November 16, 2018

The following capital project has been approved for funding through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF), delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada. Funding for this initiative amounts to $5,750,000.

Source: FCM

Town of Wainwright, AB
Wainwright siphon-assisted and green power stormwater management project
Watershed management
GMF grant: $750,000
GMF loan: $5,000,000

For decades, Wainwright's stormwater system drained into a terminal lake - one with no outflow. The growth of the last decade, however (the town's population is up 30 per cent and its built-up areas by 40 per cent) has led to regular flooding for many residents and a host of other problems.

The solution involves one of North America's longest siphon-assisted pipeline projects: a 10-kilometre network of pipes, aqueducts and wetlands flowing approximately 100 metres down into the Battle River. The flow turns a turbine that generates ore electricity than the pumps consume, with surplus electricity sold to the provincial utility.

Along the way, a huge new pond provides additional wetlands for migrating waterfowl and local wildlife. Another benefit is that the wildlife observation tower, originally built on the lakeshore and made inaccessible by rising water levels, will be accessible once again. The project is also expected to increase water levels in the Battle River, benefitting water licencees downstream.

Innovative aspect

  • The project's integration of both engineered and natural assets, along with an energy-efficient pumping system, can provide valuable lessons to other rural communities looking for ways to implement stormwater management projects and reduce flooding events.

Environmental benefits

  • The new draining system promises to eliminate flooding problems

  • Estimated annual reductions in GHG emissions  by 258 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 55 cars off the road

  • Expanded wetland habitats for migrating birds and other wildlife

Economic benefits

  • 75 years estimated life cycle

  • Surplus electricity sold to the provincial utility

Social benefit

  • This project gives the municipality more control over its natural assets
Green Municipal Fund
Climate change
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