Water Collaborative Update

December 18, 2013 by CRC Action Group in News

Water Collaborative Meeting Summary

On December 4, 2013, Members of the Steering Group of the CRCAG attended the Water Collaborative meeting. This is a summary of the meeting. We are very encouraged to see all these groups working together towards the collective goal of preventing the devastating damage we suffered the spring.

Water Collaborative Meeting Summary – December 4, 2013
Hosted by: Andre Corbould, Chief Assistant Deputy Minister – Province of Alberta

Andre provided an update on Government of Alberta progress on mitigation strategies and flood recovery.

Overall mitigation approach outlined (http://alberta.ca/albertacode/images/Key-Elements-of-Mitigation.pdf)
Current mitigation actions include:
– moving ahead with environmental review and consultation on two projects.
– co-hosting several open houses in High River – happening Dec. 3, 4 and 5th – with a focus on flood mitigation
– reviewing municipal mitigation proposals
– developing a team within GoA dedicated to mitigation and resiliency

Richard Lindseth Reviewed Video on EQ1 (Elbow Dry Berm)
Proposed site was selected at river bend where there is a narrow choke point and a large rock bedrock outcrop into which the structure can be tied.
Preliminary feedback from the public includes
– concern that debris will clog up the water intake – discussion around solutions on this will require maintenance to keep debris out of the valley upstream. – impact upstream
– public safety
– impact on watershed

AMEC is now doing preliminary review of the system (discussion between AMEC and STANTEC).

NEW IDEAS & Round table discussion

High River Update
o Forming an advocacy group in High River – similar to CRCAG
Primary concern is DRP

Millarville Update
• Represent less populous agricultural area
• Very concerned they will be forgotten and not included in a plan
• Andre – welcomed them to the group – and is happy to have the conversation about what the community needs.

CRCAG Update
• Daryl Rudichuk provided update that CRCAG has been looking into/ researching individual homeowner mitigation methods
• Manufacturer from Germany will be coming over to show products – Panel Walls and fences.
• Discussion about CRCAG possibly facilitating a trade show on individual homeowner flood mitigation options.
• Province and City would participate

City of Calgary Update
• Looking into options to increase the storage of Glenmore Reservoir
• Looking into more detail of the bypass tunnel – geotechnical and engineering – believe it will be some years before the tunnel would proceed.
• Looking into BERMS around the city – none anticipated to be in place by 2014 spring
• Will be working to inform the public of the risks that remain.
• Meeting with Insurance providers
• Looking at revising building standards with individual homeowner and commercial property owners in mind.

Allan Markin
• Urged the province to keep moving ahead with Bow River solutions
o 2 Berms on Ghost – South Fork and Wiaprous
o TransAlta – change practice on existing infrastructure
• Building Owners (Downtown) – need to put backup generators in every building “We were hours away from losing the entire downtown core for a significant time period – mitigation should not stop at the homeowner level”.

Wolf Keller (City)
• City is looking at Emergency Dyking on the Bow River to help Bowness.
• Rob Niewesteeg (CRCAG Bowness) strongly encouraged the Province and City to provide solutions for the Bow as soon as possible.

TransAlta (Roger Drury)
• Looking closely at potential modified operations on the Ghost Reservoir.
• Expect to get into the technical part of the discussion in the next couple weeks.

Andre (Province)
• Irrigation Districts are looking at the Mitigation and have real concerns.
• Whatever is done upstream has a direct impact on their operations and it must be taken into consideration.
• High River, MD Foothills and other municipalities need to have bilateral discussions with the Irrigation Districts.

• Focus on the concepts of the White Paper.
• Modeling – upstream impacts downstream – model on the Bow will be used to look at all inputs to consider flood and drought.
• There needs to be a better understanding of groundwater flow around the Bow and Elbow.
• A bunch of small mitigation measures make a more resilient watershed.
• Riparian Health is a long term solution that needs to be looked at. Bow River Basin Council Forum to be held December 11, Fort Calgary, 120 people will attend – Andre to talk, brief discussion
• 3 Levels of mitigation Province/ Municipalities – Big Infrastructure Mitigation; WaterSmart – Middle level of Mitigation (Riparian focus); Home Owner

Next Meeting January 15 1:30PM