Skip to main content

An approved reservoir project, which would divert water from the Elbow River, was proposed after extensive flooding in Calgary in 2013.Jeff McIntosh/The Globe and Mail

The Natural Resources Conservation Board has approved a controversial reservoir that could protect Calgary from future flooding, ruling that it’s in the public interest.

Alberta Transportation proposed the $432-million off-stream reservoir near the rural community of Springbank, Alta., which is west and upstream of Calgary.

The project, which would divert water from the Elbow River, was proposed after extensive flooding in Calgary in 2013.

It led to five fatalities and caused more than $5 billion in damage across southern Alberta.

The project had the support of the City of Calgary but faced opposition from some landowners, including the Springbank community and the Stoney Nakoda First Nation.

The board, an arm’s-length agency of the Alberta government, said in a release Tuesday that the dam will provide much-needed flood protection to Calgary.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.