Update from the City of Calgary

February 5, 2017 by CRC Action Group in News

Dear CRCAG Members,


Representatives from our CRCAG Team recently met with officials from the City of Calgary’s Water Services Department to discuss recent work undertaken and next steps anticipated, on a variety of fronts. CRCAG Team members also attended a recent public presentation by Frank Frigo, Leader of River Engineering, City of Calgary, entitled “Implementation of Calgary’s Flood Mitigation Road Map”. Here’s what we learned:


(a) Flood Mitigation Measures Assessment
The City’s ongoing Flood Mitigation Measures Assessment, to help determine the best combination of flood protection solutions for the Bow and Elbow rivers within Calgary, included workshops and feedback opportunities in the fall of 2016. The City has now posted its “Stakeholder Report Back: What We Heard” from this feedback, here. Numerous structural and non-structural mitigation options were discussed, including upstream reservoirs, operational and structural improvements to existing dams, land use changes and policy options, building removal and other strategies. Importantly, the City has undertaken and continues to revise its “Triple Bottom Line” cost assessments, which include environmental, social and economic impacts. Some of the key findings are:
    – Flood mitigation measures must be expedited.
    – A combination of reservoirs and berms/barriers are required.
    – Non-structural measures are appropriate but should be implemented after structural measures are in place.
    – Financial programs (such as incentives and cost-sharing) should be considered to assist flood proofing vulnerable properties.
    – Mitigation measures should be considered for application across the province.
A revised Triple Bottom Line study is anticipated to be released in the next few weeks. This will be an important input to understanding the damages and costs to all of Calgary from the 2013 Flood and the imperative to develop mitigation solutions. We will post this report when it is issued.
The Stakeholders Report and revised Triple Bottom Line study will inform Water Services’ upcoming report and presentation to the Utilities and Corporate Services Committee on Wednesday, March 22 from 9:30 am to noon, at City Hall. This is a public meeting, and the agenda will be posted here in March.
This information and the recommendations from this Committee will be presented as a final Report to full City Council at a later date.
Importantly, we understand that this final Report will NOT put forth recommendations for the “Floodway Development Regulation” under development by the Provincial Government. The FDR is as important as upstream mitigation structures like the Springbank Diversion Reservoir (SR1) and further reservoirs on the Bow river in addition to the Ghost dam. We’ve commented on this already here and will soon provide an updated post to you on this critical topic.
(b) Glenmore Reservoir Improvements
The construction project to heighten the Glenmore Reservoir and increase its water storage capacity by 50%, is progressing well. Completion is expected in 2019.
This project is important and very welcome, and is anticipated to protect to a 1:35 or 40 year flood event, but remember that this increases water storage by only about 5 million cubic meters, so this project and SR1 are both required to protect against the 2013 Flood event level (about 1:90 year event, representing about 83 million cubic meters). CRCAG has advocated at least at 1:200 year standard to protect Calgary, on both rivers.
(c) Bow River Working Group
The BRWG has completed its preliminary work and a Report from its Advisory Group is expected by the summer.
Various upstream reservoir sites have been identified on a preliminary basis. No technical design work or more detailed analysis has been undertaken to date.
The Advisory Group will establish the process to advance this work going forward. CRCAG is in contact with the Advisory Group and we will provide updates to you when available.
We will soon send a post on the Floodway Development Regulations under development, and our efforts to be engaged in this.


As always, if you have any questions, please post these at info@crcactiongroup.com and we’ll answer them as best we can.


Your CRCAG Team