Special Areas Water Supply Project

Project Name: Special Areas Water Supply Project
Study Area: South of Stettler to Oyen and North to Concert AB.
Client: Alberta Transportation
Partners: Klohn Crippen Berger (Prime Consultant), and Salix Resource Management

Work Completed


In 2014 TCS was contracted by Klohn Krippen Berger to complete the vegetation, wetland, rare plant surveys and land use portion of the Special Areas Water Supply Project (SAWSP) EIA. The rest of the project (Wildlife, soils, and aquatics) was completed by Klohn Krippen Berger. This EIA is a unique project encompassing ~500km of stream channels in eastern Alberta with two reservoirs, and multiple diversion canals and constructed wetlands making 29 project components and 6 EIA’s. TCS was contracted to complete the vegetation assessment portion of this project. This included: rare plant surveys, plant community assessments, wetland assessments, desktop mapping, associated discipline reports and the 6 vegetation EIA’s for the project.

This project showcases the ability of TCS to complete large scale projects. The area covered by this project makes it one of the largest EIA’s in the province and highly complex due to the numerous wetlands, streams, lakes and reservoirs that exist within the project footprint. The 2014 field survey targeted completing 40% of the footprint, however TCS was able to survey 60% of the footprint and complete the survey one day early. This meant TCS came in slightly under budget for the field component of the project and completed a larger portion of it than was originally projected. All vegetation mapping was completed starting with no base information as none exists for this region of the province. TCS identified and mapped all wetlands ephemeral streams and all riparian and upland plant communities then classified them all down to plant community based on the field ground trothing data set.

Key Components of the Environmental Assessment Scope of Work:

Initial Project Review: Included a database search ( ACIMS, GVI, AGRISID…), initial mapping of the project footprint with known areas of environmentally sensitive vegetation, creation of land owner lists, contact with land owners to gain access to the land and mapping for access to the sites. After the first season complete mapping of all plant communities and wetlands was completed for the second field season and data collected during the first field season was used to inform the data collection in the 2015 field season to be started in July 2015.
Mapping of all habitat using imagery, identification of wetlands, identification of all critical habitat features, and a habitat assessment to determine required field surveys.
Environmental Assessment: In 2014 a field survey for vegetation and land use issues was initiated in late June and occurred over 10 days with 6 professionals. The two person crews walked areas to be impacted on stream channels, proposed bypass canals, and reservoirs. The 2014 survey completed a survey of 60% of the project footprint for early season rare plants, wetlands, and upland vegetation classification. The 2015 survey will add late season rare plants, wetlands and more upland vegetation classifications.

Discpline Report:The environmental report was submitted in the spring of 2016. All wetlands, upland plant communities and rare species have been mapped as well as land use features. Two complete reports were completed (Vegetation/wetlands and Landuse) by TCS personnel along with all baseline vegetation mapping. The report totalled over 600 pages excluding maps.

Environmental Impact Assessment: A 500 page environmental impact assessment was completed for the vegetation/wetland and land use compoents of the EIA by TCS personnel in February 2017. 

Roles Responsibilities of key PersonnelP1020606

• Steven Tannas PhD. P.Ag.: Rare Plant survey, wetland assessment, vegetation inventory, land use assessment, report writing, mapping
• Clare Tannas P.Ag.: Rare Plant survey, wetland assessment, vegetation inventory, land use assessment
• Kathy Tannas Honorary P.Ag.: Rare Plant survey, wetland assessment, vegetation inventory, land use assessment
• Joel Conrad P.Ag.: Rare Plant survey, wetland assessment, vegetation inventory, land use assessment
• Krista Bird PhD. P.Biol.: Report writing, editing, data compiling
• Jamie Piccin P.Biol. R.P. Bio – Geomatics
• Eileen Tannas BSc. – Rare Plant survey, wetland assessment, vegetation inventory, land use assessment
• Darin Sherritt MSc. BIT. AIT. – Mapping and Report WritingRoles and Responsibilities of Key Personnel