The Bow River Irrigation District will benefit from planned upgrades to the Travers/Little Bow Dam scheduled to begin later this year.
“It’s really exciting for us,” said Richard Phillips, general manager for BRID, Phillips, noting the dam holds one of the three reservoirs which serve the BRID. “The government of Alberta has recognized that this is one of the highest priorities for funding under the whole flood mitigation program. It’s a huge project.”
The upgrades were announced back in May as part of a $104 million plan to increase the ability to spill excess flood water to protect dams from erosion or washouts, which also reduces flood damage to downstream communities. This is important for flood mitigation in the area.
“Water management infrastructure is critically important to communities in southern Alberta and need to remain in working condition during an emergency situation,” said Robin Campbell, minister of environment and sustainable resource development in a news release. “These upgrades ensure these structures are as prepared as possible for future floods.”
According to the release, the upgrades will “Complete the combined emergency spillway and connecting canal at the Travers/Little Bow Dam southeast of Vulcan. Also, the Little Bow Dam will be raised and the irrigation outlet will be replaced.”
“That’s good because it will improve dam safety there,” said Phillips. “It will also increase the available storage for the BRID because as part of that work the Little Bow reservoir will be raised roughly 10 feet, which gives us a bunch more water in storage.”
Work on the project is expected to begin in the fall.