The WID will manage and operate the CSMI system, while municipalities will be users of the CSMI system. The CSMI Cooperative will be the overarching form of governance.
The chosen governance structure for the CSMI is a Cooperative, which reflects the collaborative nature of the project and creates a mechanism for the partners to collectively manage and operate the system. Once the system is operational, i.e. ready to receive and transfer stormwater, it will be managed and operated by the WID under the direction of the CSMI Board. Governance of the CSMI Board is proposed to include one Director from each partner organization, with each Director having one vote. The municipal partners will be users of the system, each contributing stormwater from developed land in their respective jurisdictions.
The CSMI System infrastructure that collects and moves the stormwater through the CSMI region is shared and governed by the CSMI, but infrastructure that collects and treats stormwater within municipal communities will remain the responsibility of that municipality. The CSMI Stormwater Management Plan will govern the amount, quality, and timing of water that each municipality contributes to the system. This will ensure that as the water moves through the various components of the system, including some natural water bodies, meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and adheres to BMP’s.
In winter 2018, the CSMI Master Stormwater Agreement was signed by all six partners, committing the group to proceed with development of subsequent Agreements for Development and Management of the stormwater system. These Agreements, which must be ratified by all partners to take effect, are essential for defining how the CSMI system will be built, managed, and used by the partners. Partners intend to complete these Agreements by February 2019 as per the CSMI Master Stormwater Agreement. Official incorporation of the CSMI Cooperative will take place before February 2019, once the partners have ratified the Articles and Bylaws that govern the Cooperative organization itself.
Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) continues to be involved with the CSMI table discussions as an observer and advisor as it pertains to the regulatory process. It is recognized that the regulatory process for the CSMI solution is unique. This is due to the overall scale of the project, which overlaps multiple jurisdictions, involves various Acts, and requires construction of public and private infrastructure. This stormwater infrastructure will be built locally through development and onsite improvements within each municipality, and regionally throughout the rural area that overlaps with the WID.
The CSMI Partners are working toward the appropriate registrations, approvals, and licenses through ongoing discussions with AEP. In the Fall of 2018, the proponents of the CSMI intend to apply for regulatory Approval under the Water Act to construct Stage 1 of the system. Part of the application requires identifying what level of development the Stage can accommodate, as well as demonstration of an adequate outlet to prevent negative downstream impacts. Baseline water quality monitoring work is underway to support the regulatory application and demonstration of an adequate outlet.
Stormwater management facilities within each municipal boundary will require registration with the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA), including local works needed to transfer water into the CSMI system. Applications for EPEA registrations will take place in parallel with Water Act Approvals applications. Ongoing discussions with AEP will determine whether the CSMI will also be required to obtain licenses and/or water allocations under with Water Act .
The CSMI concept has been recognized through financial contributions by:
- Royal Bank Blue Water Initiative ($85,000)
- Alberta Municipal Affairs through the Regional Collaboration Program ($250,000)
- Alberta Community Resilience Program ($7.6M between 2018-2021)
- Five participating municipalities, the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP), and the WID contributed a total of $1.17M to date
The CSMI group continues to actively seek out new funding opportunities at the local, provincial, and federal level to reduce the amount of outside funding that must be raised by the municipalities. The remaining funding requirements for capital costs of the CSMI infrastructure will be raised by Municipalities applying levies on new developments. As funds are raised through these levies, future stages of the CSMI system will be built to accommodate growth and new development. It is recognized that long term sustainability of the CSMI stormwater system and a solution that truly benefits all partners equally relies on the advancement of future stages (i.e. beyond stage 1).
An off-site levy is a charge established by a municipal bylaw that is paid by developers of subdivisions, developments, and redevelopments. Municipalities collect the levy dollars and use them to help pay for municipal utility systems that directly or indirectly serve the development. Levies may be paid toward facilities such as roads, water lines/treatment/storage, sewage facilities, stormwater facilities, and other municipal services. Levies in the CSMI region will be collected by each municipality to help fund construction of future stages of the CSMI System.