Riparian areas are where waterways and land meet and interact. They offer many benefits, including reduced erosion and flood damage, improved soil quality by capturing and recycling nutrients, naturally filtering water to improve quality, and providing a home to a variety of animal and plant species.
Over the past several years, the County has supported riparian protection with the adoption of watershed management plans and riparian policy to conserve and manage riparian areas throughout the County. The County’s Riparian Protection Bylaw (Section 41 of the Land Use Bylaw) is in effect to implement development setback measures for buildings and other infrastructure from riparian areas.
The setback distance is based on provincial guidelines and applies to most creeks, streams, and rivers. Existing buildings and infrastructures within riparian protection areas would not be affected, but new development would be directed away from water bodies in order to minimize negative effects on riparian land.
Rocky View Watershed Groups
We have two major river basins in Rocky View, the Red Deer River basin and the Bow River basin. Each basin has many sub-basins. To ensure the protection and conservation of our water, Rocky View County supports and participates in many watershed groups and initiatives.
In 2007, Rocky View County, the University of Calgary, RBC, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada partnered to develop a community-based watershed program to ensure groundwater was managed in a sustainable manner. Rocky View County residents volunteered to monitor their water levels and report back their findings to researchers at the University of Calgary. The findings will supplement broader provincial groundwater data to assist in decision making regarding groundwater sources in the County.