Mayor Naheed Nenshi smiles as he re-opens Calgary's 109-year-old Historic City Hall after it underwent an extensive heritage rehabilitation in Calgary, Alta., on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Feds move ahead with off-stream reservoir to try to reduce flood risk in Calgary

CALGARY — The federal government says an off-stream reservoir that could protect Calgary from future flooding is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Alberta Transportation proposed the $432-million reservoir near the rural community of Springbank, Alta., which is west and upstream of Calgary.

The project, which would divert water from the Elbow River, was proposed after extensive flooding in Calgary in 2013.

It led to five fatalities and caused more than $5 billion in damage across southern Alberta.

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson was joined today by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Alberta Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney to provide more details at a news conference in Calgary.

The project has the support of the City of Calgary, but faced opposition from some landowners west of the city.

Alberta’s Natural Resources Conservation Board approved the project last month and Wilkinson signed off on a federal environmental assessment earlier this month that determined it was not likely to cause significant adverse effects.