Town of Okotoks and Foothills County formalize regional supplemental water supply solution

September 9, 2020

Okotoks, AB: Following the recent joint council, Intermunicipal Committee and Foothills County Council meetings, the two organizations have formally agreed to the working terms for the regional supplemental water supply project. Both councils support:

  1. The proposed Memorandum of Understanding between Foothills County and the Town of Okotoks for a Sub-regional Water Project to divert and convey raw water from the Bow River.
  2. That the creation of a shared $34.23M capital program to support the Sub-regional Water Project be approved in principle, subject to the final design and federal and/or provincial grant approval; with current design showing the Town of Okotoks to provide approximately $24.474M and Foothills County to provide approximately $9.756M.
  3. That the funding to complete the detailed design be approved in the amount of $1.481M ($1.041M Town of Okotoks and $0.440M Foothills County) with funding sources to be confirmed by each council at a future meeting.

“Achieving a supplemental water source for Okotoks has been a priority during my entire tenure on Council.  The Town has been working on this challenge for more than 20 years and today we are closer to achieving this than at any other time,” said Mayor Bill Robertson.

“We see this collaboration as an opportunity with our municipal neighbours to obtain improved water-security for each of our communities by diversifying our water sources to include the Bow River,” said Reeve Suzanne Oel.

The plan is to access water from the Bow River and move it through a shared water pipeline to water processing facilities in both municipalities. The project will now proceed into a detailed design phase, which will explore locations for the intake and pipeline.  The timelines propose a grant-ready project available for consideration by November 2020 with a greater potential to increase provincial grant funding from 50 to 90 percent. The project could be shovel-ready by June 2021.

The Town and County are working in partnership with Alberta Environment and Parks to identify any opportunities and challenges to advance the approval of this critical infrastructure.

Although Okotoks has enough water for the next nine years, it is important to have a grant-ready project for provincial consideration at this time based on the current economic recovery goals. Both municipalities are confident that, together, they can achieve much greater results for residents than by seeking solutions independently.  Detailed project information

View Mayor Robertson and Reeve Oel's announcement video: