GFM Network News


In 2013, flooding in Medicine Hat displaced 8,000 people, hit nearly 3,000 properties, and nearly topped the Trans Canada bridge over the the South Saskatchewan River. Since then, the province has conducted 13 river hazard studies to produce new and replacement flood mapping for over 1,300 kilometres of river in the province. Another 18 such projects are now underway.

Mapping projects to aid emergency planning

Province and Ottawa funding 18 more projects under the National Disaster Mitigation Program

More Alberta communities are getting new and replacement flood mapping to support emergency response and long-term planning. The federal government is providing $8.7 million through the National Disaster Mitigation Program for 18 projects. They include new or replacement flood mapping for Drumheller, Medicine Hat, Siksika Nation, Red Deer, and more than 100 kilometres of the […] Read more

Here’s where to find well water resources

There are workshops, fact sheets, videos, well records, and online tools to help you maintain good water quality


Alberta water well owners have access to a host of information, tools, resources, and experts to help them. The Working Well program (www.workingwell.alberta.ca) offers province-wide, hands-on workshops for well owners to learn the basics of groundwater, well construction, common well problems, contamination risks, importance of well reclamation, and best management practices. The website also has […] Read more


Installing a larger pump can be a recipe for well failure

Overpumping can lead to silt in water, plugged fixtures, biofouling, and even permanent aquifer damage

When farm and acreage owners need more water, it is not uncommon for them to get more by installing a larger pump. While this is often done in an effort to save money, overpumping a well can be a very costly mistake. “Overpumping is one of the leading causes of premature well failure,” said provincial […] Read more

We think we have water in abundance, but that’s just not so

We need to start appreciating how precious each 
litre of fresh water is, and how much of it we are using


The dry spring brought to many parts of Alberta the stark reality of the importance of rainwater. But all water usage is getting stretched beyond that which falls from the sky. And although this province is technically a semi-arid climate, Albertans have often thought of themselves as “water abundant.” Are we? Alberta has 2.2 per […] Read more


This is what a properly capped well should look like.

You may not want to know what lies below — but you should

Experts say too many rural Albertans aren’t properly caring for their wells — and the price for neglect can be steep

Imagine finding mouse fur in your tap water. Or your house blowing up because of a buildup of methane in your water system. Brandon Leask has seen both. Although extreme examples, those are just two of the many risks that come with not paying attention to water wells, said the agricultural water engineer with Alberta […] Read more

Alberta wetlands receive funding for conservation projects

More than 1,300 acres will be conserved or restored thanks to $11.6 million grant

Ducks Unlimited Canada will receive more than $11.6 million in grant funds for wetland conservation and restoration work to help reduce the impact of flooding and drought in Alberta. The funding comes from the Alberta government’s Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program. Wetlands have the ability to store water and slow the release of water into […] Read more


A woman is airlifted by helicopter, equipped with a cable and harness, from her flooded farm in Millarville in southern Alberta. She was stranded in the submerged tractor, as swollen waters from nearby Three Point Creek overtook the farm.

Flood simulation model promises a big payback

Insurers won’t issue flood insurance until they have a better way to calculate risks — 
and the flood simulation model does that

Agriculture is leading the charge into research which could ultimately mean flood insurance being available for all Albertans. As the massive flooding of 2013 highlighted, there is no insurance for such disasters. In fact, Canada is the only one of the G-8 nations without such coverage. ‘Why not?’ is the question that always arises when […] Read more