Special Areas Water Supply Project

Special Areas, Alberta, Canada

Project Details

Project Type:

Environmental Impact Assessment

As directed by the Government of Alberta, Klohn Crippen Berger (KCB) conducted comprehensive baseline studies and wrote an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Special Areas Water Supply Project (SAWSP) in south-central Alberta. The project was proposed to convey irrigation and stock water from central Alberta to areas closer to the Saskatchewan border.

The SAWSP was proposed as a means of providing a reliable, good quality water supply from the Red Deer River to the Special Areas region in east-central Alberta. The diverted water was to be used for multiple purposes including domestic use, stock watering, municipal and industrial use, waterfowl and wildlife conservation and enhancement, recreation, and irrigation. The components of the linear project included 100 km of water pipeline, and over 300 km of canals and creek channels that would transport the water. Also assessed, were the effects to over 20 reservoirs and wetlands that are interconnected by the water conveyance system.

This project included the collection of extensive baseline data to characterize the existing soils, vegetation, wildlife, fish and fish habitat, surface water quality, climate, air quality, and noise quality.

Existing information, model validation, and field study results were used to assess the potential impacts of the development of reservoirs, channel improvements, a water pipeline, and a pump house.

KCB determined mitigation measures or identify project benefits to offset potential adverse project effects. The expanse of the proposed project reaches from the Red Deer River east to close to the Saskatchewan border and includes two counties and three Special Areas.

The project included:
  • Two years of baseline field studies and data collection
  • The assessment of the potential environmental and socio-economic effects of the proposed design
  • Indigenous group consultations
  • Mitigation strategy development and compensation planning
  • Development of monitoring program recommendations
  • Development of a user and environmentally friendly Digital Map Package that replaced paper-consuming paper map production
  • Database management