A May 2017 report by the Bow River Working Group identified 3 reservoir options that warrant further study.

In November 2018, the Alberta government launched a conceptual assessment of the following new reservoir options:

  1. A new reservoir located near Morley between the Horseshoe Dam and Ghost Reservoir
  2. Expansion of Ghost Reservoir
  3. A new reservoir located between Ghost Reservoir and Bearspaw Dam

Project details

The potential selection and implementation of a reservoir option on the Bow River would be completed in four phases:

  • Phase 1: Conceptual Assessment
  • Phase 2: Feasibility Study
  • Phase 3: Detailed Design, Engineering and Regulatory Approvals
  • Phase 4: Construction

Phase 1 – the conceptual assessment – began in November 2018 and is scheduled to be complete this winter. The conceptual assessment consists of:

  • high-level hydrology study
  • conceptual design of all 3 reservoir options
  • tabletop geotechnical investigation
  • high-level environmental scan
  • engagement with First Nations, Métis, potentially affected stakeholders, and the public

Study corridor

The reservoir options considered in the conceptual assessment are located along the Bow River, from Seebe to Calgary. The map below shows the selected locations and extents of the associated reservoirs.

Conceptual assessment map of Bow Basin water management options

Figure 1. Selected locations and extents of associated reservoirs

Interactive presentation

This interactive Bow Basin presentation provides study maps, site specific drone video and photos, and computer generated animations for the Glenbow East and Relocated Ghost Dam options. Similar information for the Morley option is not yet available.

Bow River Working Group

The Bow River Working Group consists of:

  • municipalities along the Bow River, including the City of Calgary and Rocky View County
  • First Nations, including Stoney Nakoda First Nation and Siksika First Nation
  • TransAlta
  • the irrigation districts
  • Bow River Basin Council
  • environmental organizations
  • both provincial and federal government departments

The Bow River Working Group will continue to provide input on this project.

Public engagement

Feedback on the conceptual assessment was received through public information sessions and online engagement opportunities available from September 9 to October 31, 2019.

For more information


For questions about Bow River reservoir options:

Phone: 403-355-2491
Email: aep.bowbasin@gov.ab.ca