Once approved, the Springbank Off-stream Reservoir (SR1) project will work in tandem with the Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary to accommodate water volumes equal to the 2013 flood on the Elbow River.
SR1 will reduce flood risk by managing downstream river flow rates and volume. This goal will be met while protecting the river, critical habitats, fish and wildlife.
Alberta Transportation continues to:
- move SR1 through the regulatory review phase
- engage with stakeholders and Indigenous groups
- listen about the project impacts and how to mitigate them
In June 2019, Alberta Transportation responded to information requests by Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP), The Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) following those groups’ review of the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The Government of Alberta has acquired roughly 25% of the land required to build SR1.
The federal government announced up to $168.5 million in funding for SR1 through Infrastructure Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.
Flood mitigation strategy
SR1 is a component of the larger flood, drought and fire management plan led by Alberta Environment and Parks called Bow River Basin Flood Mitigation Strategy.
This plan includes several existing, planned and proposed projects at provincial and municipal levels. SR1 is a significant element of the flood management strategy within the Bow River Basin.
The Government of Alberta is dedicated to moving forward with the Springbank Reservoir. Lawyer, Martin Ignasiak, Osler LLP, was hired to assess the Springbank Reservoir’s status and advise government through an independent report about action to move the project forward, while respecting the regulatory approval process and the ongoing consultation and engagement required with stakeholders and Indigenous groups.
Construction will begin following regulatory approval. The Springbank Reservoir will be functionally operational after the second year of construction (1:100 year flood) and fully operational after the third year of construction.
The budget for the Springbank Reservoir is $432 million. The final budget will be known once land acquisition is complete and costs for final design are known.
Environmental impact assessment
On June 23, 2016, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) announced that a federal environmental assessment is required for SR1.
The decision comes after CEAA concluded its 45-day review of the project to determine if a federal environmental assessment is required. In accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (2012), Alberta Transportation submitted the Springbank Reservoir project description to CEAA on May 6, 2016.
The CEAA review, which included a 20-day public comment period, is a standard practice for projects that could meet or exceed certain triggers within the legislation.
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Major Capital Projects
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Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2X3