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Project information

When operational, the Springbank Off-stream Reservoir Project (SR1) will work in tandem with the Glenmore Reservoir and other flood mitigation infrastructure in and around Calgary.

Together, the combined storage capacity will accommodate the excess water volume that caused much of the 2013 flooding.

SR1 will reduce flood risk by managing downstream river flow rates and volume. This goal will be met while protecting the river, critical habitats, fish and wildlife.

The Province of Alberta is investing a total of $744 million in the flood mitigation construction. This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada providing $168.5 million.

Component 1: Diversion Structure

Diversion Inlet looking Southwest towards the Elbow River.
Photo Credit: Government of Alberta

The Diversion Structure on the Elbow River includes five sub-components:

1. Diversion Inlet;
2. Service Spillway;
3. Auxiliary Spillway;
4. Floodplain Berm; and
5. Debris Deflection Barrier

Component 2: Diversion Channel

Channel looking North from the Diversion inlet structure at the junction Channel/Elbow River
Photo Credit: Government of Alberta

The Diversion Channel conveys flows from the Diversion Inlet to the Off-stream Storage Reservoir and includes:

  • A 4,700 metres long, 24 metres wide Diversion Channel
  • An Emergency Spillway
  • A Diversion Channel Outlet

Component 3: Off-stream Storage Dam and Reservoir

Storage Dam and Low-Level Outlet Works tower aerial view looking West
Photo Credit: Government of Alberta

The Off-stream Storage Dam system includes three sub-components:

  • Dam Embankment;
  • Low-Level Outlet Works and
  • Reservoir

SR1 is located approximately 15 kilometres west of the city of Calgary near Springbank Road, north of the Elbow River and predominantly east of Highway 22.

The reservoir location was selected based on the existing topographic conditions as the existing depression provides:

  • High efficiency of water capture, offering additional flood protection.
  • Low overall environmental impact.


Project benefits

SR1 combined with the Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary will:

  • Provide protection against a flood event up to the 2013  flood event for downstream communities,
  • Store flood waters off-stream
  • This project will form a component of the larger flood, drought and fire management plan led by Environment and Protected Areas

Construction began in Spring 2022 with the project anticipated to be fully operational in 2025, able to mitigate floods like those that occurred in 2013.

Project background

In 2013, flooding in Calgary and southern Alberta resulted in significant economic and personal losses:

  • An estimated $5 billion+ in damages and recovery costs
  • 5 fatalities
  • 4,000 impacted businesses
  • Damage to roads, bridges, pathways, parks, and transit systems
  • 80,000 people evacuated
  • 3,000 buildings flooded

Historically, flooding in southern Alberta is a regular and common occurrence and while it is not possible to predict when a major flood will occur, it is reasonable to anticipate future flood events will happen and could have greater impacts to communities if there are no efforts to mitigate these impacts.

Recognizing the devastation future flooding could cause to the lives and livelihoods of Albertans, in October 2015, the provincial government announced it would move forward with SR1, combined with upstream local flood mitigation to reduce the impact of future flooding on the Elbow River and adjacent communities.