In part two of our "Summer Stories Worth Revisiting" series, we look at the summer 2014 Ghost Reservoir flood mitigation pilot project.  

This past June TransAlta and the Province announced a one-year pilot project to use the Ghost Reservoir west of Cochrane for flood mitigation. TransAlta agreed to keep the reservoir at the lowest possible levels until July 31st. Keeping water levels low would provide additional capacity to store water in the reservoir if 2013 circumstances were reproduced. After July 31st the reservoir would begin to refill. Although using the Ghost Reservoir for flood mitigation would only reduce peak flows like those during the 2013 by 6%, the plan was well received by those who live along the Bow River. However, the agreement was criticized by Ghost Lake stakeholders, residents, recreational users, and local business people. Ghost Lake stakeholders agreed that using the reservoir for flood mitigation was a positive step but they argued that keeping water levels low well into the summer would negatively impact water recreation. Fortunately, July conditions were favorable and the Province recommend TransAlta to begin refilling the reservoir on to 80% capacity beginning July 4th. Although the reservoir was refilled well before the original July 31st deadline, if the pilot is deemed successful it could impact Ghost Lake stakeholders in the coming years.  

 

Ghost Lake Dam 
"Moored Boats on Ghost Lake" by Heidi Schuyt is licenced under CC BY 2.0

 

Date Article 
July 30, 2014 Seewalt, Lindsay. Ghost Lake Reservoir pilot project ends. Cochrane Eagle.
July 4, 2014 Edey, Noel. Ghost reservoir water levels being increased. Cochrane Times. 
June 19, 2014 Seewalt, LindsayGhost Lake concerns. Cochrane Eagle. 
June 4, 2014  CBC News Staff. Ghost Reservoir to be used for flood protection. CBC News Calgary.
June 4, 2014 Markusoff, Jason. Water level at Ghost Reversoir to be kept love in bid to manage flood risk. Calgary Herald.

 

Read more from our "Summer Stories Worth Revisiting" series

Part 1: Invasive Mussels

Part 2: Ghost Lake Reservoir

Part 3: Proposed Maligne Lake Development

Part 4: Cochrane Lake