Dozens of residents in Saskatoon’s Haultain and Queen Elizabeth neighbourhoods can rest a little easier knowing there is less of a likelihood of their properties flooding during intense rainfalls. A new dry storm pond in W.W. Ashley District Park, enjoyed as a newly developed park and sports field during dry weather, officially opened today.
The new dry storm pond is the first of nine to be completed under the Flood Control Strategy (FCS) which was approved by City Council in 2018. The second project is underway right now in Churchill Park and will open in fall 2023. In early 2023, construction will start on a dry storm pond in Weaver Park and six more FCS projects will be built between 2024 and 2027. The Government of Canada has contributed $21.6 million towards Saskatoon’s Flood Control Strategy through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.
“Our Government is proud to be contributing to Saskatoon’s Flood Control Strategy,” said the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “By investing in disaster mitigation and adaptation, we are safeguarding Saskatonians’ homes and livelihoods against the natural events brought on by climate change and building more resilient Prairie communities.”
“The W.W. Ashley Park Dry Storm Pond has already proven to be a tremendous success,” said Saskatoon Mayor, Charlie Clark. “During a significant rain event this summer, it prevented flooding in an area of the city that historically experiences floods. It also provides accessible walking paths and retains recreational space and green space when not containing storm water. The City has plans for more dry ponds and will continue work on projects in the Flood Control Strategy to help minimize flooding in the highest risk locations in the city. Through continued partnerships, we’re able to deliver better infrastructure to residents that help mitigate damage from natural events.”
“We have a well thought out strategy in place to ensure all of our projects are built and functioning by 2027,” said Russ Munro, Director of Saskatoon Water. “Flooding is never ideal, but I think we were fortunate to witness how this first flood mitigation project actually ended up exceeding our expectations during the rainstorm on June 20th. It demonstrated these projects are a solution when it comes to protecting neighbourhood homes from being devastated by floods.”
Dry storm ponds hold water that would otherwise cause nearby flooding during intense rainfalls. The water flows into storm drains, then through underground pipes into the dry storm pond, where it then flows toward and empties into the South Saskatchewan River.
Once the FCS projects are completed, the City anticipates seeing a substantial decrease in the amount of neighbourhood flooding in the top 10 highest risk areas of Saskatoon.
For more information about the FCS, visit saskatoon.ca/floodplan.