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Back  |  January 21, 2019  | 

Bowness flood barrier

The proposed flood barrier in Bowness is a foundational piece of The City of Calgary's Flood Mitigation and Resiliency Plan. In conjunction with upstream storage, provided by construction of a new reservoir, and modified operations of TransAlta's Ghost reservoir, it will help us better manage flood water and avoid the type of damage we saw in 2013.

Work on the proposed Bowness flood barrier is in the preliminary design stage, which continues into fall 2019. It consists of gathering feedback from community members, conducting site surveys, and completing engineering studies and analyses. All of this information will help inform the design and costs of the barrier and whether to proceed into the detailed design stage.
Ground water monitoring study
As part of this work, The City has begun a groundwater monitoring study. To study the groundwater conditions in Bowness, boreholes and monitoring wells are being installed on public land in areas close to the river as well as in various locations throughout Bowness. The City will be installing these monitoring wells to understand the ground conditions and potential impact from groundwater flooding to the community.
Through the study we expect to learn about:

• Site-specific details on the ground conditions, geology, aquifer(s) and groundwater-surface water interaction, 
• How quickly groundwater levels respond to increased river water levels,
• How high the groundwater level rises from various river flood events, and
• To what extent do changes in the river level affect groundwater.
The results from this study will help The City evaluate the effectiveness of different flood barrier designs in relation to, for example, structural requirements and groundwater conditions.
Each well will take approximately 8 hours to drill. All wells will be installed by January 25, 2019 and monitoring will be in place until summer 2020. Once the monitoring is complete and the wells have been removed, The City will take measures to ensure the area is returned to its original state.
Riverfront property owners - one-on-one site meetings
Another major component of preliminary design that will carry on this spring until mid-May 2019, is one-on-one site meetings with riverfront property owners who would be most directly impacted by the construction of a flood barrier.
These site meetings are attended by The City of Calgary’s project manager, Denise Nogueira, along with the representatives from the project’s engineering consultant, Klohn Crippen Berger, and landscape architect, O2 Planning and Design. These site meetings are roughly one hour long and advanced preparation by the homeowner is not required.
So, why should you sign up for a site visit if you’re a riverfront property owner?
These visits give property owners a chance to learn first-hand about the project. Become involved in the design process and ask questions to those directly involved! The project team is also interested in getting an understanding of what’s important to you about your riverfront property and will be documenting the unique features and characteristics of your property that should be factored into any future design options. If you’re curious to learn more, here’s a link to the topics that will be discussed during the visit.
One-on-one site visits are available. If you are a riverfront resident and would like to sign up for a one-on-one, please contact Lauren Minuk at 403-268-8044 or email
Stay connected
If you’re looking to stay up-to-date on the project visit You can also sign up to receive updates through the project e-newsletter or email your questions to

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Categories: Councillor; Flood Mitigation; Parks; Ward update

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.​