More than $100 million in funding has been announced for critical Alberta water projects that range from wastewater treatment plant upgrades to flood mitigation, as well as supply and transmission line work.
The largest amount of funding has been reserved for the City of Red Deer’s plan to add an extra 15 years of capacity to accommodate its wastewater treatment plant’s added flow from the north and west lines of the regional system. The $49.2-million upgrade aims to be completed by 2026, with design work to begin within one year.
“Programs like Water for Life are critical to ensuring safe and secure drinking water, while balancing environmental and economic pressures today and in the future,” said Tara Veer, Mayor of the City of Red Deer, in a statement to media. “This wastewater upgrade provides for much-needed modernization of the critical wastewater needs in Red Deer and central Alberta. This funding positions Red Deer and region for sustainability, given the economic realities we continue to face as a community and as a province.”
Alberta’s Water for Life strategy provides cost-shared funding to regional commissions or groups of two or more municipalities to support new regional water systems and upgrades to existing ones.
Additional central Alberta wastewater projects under the new funding include $11.2 million for a wastewater transmission line running from Sandy Beach to Onoway, and $3 million for a wastewater line between Lloydminster and Blackfoot.
In the same week, Alberta also announced $15 million towards two major flood mitigation projects funded through its Alberta Community Resilience Program. Overall in 2019, the government is expected to invest more than $43 million for 15 flood mitigation projects across the province. This week’s funding goes towards a concrete flood barrier on the Bow River to protect downtown. It will run from the west Eau Claire flood barrier out to Reconciliation Bridge. The second project is the installation of the Upper Plateau stormwater drainage system in Hillhurst-Sunnyside. It is designed to protect from water backing up and flowing into the community.
“Protecting Calgary’s downtown and the communities that were hit hard during the 2013 flood is absolutely critical,” said City of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi in a public statement. “The Upper Plateau project will prevent Sunnyside from being the catch basin for drainage, while the concrete wall on the south bank of the Bow River will better protect our downtown core,” he added. “This commitment is a step forward to become a stronger, more resilient city.”
Water supply line funding from the province also includes $5.5 million for a treated water supply line from the village of Rockyford to Rosebud, $3.3 million for a regional line in the Hamlet of Suffield, and $14.4 million for a regional water line between Wabamun, Seba and Entwistle.
Other Alberta infrastructure projects to be funded in 2019:
- Construction of flood mitigation works in Edmonton at the City’s Rossdale and E.L. Smith water treatment plants to address riverine flooding risks and help safeguard the city and region’s drinking water.
- A flood berm to protect the lower townsite of Fort McMurray to the one-in-100-year ice jam flood elevation, plus freeboard.
- The relocation of water wells at Siksika Nations’s Arthur A. Youngman water treatment plant out of the flood hazard area to secure the nation’s drinking water from the impacts of high water events.
- Construction of drainage improvements on NE2 road in Saddle Lake Cree Nation, which is the only access roadway to more than 160 homes as well as the community healing lodge and water treatment plant.
- Construction of a new, naturalized stormwater facility in Westlock and associated drainage channel improvements designed to accommodate the one-in-100-year storm event.
[See more: Alberta Community Resilience Program]