Earlier this year, the provincial government announced it would study three upstream storage options for the Bow River that were identified in the Bow River Water Management Project report in May 2017.
To secure an independent firm to conduct the research, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) sent out a Request For Proposals (RFP) on September 14, 2018, which closed on Oct 12.
In the RFP, AEP states they hope to award the contract and start the project in early November 2018, with project completion one year later.
The three options that will be studied are:
- New Glenbow reservoir
New dam and reservoir on the Bow River (part way between Bearspaw Dam and Cochrane).
- New Morley reservoir
New dam and reservoir in a wide floodplain area upstream of Ghost Reservoir.
- Expand Ghost River reservoir
This option would look at raising the Ghost Reservoir dam and adding a lower outlet, so that there is more storage capacity in the reservoir.Note: There is a separate study already going on looking at a faster drawdown for the existing Ghost Reservoir (but not changing its capacity), which would allow more flexible operation of the existing reservoir.Likewise, there is an existing agreement to operate Ghost to optimize flood mitigation – the agreement expires in 2021, but talks between GoA and TransAlta have already started with respect to an extension.
Factors considered in this preliminary research include environmental and social impacts, risk of failure, project cost, construction timeline, and overall project efficacy.
Once the reports are turned over to AEP, a decision will be made determining which project will proceed, and environmental assessments and engineering work will follow.
Stay tuned for more news on this matter.
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