County Responds to Rising Water Levels

Lac Ste. Anne County continues to closely monitor water levels and weigh options to mitigate flooding events wherever practical. Primary areas of concern include farmland, lakefront properties and County infrastructure. All rural tributaries to Lac Ste. Anne are full – if not overflowing. Where feasible for the County and its ratepayers, the County is working to retain flow until other water levels subside.

“Factors such as a heavy winter snowpack, steady spring precipitation and saturated feeder tributaries have resulted in higher-than-average water table levels and overland flooding events,” stated Joe Blakeman, Reeve of Lac Ste. Anne County. “This is the fourth consecutive year that the County has experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall resulting in extensive flooding — including in areas where flooding has not historically been an issue.”

At this time it has been determined that the weir managed by Alberta Environment (at the mouth of Sturgeon River on the east end of Lac Ste. Anne) is not a primary cause of high-water levels in the County.

It has also been determined that beaver dams and vegetation blockages are not core contributors to high-water levels. The County has an inventory of beaver dams for which it has obtained clearance from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to remove at its discretion. Due to the present level of Lac Ste. Anne, the County is reluctant to displace natural mechanisms such as beaver dams. However, the County will employ the measures required to protect residences, agricultural land and County infrastructure while remaining mindful of any secondary impacts these measures may have on adjacent communities downstream including Parkland County, Sturgeon County, and the City of St. Albert.

The County will continue to work with Alberta Environment and affected landowners to determine appropriate actions. In all cases, the County shall be considerate of all stakeholders involved when making these types of critical decisions.

Working in Collaboration with Adjacent Municipalities

When making decisions to lower the lake level to a reasonable degree, the County must consider neighbouring municipalities. St. Albert, Sturgeon County and Parkland County are dealing with similar issues regarding the safety of their citizens and the secondary impacts of their water mitigation activities. Lakes, conveyance ditches, destination areas and other systems in neighbouring regions are at or near capacity due to water levels not seen in decades.

Adjacent municipalities have reached out to the County to offer assistance by way of tiger dams, sump pumps and other mitigation tools for those with critical infrastructure at risk, with the understanding that its systems are also at or near capacity. Similarly, the County will continue to work with its neighbours, and with Alberta Environment, to manage water levels and mitigate further damage to infrastructure and private property. The collective goal is to find practical, equitable solutions that protect the safety, infrastructure and assets of all involved to the greatest extent possible.

Affected landowners are thanked for their patience and understanding as the County continues to work to find solutions that are equitable for all parties involved.


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