The Town has started the process of re-opening facilities after the provincial government announced Stage 2 of the relaunch. The Municipal Centre is now open to the public (Council Chamber remains closed) with restrictions and safety protocols in place to maintain the health, safety & well-being of our patrons and staff. Learn more about... Read More

Water Solution

The Okotoks Water Story

In December 2019, Okotoks Town Council announced that the direction of the long-term water strategy was changing. Due to a new regulatory process, it was determined that the Okotoks/City of Calgary pipeline was no longer an option. Since December, Council and administration have been diligently working behind the scenes to secure a new long-term supplemental water solution with our regional partner, Foothills County. The Town is pleased to let you know that an announcement is expected this fall!

While you continue to patiently wait for this exciting news, the Town wants to make sure that you know all the facts about the Okotoks water story to date. Along with some background information, we've created a series of videos to help explain the history of Okotoks water as well as how the current water supply works.

We hope you find it helpful and informative as we prepare to provide our community with the long-term supplemental water solution we've all be eager to find. Stay tuned!

Background

The water supply/water licensing allocation issue in Okotoks was identified back in the mid-1980s.  In 1985, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) placed a moratorium on the Sheep River, the Town’s water resource.  This meant that the province prohibited any new water license applications for the Sheep River. 

A moratorium on all new water license transfer requests on the Sheep River was imposed with the introduction of the South Saskatchewan Water Management Plan in 2006.  This meant a restriction on new water licenses, the establishment of water conservation objectives and water license transfer holdbacks. 

Between 2001 and 2009, there was an approximately 44% increase in population growth.  In 2012, an Okotoks Town Council decision is made to support a continuous growth model for Okotoks in response to growth in close proximity to Okotoks.  This added to the pressure on the Town to secure a long-term supplemental water supply solution.   This was the beginning of the annexation process, which was finalized in 2017.

In 2015, the Town created a formal Okotoks/Calgary water pipeline proposal.  In 2017, due to changes in provincial regulatory process and exorbitant costs making the Okotoks/Calgary pipeline no longer feasible, the Town began pursuing other water supply options. 

In December 2019, Okotoks Town Council approved an adjustment to the timeline for a supplemental water pipeline. Extending the timeframe creates an opportunity for the Town to work with regional partners, Foothills County.  The date to begin construction has been extended until 2024 in the 10 year Capital Plan. 

Detailed designs, AEP and budget approvals as well as and funding requests are expected to be in place by 2021. The Town believes it is important to have these components of the project fast-tracked in order to be a part of the rebounding Alberta economy and be ready to grow at a pace only Alberta can sustain.  Having these processes in place will:

  • Stimulate growth and jobs; at this time, we are unable to allow future commercial and industrial developments as our existing water supply has been fully allocated for current building and population.
  • Promote a shovel-ready project for investment by stakeholders such as developers and the Provincial and Federal governments, by giving them more flexibility on when to invest.
  • Promote a shovel-ready project if the need becomes urgent by removing a 18-24 month delay.

By completing the design and approval process, we will be able to proceed when we need to and take advantage of current favourable consulting prices (prices are expected to rise in the next 2 years) and possible future construction prices.  Having this process complete may also avoid future application of any additional, or more stringent, requirements as guidelines and requirements change.  

With the expected approval of the new MDP, “Uniquely Okotoks,” it is the Town's obligation to secure the community's future which will be controlled by water access. The sooner access is secured, the more confidence residents and investors will have of Okotoks' future.

Once construction begins, the pipeline and associate infrastructure will be undertaken in a phased approach. It is estimated that the project will be completed within approximately 2 years.

More Information
History of Okotoks Water

To learn more about the history of Okotoks water, click the button below.

The History of Okotoks Water

Okotoks' Current Water Supply

To learn more about the current water supply, click the button below.

Okotoks' Current Water Supply

Water License Allocation Available for Growth

Click the button below for details on the Town's water license capacity for growth.

Technical Information

Joint Council Meeting - August 25, 1-5pm

The Town of Okotoks and Foothills County council's will be meeting to discuss this project.  The meeting can be live-streamed at okotoks.ca/councilmeeting.

Do you have questions? Contact Us!

More details about this project will be coming soon.  In the meantime, if you need more information, please let us know!  

Okotoks residents - click button below to submit your question.

CONTACT US 

Foothills County residents - click button to submit your question.

CONTACT US