Province to spend $53M on flood mitigation projects

EDMONTON — The province is taking steps to protect Alberta’s watersheds in the event of severe flooding.

Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon announced a $53-million investment in flood mitigation projects around the province on Thursday.

“Albertans understand all too well the impacts that severe weather events can have on our homes, on our businesses and the infrastructure we rely on,” Nixon said. “By protecting and restoring wetlands and improving the natural ability of our landscape to absorb water, we are enabling our environment to reduce the impacts of severe weather on communities downstream.”

He said the investment will help with Alberta’s economic recovery by creating jobs and will protect communities.

The funding includes $6.8 million for Edmonton’s two water treatment plants.  The money will be used to build berms and to raise electronic equipment above ground level.

Mayor Don Iveson thanked the province for the additional resources, which will have an impact beyond the capital region.

“These challenges are not unique to our province but the opportunities to be part of solutions that create jobs, create wealth in our community and improve our resilience for people and the economy is actually very heartening, especially when all orders of government come together,” Iveson said.  

The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, a partnership between the province, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Rural Municipalities of Alberta, is getting $4.5 million for a new Climate Adaption Program to help municipalities and Indigenous communities.

“The Action Centre, with its decade-long success record, will successfully develop and administer this innovative program,” AUMA president Barry Morishita said in a written release. “Participants will increase their climate adaptation ability, assess climate vulnerabilities, and build climate adaptation plans to help keep their communities safe.”

The funding announced Thursday comes from the province’s previously-announced $750-million Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Program, TIER.

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