Calgary Flood protection significantly improved since 2013 Floods
April 27, 2023 - Today, The City of Calgary presented its Annual Flood Resilience Report showing that the outcome of the commitment, investment and prioritization of flood resilience projects over the past 10 years has greatly decreased Calgary’s flood risk. Since 2013, Calgary’s flood damage exposure has been reduced by approximately 55 per cent. By 2025, damage exposure will be reduced by 70 per cent with completion of the Springbank Offstream Reservoir and other measures now in progress.
“It is timely for us to be able to report on flood protection improvements this year - 10 years since we experienced the largest disaster in Canadian history at that time.” says Mayor Joyti Gondek. Today, Calgary is more resilient to flooding thanks to The City’s commitment and the commitment of our funding and community partners. We will continue with this good work to further reduce the risks.”
Over the past 10 years 25 projects have been completed, in addition to ongoing riverbank protection efforts. The $1B in investments made will protect $68B of public and private infrastructure. Completed projects include: 12 Street S.E. Bridge Rehabilitation and Raising, Downtown and West EauClaire barriers, Calgary Zoo flood mitigation, Centre Street Bridge Lower Deck flood Barrier, Deerfoot Meadows flood barrier, Glenmore Reservoir new flood gates and a number of pump stations, drainage system improvements and gravel bars.
2022 milestones include completion of the Downtown Flood barrier, progress on additional infrastructure projects, and key learnings from June’s emergency response.
“Flooding can affect properties, public infrastructure, disrupt transportation, business and commerce and have a lasting impact on people’s sense of safety and belonging,” says Frank Frigo, Manager of Environmental Management at The City of Calgary. “Fortifying our resilience to flooding is a win for All Calgarians.”
In addition to the flood mitigation work that has been accomplished over the past 10 years, The City is looking forward to seeing a new upstream Bow River Reservoir continue to be explored and updated Flood Hazards maps released by the province.
River flooding is one of the eight climate hazards of the greatest concern in Calgary’s 2022 Climate Strategy and falls under the adaptation theme of Water. The City continues to reduce the exposure to this changing hazard in a shifting climate, guided by Calgary’s Climate Strategy: Pathways to 2050.
The Flood Resilience Program (Program) has been reporting annually to Council since 2013. Developed with citizen and expert engagement, the Program employs a multi-layered and multi-partner approach, combining upstream-, community- and property-level measures to reduce the impacts of flooding to Calgarians and businesses, now and in the future. The City undertook a comprehensive Flood Mitigation Measures Assessment in 2016 to determine the best combination of flood mitigation measures in Calgary. This plan was approved by Council in 2017 and since then The City has been implementing the plan to reduce Calgary’s flood risk.
The City’s Annual Flood Preparedness Campaign runs from May 15 – July 15, each year. Visit calgary.ca/floodinfo and www.calgary.ca/water/flooding/flood-resiliency-improvements.html