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Elbow River Flood Mitigation Options

Following the flood of June 2013, the Government of Alberta set up the Southern Alberta Flood Recovery Task Force. The City of Calgary created an Expert Management Panel to steer Calgary's River Flood Mitigation Program and to find ways to reduce damage due to any future river flooding, while The City's Recovery Operations Centre managed flood recovery efforts.

Recommendations from both the provincial Task Force and the Expert Panel on mitigation measures in Alberta indicate the potential for three Elbow River mitigation options:

  • Springbank off-stream diversion and storage site - approved
  • Glenmore Reservoir Diversion Tunnel - not approved
  • McLean Creek dry dam - not approved

Springbank off-stream dry-storage project - approved

On March 3, 2015, the Government of Alberta confirmed it would proceed with the development of a dry-storage reservoir at Springbank. The project site is located just west of Calgary approximately 18.5 km upstream of the Glenmore Reservoir.

For more information, please visit the Government's project page.

Projects that will not be going forward

Glenmore Reservoir Diversion Tunnel - not approved

A diversion tunnel from the Glenmore Reservoir to the Bow River is one of the proposed river flood mitigation options under consideration. In June 2014, Council received an update from a preliminary study report completed by Hatch Mott MacDonald engineering consultants, as part of thefinal report from the Expert Management Panel on River Flood Mitigation. The study was commissioned by The City on behalf of the Government of Alberta. The final Feasibility Study is now available:

The study concludes that the Glenmore Reservoir Diversion Tunnel is feasible, and the preferred route is under Heritage Drive from Glenmore Reservoir to the Bow River. Flood impacts would be reduced primarily along the Elbow River downstream of Glenmore Dam and to the Bow River reach between the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers to the tunnel exit just upstream of Anderson Road.

The Government of Alberta is undertaking a cost-benefit analysis of the Glenmore Reservoir Diversion Tunnel option.

McLean Creek dry dam - not approved

Creating an earth fill dam across the main stem of the Elbow River near McLean Creek is another flood mitigation option being considered by the Province. This option includes a combined concrete outlet/service spillway structure for discharging normal and flood flows, and includes an auxiliary earth cut channel spillway to protect the dam from extreme flood events. For more information, please see theMcLean Creek dry dam final report.

The Government of Alberta is undertaking a cost-benefit analysis of the McLean Creek dry dam option.