Premier Alison Redford says her government is moving forward with plans to protect Albertans from future flooding and will start consultation work on a diversion channel around High River and a dry dam upstream from the city.

Redford made the announcement on Thursday in Calgary during a speech to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.

 “I know families across Alberta want our government to do absolutely everything we can to make sure the damage caused by the flooding in June never happens again. The projects we are moving forward with will help us lower the risk of future flooding and keep southern Alberta residents safe,” said Redford.

Redford says her government plans to put in place seven layers of mitigation.

  1. Watershed management ~ That looks at flood and drought
  2. Employing the best technology for river modeling prediction and warning systems
  3. Reviewing all pertinent water management and development policies within risk areas
  4. Working with municipalities and other stakeholders to gather and act on the best ideas to advance flood mitigation
  5. Enhancing the government’s approach to erosion control
  6. Supporting communities in developing their own initiatives for flood mitigation
  7. Insuring homeowners can better protect their homes from future flood damage

The province will also provide a grant to the City of Calgary for a feasibility study of an underground diversion from the Glenmore Reservoir to the Bow River.

"Mitigation of future flood events and building resiliency are not only vital, they are a shared responsibility.  We are pleased to hear of progress on upstream mitigation and are looking forward to further study of the Elbow River diversion project, which could yield huge benefits for Calgary," said Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi.

The premier says a number of projects are already underway in southern Alberta.