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Flood Mitigation Measures Assessment


In 2016, The City of Calgary undertook a Flood Mitigation Measures Assessment to provide a recommended direction on the future of Calgary’s flood mitigation and resiliency.

Following the assessment, we developed recommendations which take into account our principles and priorities regarding flood resiliency:

  • Public safety and protecting critical infrastructure
  • Sustainable watershed management
  • Maximizing value for money
  • Adaptability and flexibility in a changing climate
  • Equitable protection on both rivers
  • Community receptivity and shared responsibility

We developed recommendations through technical assessment, sustainability analysis, work with the Community Advisory Group and community engagement.

These recommendations include a combination of watershed, community, and property level mitigation solutions to create a flexible and adaptable flood mitigation program.

The Flood Mitigation Measures Assessment showed:

  • Investment in flood mitigation in Calgary has decreased flood damage risk by 30 per cent. However, significant flood risk remains for Calgary until upstream mitigation is built.
  • The Province’s Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir project and improved Glenmore Dam gates will protect the Elbow River to an event similar to 2013.
  • A new upstream reservoir, TransAlta operations, and complementary barriers are required on the Bow River to protect to an event similar to 2013.
  • A new reservoir on the Bow River would deliver multiple benefits: water security, drought management, climate adaptability, and benefit for downstream communities.
  • Calgary’s barrier implementation plan must be adaptable to Provincial policy decisions and include extensive community engagement.
  • Property level mitigation can significantly reduce risk of flood damage. The City will explore the development of a property level mitigation program for property owners.

These recommendations were unanimously accepted by City Council on April 10th, 2017 and flood mitigation and resilience for Calgary has been identified as one of Council’s top priorities.

To learn more, please download a copy of theFlood Mitigation Measures Assessment Report. You can also review the Flood Mitigation Options Assessment summary report, which is a summary of the detailed assessment report undertaken for all flood mitigation options for Calgary.