Proposed solution to manage the Bow River in conjunction with TransAlta
-Build the Eyremore Dam-
The search for a location to build a new dam on the Bow River
The latest study on a new dam on the main stream of the Bow River indicated that it would cost an estimated $1 billion. Mr. Penner (a spokesman for Alberta Environment and Parks) stated that it would only have the capacity to hold about 40 per cent of the river’s flow during a flood like that experienced in 2013.
The proposed location – roughly midway between the existing Bearspaw and Ghost dams – had been dismissed by engineers a year ago as they searched for ways of preventing a repeat of the 2013 disaster.
It appears that we are running out of a suitable location for a new Dam between the Bearspaw and Ghost Lake dams.
Therefore, we are in a need for finding an innovative solution for the Bow River.
The Eyremore Dam option:
The concept of connecting the three rivers, Elbow, Sheep and Highwood and establishing the central joint reservoir (TRJR), would allow for controlling the water level in these three rivers (raising or lowering).
These three rivers ultimately join with the Bow River before reaching the Eastern Irrigation District (EID).
Being able to manage the water flow in those rivers would allow us to gain two main advantages:
1- Providing more protection to the Bassano dam
2- A better controlled water flow is also helpful for the function of both dams, Bassano and Eyremore
Eyremore Dam benefits:
- Located in a strategic location, close to the Eastern Irrigation District. Currently more water is needed for irrigation
- Would be bigger than the Ghost Lake dam
- Since electricity can be generated from this new Eyremore dam, the government can negotiate with Trans Alta to lower water levels in their dams across the Bow River for a short period during the flood season without compromising the electricity production level.
- Lowering water levels in multiple dams across the Bow River would contribute to fighting dangerous floods
- (all contracts with Trans Alta will expire shortly, which opens the door for a negotiation on a new win-win deal).
One of the advantages of this proposed solution is that the construction would progress through phases allowing for the evaluation of the benefits and budgeting for the cost.