Minister's Response – Deadhorse Coulee Reservoir Project

Physical activities

The Bow River Irrigation District is proposing to construct and operate the Deadhorse Coulee Reservoir Project (the physical activities referred to as the Project), a new reservoir located on the Bow River Irrigation District main canal, approximately 10 kilometres southeast of Enchant, Alberta. The reservoir would have a surface area of 470 hectares and a water storage capacity of 24.86 million cubic metres. The Project is proposed to allow water storage for irrigation and provide a location for the community to participate in sport fishing and other water-related activities.


The Project does not warrant designation.


Pursuant to section 9 of the Impact Assessment Act (the IAA), I, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, considered the potential for the Project to cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction; adverse direct or incidental effects; public concerns related to these effects; as well as adverse impacts on the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. In forming my opinion, I took into account the analysis prepared by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.

I am of the opinion that the designation of the Project is unwarranted for the following reasons:

  • The regulatory processes that currently apply to the Project and related consultations with potentially impacted Indigenous peoples provide a framework to address the potential adverse aforementioned effects and impacts, and concerns raised by Indigenous peoples and members of the public. These processes include:
    • the provincial legislation, as applicable, such as the Historical Resources Act; the Water Act; the Wildlife Act; the Public Lands Act; the Soil Conservation Act; and the Weed Control Act; and
    • the federal authorizations, approvals, and reporting requirements that may be required under the Fisheries Act; the Species at Risk Act; the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994; and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
  • The Canada Infrastructure Bank is expected to provide financial assistance, in the form of a loan to be repaid by the Proponent, for the purpose of enabling the Project to be carried out. The Canada Infrastructure Bank is responsible for meeting all of its legal obligations, including responding to the Duty to Consult to Indigenous groups and ensuring that the Project has met environmental assessment and other regulatory requirements.
  • The Project must be carried out in compliance with provincial and federal legislation, including the Fisheries Act; the Species at Risk Act; the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994; and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

Document Reference Number: 5

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