Erosion and Sedimentation on the Milk River

This project studies the erosion processes and potential impacts in the watershed.


Understanding how water management impacts water supply and streambank stability is a priority for the Milk River Watershed Council Canada. This project has multiple objectives that will help us understand the erosion process and potential future impacts of increased water diversions from the St. Mary River.

Some of the impacts of streambank erosion in the Milk River are:

  • siltation in dugouts and reservoirs,
  • wells, pump sites and irrigation infrastructure located in the floodplain may be at risk due to erosion,
  • irrigation equipment has a limited lifespan due to abrasive sediments wearing out seals and brass piping,
  • sediments clog intakes and pipe resulting in a higher degree of “down” time for Milk River water users.

Landowners are also concerned about the impact of erosion on the river banks as it impacts infrastructure and can result in a significant loss of land. In response to that concern, AMEC Earth and Environmental was commissioned to perfrom a Streambank Stabilization Analysis of three sites. Their report outlines details for projects on all three. After much discussion, the research and monitoring team decided on one and AMEC created a detailed report and a conceptual design for that site.

Review the Research and Science Note 2 for an overview of the study results.

Project Partners:

  • Milk River Watershed Council Canada
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – PFRA
  • Cardston County
  • County of Warner
  • County of Forty Mile
  • Alberta Environment
  • Sustainable Resource Development

We would like to thank the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for their generous support!

Categories: Watershed Management Resources
Tags: erosion, featured
Author: AMEC Earth and Environmental, Milk River Watershed Council