Jeromy Farkas, Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation executive director, says the Glenbow East reservoir needs to be eliminated as option for flood/drought mitigation on the Bow River.

Yesterday, the Alberta Government launched a three-week online survey to collect feedback on two of the three options being considered for the future reservoir.

The Glenbow East option would see a portion of the Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park flooded, negating an investment of $10 million to protect parkland, grassland and wetlands within the park and the recently opened Haskayne Legacy Park.

Other options being considered are an expansion of the existing Ghost Reservoir and construction of a new reservoir between Seebe and Morley, on the Stoney Nakoda Nation. 

Farkas says it's extremely disappointing that the new round of public consultation doesn't include any in-person meetings.

"It's woefully insufficient that they've just put up a survey online for two weeks quietly in the middle of April and called it a day," says Farkas. "We're going to continue to be making the case for why we want to be part of the solution, but that said, it's still very, very disappointing to us that Glenbow Ranch is still being considered to be flooded and destroyed."

mapThree locations are being considered for the reservoir. 

He says the foundation believes expanding the existing Ghost reservoir would cause the least amount of disruption.

"It would solve a number of problems without having to destroy the natural terrain features and parklands that we have to offer at Glenbow Ranch. We're not coming to the table wanting to fight something, we're wanting to come to the table with the solution that serves everybody's interests."

That includes the need to protect Cochrane.

"It's downstream of their water supply, so it would not help in the event of a drought or a flood, so we want a solution that serves everybody's interest well and we'll keep our park and Cochrane protected."

Farkas says they are exploring how to make its case with the government.

"We're making the case for why responsible flood management, why responsible water management actually requires parkland, it requires these wetlands, and it requires all of these things. So, it's not as simple as it sounds to just flood the park and to call it a day."

"We're quite disappointed that the government is still pursuing this as an option, but we think that cooler heads will prevail. We think through making the case for why southern Alberta needs Glenbow Ranch that the facts will be on our side."

He says the park is expecting the number of visitors it receives to double if not triple when the Trans Canada Trail connection is completed between Calgary and Cochrane.

The online survey will remain open until May 6 and will inform the feasibility study and determine how to proceed to engineering and regulatory approval.

You can learn more about the options being considered and access the online survey here