County wants lake levels maintained

Lacombe County is urging the province to continue a long-running project to maintain water levels in Gull Lake by pumping water out of Blindman River.

Lacombe County is urging the province to continue a long-running project to maintain water levels in Gull Lake by pumping water out of Blindman River.

Concerns have been raised that the province is reviewing whether the pumping project, first started in the 1970s, will continue.

A letter from Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner to the Calgary developer of a proposed Gull Lake subdivision says the 150 water projects overseen by the province in the northern two-thirds of Alberta are being reviewed in light of limited funding.

“Multi-purpose provincial pumping projects receive priority over single-benefit projects; leaving Gull Lake in a vulnerable position,” says the August letter.

The province is pursuing power supply options to offset expensive pumping costs. Cost-share agreements are also being considered.

Councillor Linda Landmark said the county should meet with other Gull Lake municipalities to get their views on the pumping project. It could be raised at a meeting of the Gull Lake Management Plan Committee next year.

“It’s important to keep lake levels up,” she said.

It costs about $150,000 a year to run the pumps.

Council unanimously voted to send a letter to the minister to continue the pumping program next spring.

Alberta Environment could not be reached for comment.

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