Bow River Trout Foundation expressed our concerns to the Government of Alberta (GOA) in October 2017 with the long-term water management proposals for enhancement of flood and drought control within the Bow River Basin. Priority was given to one of two new dams at either the Morley Indian Reserve or the Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park and the option to increase storage capacity at Ghost Reservoir. Alberta Environment & Parks Minister, Shannon Phillips gave assurance that stakeholder engagement would take place if the recommendation for new water management infrastructure were given further consideration. Unfortunately the GOA has moved forward with a decision to explore the site options in more detail without considering the full extent of new dams and the environmental integrity of the Bow River.
Bow River Trout Foundation expressed our concerns once again in a letter to Minister Phillips on November 05, 2018. It is our belief that the science behind the recommendations to the Minister was flawed in so far as an environmental impact assessment was not considered. In addition, the consultation process to address the impact of such developments on the social and economic consequence to the river and its water use were given little attention.
The focus of our concerns were directed at the current water management practices and their impact on vulnerable trout populations within the Bow River Basin. A complete assessment of the hydroelectric power generation model needs to be addressed before any further flood and drought management options are considered.
Minister Phillips response was received on December 06, 2018. We are encouraged with future stakeholder engagement opportunities.