Welcome to Foothills County

Flood Hazard Identification

The catastrophic flood event of 2013 brought flooding and flood hazard identification to the forefront in southern Alberta. There are measures being taken at both the provincial and municipal level to assist the public with identifying flood hazards and mitigating future flooding.

Government of Alberta Flood Hazard Identification Program

Updates as of June 7, 2021 - see below

To assist Albertans in mitigating potential flood losses, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) manages the production of flood hazard studies and mapping under the provincial Flood Hazard Identification Program (FHIP).

Flood hazard mapping identifies areas along water bodies where flood hazards exist using design flood levels. In Alberta the design flood level used is the one per cent flood event - events which have a one percent chance of occurring in any given year, (also sometimes referred to as the one in one hundred year flood).

The province's Flood Awareness Map Application is the best way to view, interact with, and get more information about flood maps, it can be found here.

There are currently five river hazard studies being undertaken in Foothills County on the Bow River, Elbow River, the Highwood River, the Sheep River and Priddis and Fish Creeks. For detailed information please visit the Government of Alberta's website here.

The Bow and Elbow River Study

The Bow and Elbow River Study assesses 220 km of the Bow River and 70 km of the Elbow River

The study area covers the Bow River between Bearspaw Dam and the Highwood River confluence, and the Elbow River between Bragg Creek and the Bow River confluence.

Click here to visit the Province's engagement web page on the Bow and Elbow River Flood Study

Siksika Bow River Hazard Study

The Siksika Bow River Hazard Study will assess and identify river and flood hazards along 215 km of the Bow River downstream of the Highwood River confluence.

The study area includes Siksika Nation, Foothills County, Rocky View County, Vulcan County, Wheatland County, and County of Newell, including Bow City.

Click here to visit the Province's engagement web page on the Siksika Bow River Flood Study

The Highwood River Study

The Highwood River Study includes 90 km of the Highwood River and 10 km of the Little Bow River

The study area on the Highwood  River extends from upstream of Longview to the confluence with the Bow River and includes 10 km of the upper Little Bow River.

The Sheep River Study (Sheep River and Threepoint Creek)

The Sheep River Study assesses 50 km of the Sheep River and 35 km of Threepoint Creek

The Study area on the Sheep River extends downstream from approximately 336 Street West to the confluence with the Highwood River.

The Study area on Threepoint Creek  begins at approximately 272 Street West and extends to the confluence with the Sheep River.

Click here to visit the Province's engagement web page on the Sheep River Flood Study

The Priddis River Study (Priddis Creek and Fish Creek)

The Priddis River Hazard Study will identify and assess river-related hazards along 30 km of Fish Creek and 15 km of Priddis Creek.

The study area includes Foothills County, Priddis, and Priddis Greens. This Study is being co-funded through the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP) with support from Foothills County. 

Click here to visit the Province's engagement web page on the Priddis Flood Study

Foothills County's Flood Hazard Protection Overlay District 

Foothills County's Land Use Bylaw 60/2014 created a new land use district in order to to provide for the safe and efficient use of lands within the floodway and flood fringe of all the rivers, streams, creeks and waterways.

The overlay district exists over top of a property's existing land use and includes areas within provincially mapped floodways and flood fringe as well as areas believed to have been impacted by the flood event of 2013.

The intent of this district is to discourage new development on lands subject to flooding and achieve the long term goal of maintaining or decreasing the overall density of development on lands that may be subject to flooding.

In the Flood Hazard Protection Overlay, the permitted and discretionary uses listed in the land use district in which the site is located shall continue to apply if supported by engineering and technical studies and are able to meet all applicable development requirements.

Foothills County River Modelling Projects

With the support of the Government of Alberta, Foothills County retained the services of Advisian to produce detailed river modelling on the Highwood and Little Bow Rivers as part of the Scoping Study of Flood Related Areas of Concern on the Highwood River and Little Bow River within Foothills County.

For more information on this project please see the Flood Scoping Study for Highwood and Little Bow page on the County website.