April 17th, 2024

Province awards contract to study feasibility of Eyremore Dam and Reservoir near Brooks

By Medicine Hat News on March 27, 2024.


A feasibility study to build a long-proposed on-stream reservoir near Brooks equal to the Bassano Dam has been awarded.

The 2023 provincial budget set aside $5 million to study the potential to create the “Eyremore Dam and Reservoir,” located about 43 kilometres downstream on the Bow River south of the Bassano.

Agriculture and Irrigation Minister R.J. Sigurdson announced Monday that the contract to determine feasibility of the project had been awarded to national multi-disciplinary firm Hatch.

“It is exciting to see this study begin,” Richard Phillips, general manager of the Bow River Irrigation District, said in a statement. “Right now, we’re limited in our collective ability to manage water effectively, and this study will examine how the proposed reservoir can correct that. A new multi-purpose reservoir at this location would revolutionize water management in the South Saskatchewan River Basin.”

Irrigation districts have loosely discussed the potential for the massive project, which could store more than 300,000 acre feet of water for the last decade since the 2013 flood in southern Alberta.

It was originally proposed by the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Agency in the 1970s and could potentially be coupled with hydro-electrical production.

“We are committed to examining whether the Eyremore Dam can be built and operated for a cost that provides true value to Albertans,” said Sigurdson.

The estimated cost of more than $1 billion is not part of a current set of reservoir upgrades announced in 2020 that totals $900 million, and is paid for in a three-way partnership between irrigation districts, the province and the federal Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Hatch is required to submit its final report in the spring of 2025.

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