Gateway Gazette

Improving Flood Resilience in Southeast Alberta

The Government of Alberta is investing $2.1 million to help Medicine Hat and neighbouring communities boost flood readiness.

Four provincial grants are part of $63 million earmarked in Budget 2017 to help Alberta communities and organizations adapt to severe weather events and a changing climate.

Medicine Hat will receive $774,000 through the Alberta Community Resilience Program to improve the Pumphouse #12 water intake facility to safeguard water intake during high water events. The improvements will also ensure the City’s power plant remains operational during flooding.

Cypress County will receive a grant of $923,400 to relocate its only water pump station out of the flood hazard area, ensuring safe drinking water for the community of Veinerville.

“Floods and droughts disrupt lives. We’re making meaningful investments in flood-mitigation projects that will protect Albertans where they live and work.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks

“Power and clean, safe, potable water are two necessities of a community. This grant will protect critical equipment in our power and water treatment plants during a flood by preventing cobbles and gravel from entering the intake system of the pumphouse.”

Ted Clugston, Mayor of Medicine Hat

“We can’t control the weather. All we can do is adapt to the conditions we face. Cypress County is grateful for funding received for relocation of the pumping station at Veinerville. Residents can be assured that they will have a safe source of water when flooding occurs.”

Darcy Geigle, Reeve of Cypress County

The province is also investing $378,000 in non-structural flood and drought resiliency projects to improve natural watershed functions along Seven Persons Creek and in the County of Warner. Funding for both projects is provided through the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program.

The South East Alberta Watershed Alliance Society will receive $221,000 to work with local landowners to restore 10 kilometres of river bank areas along Seven Persons Creek.

The County of Warner will receive $157,000 to support ongoing improvements to river banks and water quality as part of the Milk River Ridge Reservoir Water Quality Stewardship Initiative.

“Conserving natural ecosystems and restoring those in degraded conditions are important adaptation strategies to climate change. Healthy riparian areas provide aquatic ecosystem resilience to the effects of extreme events such as floods and drought.”

Stuart Murray, chair of the South East Alberta Watershed Alliance Society

The province has provided more than $160 million through the Alberta Community Resilience Program since 2015. Grants have gone towards flood barriers, erosion control, storm-water management, safeguards for critical municipal water management infrastructure and other high-priority flood mitigation projects in 40 municipalities and two First Nations.

Through four rounds of funding, the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program has provided more than $22 million to fund the enhancement and creation of wetlands, restoration of riparian areas, as well as education, outreach and the implementation of best management practices.

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