East Sunnyside and look at solutions of how to improve the storm sewer system in the Sunnyside Community. Target date for completion of the study is late Summer – Fall 2014.


The study will take into consideration gate operations under various flood events to determine performance of the storm sewer system, provide options for infrastructure upgrades, and provide interim and long-term solutions for storm sewer collection. Long-term solutions under consideration are: conveyance upgrades for Sunnyside, upper plateau diversion and storage, and pumping infrastructure during gate closure. Interim solutions under consideration are installation of backflow valves in the catchbasins to address localized backup in the vicinity of 8th Street and 3rd Avenue NW and operation of the storm sewer lift station when gates are closed.


Update on Lift Station Resiliency – Storm Sewer System


The Lift Station (located on 5A Street and 1st Avenue NW) cannot operate when gate B47 is closed. Gates are closed when the river level is high. The completion of the Revised NW Inner City Drainage Study will provide solutions/recommendations for lift station operation during gate closure.


Update on Lift Station Resiliency – Sanitary Sewer System


This lift station was submerged in 26 inches of water from the June 2013 flood. The electrical system for this lift station is underground and has been repaired. A conceptual design study will be done to determine how to elevate and waterproof the station’s electrical system and whether the lift station will need to be replaced. Completion of this study is targeted for Fall 2014.


Update on river monitoring pilot operations for 2014


As of 2014, Water Resources is piloting its new mode of operation for outfall gates. Gates will be kept at controlled level (partially opened) unless closure is required. The Water Resources River Team is visually inspecting gates daily.


The flood emergency response manual dictates that gates are to be closed if the river is high. When gates are closed Water Resources plans on having personnel on site for 24hrs and to utilize two pumps to pump water out of Sunnyside over the berm into the river.


Update on river engineering studies


River Survey Study – the intent is to capture riverbed changes post June 2013 flood and input the data into the hydraulic model study


Hydraulic model update study – will build upon the April 2012 Hydraulic Modelling and Inundation Mapping Report with data from June 2013, additional surveying data, and utilization of a new hydraulic model


River Flood Protection Study – will assess all flood protection work needed to be done within City limits and provide recommendations and conceptual designs to address spill over locations. A prioritized list will be generated from the study and a triple bottom analysis will be used to determine where to start


Ice Assessment Study – this study has two phases. The Water Resources Department is currently working on Phase 1, which is primarily centered around data collection on river ice formation, collection and dynamics. This is to allow for the development of a mathematical model that can provide further insight into ice management along the Bow River



PRESENTER: Rick Valdarchi, Program Manager, City of Calgary River Flood Mitigation Program, Water Resources


An overview of the River Flood Mitigation Program was given. Wolf Keller is the program Head and there are six themes under consideration.


The Changing Climate – seeks to determine whether there are significant changes of climate systems that the City of Calgary needs to be aware of


Event forecasting – will assess how far in advance weather can be accurately predicted, where a given weather system will be localized, and recommendations to provide better event forecast notifications


Watershed Management – will determine how to use existing facilities on the Bow and Elbow rivers to manage the flow, as well as assess how other activities on the Bow and Elbow rivers impact watershed management


Storage Diversion and Protection – to determine ways to manage flows on the Elbow and Bow Rivers in collaboration with the Alberta Government, WaterSmart, and Bow River Basin Council


River Structure and Property Resiliency – intent is to provide options for home owners to consider for flood mitigation


Additional risk management – will determine other information needed to develop better solutions to minimize flood risk, such as changes to existing and future infrastructure


To date there have been two rounds of meetings with technical experts in each of the six themes. Targeting the end of June 2014 for a report on recommendations that will be submitted to City Council for consideration in the 2015-2018 Action Plan.



