Update from Bow River Working Group representatives, January info session for Bowness

January 8, 2018 by CRC Action Group in News

Happy New Year to all our members! We hope you had a joyous holiday season and that you were able to stay warm through the cold snap.


Kicking off the new year, we want to bring you the latest news from the Bow River Working Group (BRWG) and to notify you of an upcoming community engagement event.


Update from Bow River Working Group


Late last year, we met with provincial government members of the BRWG to discuss the work they have been doing to advance protections for the Bow River Basin. 


In short, the group has been working on stakeholder engagement as they progress with project recommendations, and they provided us with this note for our members:


The Alberta government is committed to exploring opportunities to reduce the impact of both flood and drought and enhance overall water management opportunities throughout the Bow River basin. The Bow River Working Group brought together municipalities, First Nations, Irrigation Districts, watershed stewardships groups, and other key stakeholders to ensure all interests were represented and the best possible solutions reached. Recommendations from the Bow River Working Group were made within the context of a long-term water management plan that considers both flood and drought, and balances needs of various stakeholders throughout the basin.


Environment and Parks are working with relevant stakeholders to begin addressing some of the recommendations from the Bow River Working Group which are contained in the Bow River Water Management Project report, including:


  • exploring the feasibility of increasing the drawdown rate of Ghost Reservoir. This will potentially provide increase in storage capacity sooner, in anticipation of an extreme precipitation event;
  • building on the current Modified Operations Agreement with TransAlta;
  • addressing some of the operational options identified as relatively quick wins outlined in the report. 


Continued investment in natural watershed functions, floodplain protection and community-level mitigation are also seen as key steps to reduce the impact of both flood and drought in the bow basin.


The Government representatives indicated that budget constraints means that the conceptual assessment of upstream mitigation options cannot start until the next fiscal year, beginning in April 2018. We do not want to see the start of this work delayed beyond that date and will be advocating for this work to continue aggressively towards its next stages.


For more information about the group, research findings, further projects in consideration and next steps, check out the BRWG’s Executive Summary or the full report, both published in May 2017.



Bowness berms and Community Information Session


As part off the community-level mitigation mentioned above, the City has in its plans, as approved by council last year, a local berm for residents on Bow Cresent. Information about the proposed plan was distributed via a six-page handout in resident mailboxes in December, however, the handout spurred more questions than it answered.


This month, the City is hosting a Community Information Session in Bowness so that residents can learn about plans and actions specific to their community. We will be in attendance and we encourage our Bowness members to attend as well.


Bowness Community Information Session
Date: January 16th
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Bowness Community Association 7904 – 43 Avenue N.W.


We are following up with the BRWG to get more information on upstream mitigation planned for the Bow, and we expect to have a more robust update from the BRWG early this year. As always, we will keep you updated as we receive more information. 


We hope to see some of you at the January 16 session. If you’d like to get in touch with us, please email us at info@crcactiongroup.com. 




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