Award-winning approach to stormwater management

Stormwater is something we don’t usually think about – unless it’s a problem.

Fortunately, a cooperative effort between the Western Irrigation District (WID), the City of Calgary, the Town of Strathmore, and Rocky View County means that stormwater is proactively managed in ways that make sense for each of these communities while protecting irrigation water.

And now, a national water organization has recognized the partners’ efforts, known as the Co-operative Stormwater Management Initiative, (CSMI) for innovative collaboration among communities.

Essentially, it’s a long-term partnership to build a new system for stormwater, to keep it out of irrigation canals while eliminating the costs of pumping excess stormwater and mitigating its impacts on public and private property.

The collaboration was recognized this month by Water’s Next, who helps realize Canada’s potential to be a world leader in water expertise. At the National Conference, the award is given to “individuals, projects, and technologies that have made significant contributions to the water industry in Canada and beyond.”

Boots hit the ground in spring 2021 to kick off phase one of the project by installing pipe south of Chestermere Reservoir. Existing infrastructure will be repurposed and new infrastructure will be built for the CSMI system over the next 25 years.

Residents of partnering communities can expect improved irrigation water quality, reduced risk of flooding, and continued municipal development as benefits of the initiative.

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