Stampede Flood Wall Engineering Letter Provided By the City of Calgary


26 February 2014 CW212803

Calgary Exhibition & Stampede Box 1060, Station M
Calgary, AB T2P 2K8

Attention: Warren Connell
Vice President, Park Development Calgary Stampede

Dear Warren:

Re: Evaluation of Upstream and Downstream Flood Condition Impacts Resulting From Flood Recovery Projects at Stampede Park



The Calgary Exhibition & Stampede (Stampede) as part of its public communication program is providing information regarding the flood recovery projects proposed at Stampede Park. As part of the communication program, the Stampede has requested that AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, a division of AMEC Americas Limited (AMEC) provide a summary evaluation of potential impacts on flood conditions resulting from the flood recovery projects that are proposed at the Stampede Park. Impacts from the following flood recovery projects are evaluated herein.

 Streambank erosion protection at two sites.  Floodwall South of Racetrack.


During the 2013 flood event, the following two bank areas were subject to severe attack and loss of land and erosion protection works are proposed at these sites:

  Site 1 – 150 m of the south bank upstream and downstream of the south access (3rd Street SE) bridge and two localized erosion areas on north bank; and

  Site 2 – 220 m of the north bank adjacent to the south end of the racetrack.

AMEC Environment & Infrastructure A Division of AMEC Americas Limited 140 Quarry Park Boulevard SE Calgary, Alberta, CANADA T2C 3G3 Tel: +1 (403) 248-4331
Fax: +1 (403) 248-1590

The following steps were taken as part of the engineering analysis to mitigate impacts on flood conditions that could potentially result from the erosion protection works:

  The proposed erosion protection works generally encroach into the river channel no further into the river channel than the pre-flood sreambank. Hence the waterway opening available to convey floodwaters will not be reduced as compared to pre-flood conditions.

  Computer hydraulic modelling was undertaken to determine flood levels, velocities and other hydraulic parameters for a range of different flood events.

  Consultation and on-site meetings were undertaken with environmental regulatory agencies to optimize designs from an environmental perspective.

  The proposed erosion protection measures incorporate soil bioengineering measures which utilize structural components such as riprap in combination with softer vegetative components such as brush layers of willow cuttings, native containerized shrub plantings and the use of large woody debris. This bioengineering approach offers both environmental benefits such as enhancing aquatic habitat and hydraulic benefits such as increase roughness of the banks, which helps absorb energy and reduce velocities.
Based on the above, the proposed erosion protection works are not expected to have any adverse hydraulic impacts on upstream and downstream areas.



The proposed flood protection works consist of a 200 m long concrete floodwall (trending in an east-west direction) connecting to the existing flood wall (south of the Grandstand) and extending towards the barns building.

As detailed below, the Government of Alberta and the City of Calgary has strict guidelines on flood protection structures to ensure that there is no increase flood levels that may adversely impact adjacent areas.

The City of Calgary’s floodplain mapping delineates the floodway/floodplain boundary.
The flood levels referenced herein are based on the 100-year elevations contained in the City’s floodplain mapping. The proposed flood protection works are located such that no portion of the works will be within the 100-year floodway. This adheres to Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development’s guidelines for construction in the floodplain. The flood protection works will not change or impact the flood levels contained in the City’s floodplain mapping.

Based on the above, the proposed floodwall is not expected to have adverse hydraulic impacts on upstream and downstream areas.

R:\General\PROJECT\Cw\2128.0X\212803 – Flood Protection\L_flood impacts 26 Feb 2013.docx




This report has been prepared for the exclusive use of the Stampede. This report is based on, and limited by, the interpretation of data, circumstances and conditions available at the time of completion of the work as referenced throughout the report. It has been prepared in accordance with generally accepted engineering practices. No other warranty, express or implied, is made.

Yours truly,

AMEC Environment & Infrastructure

L.S. Hundal, M. Eng., P.Eng., Senior Associate Water Resources

Direct Tel.: (403) 387-1669
Direct Fax: (403) 248-1590 E-mail:


Permit to Practice No. P-4546

Reviewed by:

Don Kidd., P.Eng.
Senior Associate Water Resources”