The City of Chestermere, in partnership with the Western Irrigation District (WID), the City of Calgary, Rocky View County, the Town of Strathmore and Wheatland County, is preparing to implement a regional solution to current and future stormwater challenges.
City of Chestermere Mayor Marshall Chalmers explains that “we are pleased to pursue a regional stormwater solution for Chestermere in collaboration with our neighbours. Chestermere will see benefits in the early stages of this project as stormwater is moved away from Chestermere Lake, helping to preserve our high quality of water.”
The solution, called the Cooperative Stormwater Management Initiative (CSMI), is a network of pipes and canals that will convey stormwater from new developments in Chestermere, through the region, to the Red Deer River Basin. The system is designed to keep development stormwater separate from irrigation water to maintain a high level of irrigation water quality and support new growth in the City.
Western Irrigation District General Manager David McAllister believes that “The CSMI project represents a significant opportunity for the WID and the communities it serves to demonstrate that development can coexist with irrigation through collaboration.”
The CSMI system is designed to be built in five stages, allowing for construction to be completed as funds or grants become available.
Provincial funding was received in early 2018 to design and build the first stage. Construction is expected to begin in 2021. In Chestermere, new Stage 1 infrastructure at the South end of Chestermere Lake will move stormwater from new development areas away from the Lake and into the WID's existing canals outside of irrigation season, as an interim measure until the completion of Stage 3.
Stage 2 and Stage 3 will see the completion of a second drainage course alongside the existing irrigation system east of Chestermere to Weed Lake. Once Stage 3 is complete, year-round stormwater release will be permitted and the zero release or off-season discharge restrictions will be removed for new developments and allow full buildout of new development areas in the City. Stages 4 and 5 will focus on upgrades to Weed Lake and downstream improvements to ensure long-term sustainability of the system.
Other CSMI participants include Alberta Environment & Parks (AEP), WaterSMART Solutions, MPE Engineering Ltd., and Bishop & McKenzie LLP.
More information can be found on the Alberta WaterPortal at https://albertawater.com/csmi-about