Recently, in North Springbank, there has been a call for action by residents regarding news that the Alberta government is undertaking studies for a dam site along the Bow River for future flood mitigation, drought management and power generation, one of which would affect the North Springbank community. This would mean residents along the river and immediately above would be flooded, as well as lose the natural parks that currently exist along both sides of the Bow River.
A meeting in the Springbank community was hosted by local residents, a few of whom received notification from Alberta Environment and Parks. Many Springbank residents knew nothing of the Bow Basin water management options study. The small group who hosted the meeting did an excellent job presenting information on various impacts to the Springbank area, its residents, wildlife, natural habitat and historical lands, as well as the Bow River corridor, should such a decision be made for the area.
The information was then exaggerated by some as it spread through the community, and a few self-appointed volunteers started door-knocking to ask residents to sign a letter against the dam site, as they were certain this was a done deal. All residents who attended the meeting were given the Alberta website information and had the opportunity to do their own research. Unfortunately, prior to the community meeting, government representatives did a poor job of communicating with North Springbank residents, for previous government-hosted open houses were all held on the north side of the Bow River corridor.
Information on the website is clear and well laid-out, and residents are still able to submit comments. The information on Alberta Environment and Parks Bow Basin water management options website – talkaep.alberta.ca/bow-basin – shows this study and the work involved is only in beginning stages, and further, there are other dam sites that are being considered. No final decision whatsoever has been made, and such a decision will take a long time.