September 26, 2019 – BRFM Update

Now that the summer is wrapping up, we thought it was time for another BRFM update:
Since the last update in July, BRFM has been up to the following:

The Tour de Bowness Street Festival
BRFM was well represented at the street festival and our booth was very well attended throughout the whole day. The groundwater flooding demonstration was very effective in educating festival-goers about our groundwater concerns and our Slow The Bow signage, T-shirts and temporary tattoos continued to gain recognition for BRFM. We were very pleased to tally close to 80 new members by the end of the day.

Thank you to everyone that gave up their holiday Monday and donned a blue shirt to help spread the word!

Bowness Flood Barrier Community Working Group (“the Working Group”)
Last May, the BCA and the City of Calgary (The City) jointly established the Working Group. As representatives of the larger community of Bowness, the Working Group was formed to provide advice to the The City Bowness Project Team and to facilitate sharing of information with the broader community. Jean Woeller, Patti Peck, Hank Vrielink and David Burton continue to sit as members of the Working Group, representing BRFM.

The City has been responsive to feedback from the working group on The City’s communication strategy and we continue to use the working group as a vehicle to push for clear answers to the many questions BRFM has presented to The City and to have our concerns heard. We are happy to report that Ralph Smith, Councillor Ward Sutherland’s Chief of Staff has committed to attending the monthly working group meetings.

Since our last update to you in July, we attended two meetings and the following topics were on the agenda:

Biophysical Impact Assessment (BIA) Overview – City of Calgary Parks & Klohn Crippen Berger

At the July meeting, a representative from the City of Calgary Parks department gave a presentation on the general BIA framework for City construction projects and KCB provided a brief explanation of the environmental fieldwork that was planned or underway along Bow Crescent. BRFM re-submitted our environmental inquiries document to the City through the working group and continue to push for complete answers to the questions asked.

2019 Community Survey Results – Leger

At the August meeting, the Leger group presented the results of the telephone survey The City had commissioned. Riverside and the rest of Bowness were contacted in separate surveys to better understand how informed the community is regarding the Barrier Project. The City was very clear in stating that the results of the surveys will not be used in any decisions regarding the project other than to help aid in their communication strategies.

The results are interesting and can be found at:
Non-riverfront report:

Working Group Terms of Reference
We continue to work on the terms of reference, which define the working group’s mandate.

Engagement Plan – City of Calgary Engage Resource Unit

A representative from The City presented their draft engagement plan for the upcoming months. It was an opportunity for the working group to provide input. The City is looking for effective ways of reaching out to the broader community.

Our next meeting is on October 7. The focus is a groundwater discussion with the intent that all members of the working group are better grounded in the concepts. If you have groundwater related questions that you would like BRFM to bring to the discussion, please send an email to before October 5.

In the future minutes and materials from these meetings will be made available on a public website. We will share with you once the location has been decided.

Upstream Mitigation – BRFM as a Stakeholder
In 2017, a report was completed by the Bow River Working Group, which identified three schemes for flood and drought mitigation on the Bow that warranted further study. Accordingly, the Province retained Woods Canada Limited, to perform further study on the three schemes. BRFM has been recognized as a stakeholder group by the engineering consultants, and as a result, representatives from BRFM have been invited to participate in closed stakeholder meetings where input was taken on decision criteria, technical ideas and questions, etc. There have been two stakeholder meetings to date.

The Province has published information on the upstream mitigation schemes currently being studied and are inviting public feedback. Go to:

Read through the website and follow a link to an “interactive Bow Basin presentation” where you will find maps, drone video, photos, etc. so that you can visualize the schemes.

Further, the Province is hosting three info sessions on the upstream options currently being studied:

Monday, Sept. 30
Cochrane RancheHouse
101 RancheHouse Road, Cochrane
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 3
RockPointe Church
255024 Lochend Road (off Highway 1A, west of Calgary)
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 15
RockPointe Church
255024 Lochend Road (off Highway 1A, west of Calgary)
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Meeting with Transportation Minister
On September 20, representatives from BRFM met with Hon. MLA Ric McIver, (Minister of Transportation). The purpose of the meeting was to advocate for upstream mitigation on the Bow and to share our concerns regarding the ineffectiveness of proposed local berm for Bowness. We reiterate that hard earned tax dollars are better spent upstream. Although the local berms fall within The City’s jurisdiction, it is important to bring it to the Province’s attention, as they are involved with respect to potential funding and environmental impacts.

Keeping The City’s Information Accurate
BRFM’s Information & Research Committee has been continuing its’ efforts to ensure information released by The City is accurate. More specifically, BRFM has been working to (1) have the groundwater 101 video released by The City modified so that it reflects more accurate science and (2) a more accurate reporting of flood risk that is aligned with the Province’s reporting of risk. This continues to be a work in progress.

Strategy Development With Edelman (our Communications consultant)
Throughout the summer, BRFM continued to work with the team at Edelman to develop a strategy for upcoming timeframes. This work has included reviewing our web site and social media content in preparation for a broader neighbourhood awareness campaign.

Geophysical Survey
As part of their groundwater study, The City will be conducting a geophysical survey to learn about the geology of the area including the thickness of gravel and the depth of the bedrock. While we recognize that this is an important study, we are disappointed in the short notice of how the work is being completed and have not been given any further information than what was delivered by flyer to landowners. This approach does little to build relationships and trust with the community.

The City will be conducting a demonstration of how the work will be completed at:

John Hextall Park
September 29, from 2 – 5 pm

The City is will begin the study the following day which will run from September 30 – October 7

Let’s Catch-Up at the Legion Again – Large Neighbourhood Meeting on Oct 24
BRFM is hosting a ‘large’ meeting to share the strategy plan for BRFM and to answer any questions regarding past and upcoming expenses. John Larsen from Edelman will be calling in to answer questions and other retained experts have been invited to attend as well.

Tuesday, October 24th
7 o’clock pm
Bowness Legion

Fundraising Campaign
BRFM is kicking off a fundraising campaign to ensure we have the funds to continue putting pressure on the City to make the right choice regarding the Bowness Barrier Project as well as to help keep upstream mitigation on the Bow a priority of the Province. We need the support of expert advice to be credible as well as effective, and that takes funds. BRFM is building a team to go door to door to answer any questions regarding BRFM expenses and to raise awareness of the need for funding. Questions can also be directed to

How to make a donation? Well …
Send your donation by e-transfer to your bank to or

Mail a cheque to:
“Bowness Responsible Flood Mitigation Society”
6138 Bow Crescent NW, Calgary, AB, T3B 2B9

Thanks for support and for staying informed,