PUBLISHED: 25 May 2017

What Happens Before Construction Starts?

A basic summary of the approval process for water infrastructure projects in Alberta, Canada

Have you ever wondered why construction projects for water infrastructure can take time? Or what the role of municipal, provincial and federal government is throughout the process? What about Environmental Impact Assessments and First Nations Consultation? How do proponents step through the regulatory and legal requirements? When do courts enter the picture?

Below is a diagram intended to summarize the approval process for water infrastructure projects in Alberta. To view the diagram at a larger scale click on the image or click here.

To download a document which outlines the steps in more detail click here.

 BeforeConstructionStarts 25May2017


Alberta’s Environmental Assessment Process”. Government of Alberta. Updated December 2015.

“Municipal Government Act” Government of Alberta. Updated July 1, 2016.

Joint Practice Standard – “Professional Responsibilities in Completion and Assurance of Reclamation and Remediation Work in Alberta” APEGGA 2007

“Welcome to the Springbank Off-stream Reservoir (SR1) Open House” Government of Alberta. May 2016.

“Environmental Assessment Program Frequently Asked Questions” Government of Alberta. Updated February 2010.

“The Government of Alberta’s Guidelines on Consultation with Metis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management 2016” Government of Alberta, 2016  

“Aboriginal Consultation in Federal Environmental Assessment” Government of Canada, updated July 2016

“Environmental Assessment (Mandatory and Exempted Activities) Legislation” Government of Alberta, 2008.  

“Environmental Assessment Program 2014 Year-End Statistics” Government of Alberta, December 31, 2014.

“Draft Environmental Impact Assessment Terms of Reference” Glacier Power Ltd. July, 2004.—Dunvegan-TOR.pdf

“Basics of Environmental Assessment” Government of Canada. Updated July 2016.

Natural Resources Conservation Board Act” Government of Alberta. Updated December 17, 2014

“Natural Resource Projects” Natural Resources Conservation Board. Online source.

“Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act” Section 68. Government of Alberta. Current as of June 30, 2016

“The Alberta government is planning to spend $447 million on flood mitigation, including the controversial Springbank reservoir” The Calgary Herald. October 26, 2015.

“Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir Project: Canada Environmental Assessment Act, 2012” Stantec Consulting Limited. April 18, 2016