The Bog

The Bog is where thoughts, opinions, discussion pieces, and action converge. Influential thinkers from the water community are invited to share their insights on current or controversial water topics. Please note that the views expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Alberta WaterPortal.

Today's blog post first appeared in the Bow River Basin Council's publication ' Preserving Our Lifeline'. You can read past newsletters and editions of 'Preserving Our Lifeline' here.

What if you could participate in a North America-wide effort to improve weather forecasting, drought mapping, flood alerts, and our understanding of and capacity to respond to an ever-changing climate? Would you? Of course you would. Well, here’s the opportunity.

What in the WaterWorld is CoCoRaHS?

For regular readers of this blog you may be familiar with the concept of “Earth Day Resolutions”. But for those who are new, or have forgotten, here is a quick summary:


Today we’re moving out of the Elbow Basin and into the Highwood with a review of the flood mitigation proposals for High River. The Government of Alberta released a new report by Deltares which reviews the engineering study by AECOM and the Flood Management Master Plan by WorleyParsons.

Cover of the Deltares report on High River studies 2015


Report Recommendations

The report makes some very direct recommendations on what should and should not be done next in the Highwood basin.

First, we recommend to not implementing the dry dams or southern diversion' schemes as studied by AECOM since they cannot be justified considering the societal costs and benefits of these measures. Secondly, we recommend being reluctant with regard to deliberately drawing more discharge into the little Bow since this may be considered morphologically unsustainable and not robust in view of uncertainty about design discharges. Instead we advise to try to further enhance the discharge capacity of the Highwood River through the town of High River itself by at least removing obstacles and perhaps reshaping (and maintaining) and floodplain morphology.

Excerpt from the Summary of the Review of Flood Mitigation Proposals for High River (Alberta, Canada) 2015 report by Deltares.

Over the past few months, WaterPortal readers have raised concerns about reduced insurance coverage and increased rates related to flooding. We felt this presented the opportunity to revisit the impacts of flooding on insurance and take a look at broader climate change issues that could impact insurance coverage in the future.  

Conventional stormwater management relies on large-scale facilities such as dry ponds, wet ponds, constructed and natural wetlands to detain flows from large storm events.