In 2023, Alberta Environment and Protected Areas retained NHC to assess and identify flood hazards along 15 km of the Smoky River through the Municipal District of Smoky River and Birch Hills County, including the Hamlet of Watino.

The study is conducted according to Flood Hazard Identification Program Guidelines, incorporating technical changes implemented in 2021 regarding how floodways are mapped in Alberta. The overall objectives of the study are to enhance public safety and to reduce potential future flood damages and disaster assistance costs.

The study is comprised of five major project components: Survey and Base Data Collection, Open Water Hydrology Assessment, Open Water Hydraulic Modelling, Open Water Flood Inundation Mapping, and Design Flood Hazard Identification and Mapping.

Flood frequencies with various return periods will be determined through the flood frequency analysis. A 1D hydraulic model will also be developed with the survey data and DTM. The model will be used to simulate a total of 13 flood scenarios, and flood inundation maps will be subsequently created for the 2-, 5-, 10-, 20-, 35-, 50-, 75-, 100-, 200-, 350-, 500-, 750-, and 1000-year events. The results will be used to delineate the floodway and flood fringe boundaries and to create floodway criteria/flood hazard maps.