Welcome to Municipal District of Foothills No. 31

Flood Scoping Study and Mitigation Program

Update January 25, 2017

A letter was sent out today to M.D. landowners with property along the Highwood and Little Bow Rivers downstream from the Women's Coulee Inlet.

This letter outlines the progress to date on the proposal to the Government of Alberta for a flood hazard mitigation program and directs people to this website to review both the proposal that was submitted to the Province on November 1st, 2016 as well as the supplemental information that was submitted the end of December, 2016. 

Copy of the letter that was sent out to landowners.

The Proposal for a Highwood / Little Bow Flood Risk Mitigation Program can be found here.

The supplemental Information to the proposal can be found here.

Should you have questions, please contact Rob Miller or Julie McLean at the M.D. of Foothills administration offices by email using links above or by phone at 403-652-2341.


M.D. of Foothills 2016 Year-end Update Regarding Flood Studies and Proposed Mitigation Program

On November 1st, the M.D. of Foothills submitted a proposal to the Government of Alberta for a Highwood / Little Bow Flood Risk Mitigation Program. The proposal suggests a program of offering protection or buy-outs for properties along the Highwood and Little Bow Rivers within the M.D. that are predicted to receive flood waters at their residence in a future 2013 equivalent event (with the mitigation constructed at High River in place). 

In addition, funding was requested for the following projects or studies:

  • Reinforcement of the Hoeh Dike, 
  • Evaluation of the 498th Avenue Bridge in light of higher predicted flows on the Highwood, 
  • Additional modelling of sensitive or complex areas on the Highwood and Little Bow rivers, and 
  • A report on whether compensation is appropriate for properties where flood mitigation works constructed at High River will have a negative impact.

Due to the scale and cost of the project, there may be a need to consider a phasing scenario and to prioritize the properties that are predicted to be at highest risk in a future 2013 equivalent event. The M.D. is presently undertaking this work, but in the meantime has been able to submit an application to fund some of the proposed study with money that was part of the Province’s November 2015 announcement of funding to undertake flood studies. If this application is approved, the M.D. will be able to proceed with this work early in the New Year.

Meanwhile, on the Little Bow River, work continues on the Scoping Study / Model Extension downstream from the M.D. of Foothills through the M.D. of Willow Creek and Vulcan County to the Twin Valley Reservoir. The data collection and high water mark collection in this area is complete, the model has been developed and model calibration and sensitivity analysis are on-going.

The M.D. will continue to work with the Province through 2017 towards our Council’s goal of having residents of the M.D. protected to the same level afforded residents of the Town of High River – that is a 2013 equivalent event plus a metre.

Draft Scoping Study of Flood Related Areas of Concern: Highwood River and Little Bow River within the M.D. of Foothills.

Released May 2016


Flood Scoping Study Area Map

Click on map for larger pdf version










We would like to thank everyone who came to one of the two open houses that were recently held to share the draft results of the Flood Scoping Study. If you were not able to attend, you may view the information boards from the event  by following the link below.

Your feedback is important to us and will assist us with determining the direction for future work. If you did not get a chance to submit a survey at one of the open houses you may still do so. Please fill out the Feedback Form and return as per the instructions below by June 30th , 2016.

Information Boards from Open Houses - pdf     |     Open House Feedback Form - pdf

Please fill in the Open House Feedback Form and return it via email, or print and deliver to the attention of:
Julie McLean, Senior Planner, MD of Foothills,
309 Macleod Trail, Box 5605, High river, AB  T1V 1M7  |  Fax: 403-652-7880   |   Email

The purpose of the information sessions was to give an overview of the study and the results including the changes in the flow split between the Highwood and Little Bow Rivers as a result of mitigation completed in and around the Town of High River. Opportunities were provided to view maps showing the modelled flood hazard along both Rivers. There was also general information on the proposed next steps.

We understand that a number of our landowners have concerns related to the flood hazard on their property, the impact that mitigation projects (both completed and planned) within the Town of High River may have on that hazard and what help will be available to them to address the hazard. Landowners have the opportunity to sign up for individual meetings with representatives from the MD to discuss their property in detail.

Residents may request an individual meeting by calling 403-603-6219 or emailing Flood Study

Flood Scoping Study - Part 1     |     Flood Scoping Study - Part 2

Please note these files are very large, 20 MB each

Hard copies of the Flood Scoping Study are available for purchase at the MD office for $40 to cover the cost of printing.

Subsequent to the 2013 flood, the MD of Foothills, with support from the Province of Alberta retained the services of AMEC Foster Wheeler Environment and Infrastructure, and Advisian WorleyParsons Group to complete the Scoping Study of Flood Related Areas of Concern on the Highwood River and Little Bow River within the MD of Foothills.

The purpose of the Flood Scoping Study is to:

  • identify potential areas of concern along the Highwood River upstream from the Town of High River;
  • gain a full  understanding of the impacts of a 2013 equivalent flood event on landowners along the Highwood and Little Bow Rivers in the MD of Foothills;
  • determine how flood mitigation that is either planned or has already been completed in the High River Area may change those impacts; and
  • complete a High Level cost benefit analysis comparing the 2013 flow conditions to the same flows in post mitigation conditions.