The Bow River is an integral part of the Bowness community. Residents highly value the river valley, paths and parks for their natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and as a place to connect with nature.

This proximity to the river also means there will always be a risk of flooding. The low topography of the neighbourhood means flooding can occur when the flow rate is approximately 850 m3/s, which has a twelve percent chance of occurring each year.

The Flood Mitigation Measures Assessment report, approved by Council in spring of 2017, included technical, cost-benefit, social and environmental analyses for a range of flood mitigation options that would protect public safety, reduce flood risk, and reduce the social, economic and environmental impacts of flooding.

Within Bowness, barriers are proposed above the riverbank roughly extending between the CP Rail tracks and Shouldice Bridge. The proposed flood barriers would mitigate flooding up to 1,230 m3/s the barrier heights would be further increased by 0.5 m as an additional safeguard. The barriers will also work with the proposed reservoir upstream of Calgary and modified operations of TransAlta’s Ghost Reservoir to protect against larger flood events.

The City is still in the planning process for the Bowness barriers. Conceptual work has been done to inform barrier options, and The City has detailed data about river levels and lot elevations at each property. However, technical design has not yet started. Input from citizens is an important piece of the technical design process. Much of the riverfront property in Bowness is privately owned, and The City will work with individual property owners to gather their input, and discuss their concerns and ideas as the detailed design work gets underway.

Map of Bowness showing the 2013 flood line, the floodway flood fringe area, and the location of proposed future flood barriers.

Click to enlarge


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Feedback gathered at our community information session held on January 16, 2018, as well as the online questions above has been compiled into a What We Heard Report. This report includes a summary of the feedback we received, including key themes as well as verbatim comments from stakeholders.

We will also be using the feedback you provide to create a set of Frequently Asked Questions to be added to this site.

We are planning to do further engagement with through 2018 and 2019 stakeholders impacted by this project. We will share details of these plans on this page as they are available. Check back here for updates.