Edmonton to assess flood mitigation reports

Published: June 12, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Edmonton has already taken a proactive approach of tackling flood problems by becoming the first Canadian city to make its flood maps public. Now the City of Edmonton is holding a meeting amongst city staff to consider flood mitigation solutions as part of an assessment of upgrades to drainage infrastructure.

In a press release, the city said its staff will cover mitigation proposals from two reports at a Utility Committee meeting, which was held on Friday. One of the reports considers the flood risk in more than 160 residential areas in Edmonton and points to engineering assessments within these neighbourhoods.

The second report highlights a study of smaller options to suppress underpass flooding in the highest risk locations.

“Edmonton needs to invest to protect residents, homes and businesses as one of many Canadian municipalities preparing for changing weather patterns,” Todd Wyman, director in the city’s Sustainable Development department, said in the release. “City council will consider four options based on extensive infrastructure and rainfall studies. Public engagement will continue through 2018 while staff continue to advance the strategy forward.”

All the proposals seek a balance between the likelihood of a major weather event, cost, and risk. The total cost is estimated from $2.2 billion to $4.6 billion, while the construction time could be from two decades to 82 years. Edmonton is currently spending between $30 million and $50 million per year on flood mitigation projects.

The city says it will now work with water company EPCOR to study the impact mitigation infrastructure will have on drainage utility rates.

“Options for flood mitigation could also impact solutions for underpass flooding, as upgrading the system holistically will increase capacity to absorb rainfall that might otherwise flood roadways.”