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Glenmore Reservoir Dam Operations

Glenmore Reservoir & Dam Operation

The Glenmore Reservoir and Dam are located on the Elbow River. They were constructed to provide Calgarians a safe and sufficient supply of drinking water and are managed according to the following priorities, in order of importance:

  • Store an adequate supply for drinking water
  • Reduce the impact of high river flows and sustain environmental health
  • Provide recreational opportunities

Reduce the impact of high river flows and sustain environmental health

The Elbow River watershed is short and steep. Rapid changes in water flows into the reservoir can occur, especially from mid-May to mid-July.

The City of Calgary is constantly monitoring the water level at the Glenmore Reservoir and proactively draws it down around the third week of May to try and reduce the risk of downstream flooding and riverbank erosion. See more information about what The City is doing to prepare for potential flood.

The environmental health of the Elbow River downstream of the Reservoir is sustained by adjusting the flows during midsized or high flow events to minimize flooding and to reduce river bank erosion and collapse. During the fall spawning season, downstream flows are adjusted to maintain a steady level allowing the best opportunity for the survival of the fish habitat.

To learn more, download the Glenmore Reservoir operations fact sheet.

Recreational use

When conditions are unsafe, City of Calgary, Recreation will close the Glenmore Reservoir in the interest of public safety. Calgarians, especially children and pets, should stay at a safe distance from the stream and reservoir banks during high river flows, as well as, obey all Alberta Environment river advisories.

For further information about recreational use of the Glenmore Reservoir including its status, please visit The City of Calgary Recreation page.