The Brazeau Dam and reservoir is located approximately 55 km northwest of Drayton Valley in Brazeau County. The Bighorn dam and reservoir is located approximately 25 km northwest of Nordegg in Clearwater County. Both dams have associated hydroelectric facilities and together they are the two largest producers of hydroelectric electricity in Alberta.

NHC was retained by TransAlta Generation Partnership (TransAlta) to conduct a dam breach inundation study for the Bighorn and Brazeau developments for both flood induced and sunny-day scenarios. Brazeau dam was commissioned in 1965 and the Bighorn dam was commissioned in 1972.

The scope of work included: (1) data collection and review, (2) dam failure assessment (flood induced and sunny-day), (3) hydraulic modelling, and (4) inundation mapping.

NHC constructed hydraulic models of the reservoir, hydraulic structures, and downstream river network extending from the dam facilities to the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. A range of dam failure and reservoir routing scenarios were simulated for each major dam facility.