Water is the key feedstock for the production of LCI hydrogen. Since the Project’s overarching purpose is environmental improvement, a reliable and environmentally sustainable supply of water is essential.
In order to ensure an adequate water supply, IEPS has contracted up to 880,000 cubic meters of Bow River water, at pre-agreed delivery rates and prices, with a licenced water owner. The annual water demand for Phase 1 will be approximately 25,000 cubic meters (20 Acre Feet). At full build-out, Project water consumption will increase to approximately 670,000 cubic meters (543 Acre Feet) annually.
To put the Project’s water demand into perspective, if the full 55,000 tonne per year production rate is eventually achieved, the annual water demand will be substantially less than the 880 – 1,000 Acre Feet of water recommended by Alberta Agriculture to irrigate 640 acres (1 square mile) of spring wheat.
Water Diversion & Storage
Several steps have been taken to minimize the environmental effects associated with the diversion and storage of water while also protecting reliability of supply. In this case, the entire annual water supply for the Project will be diverted during an approximately 6 week period corresponding to the spring freshet (i.e. “flood”) in the Bow River i.e. from early May to mid-June. No water will be diverted during the lower flow periods of the year outside of this window.
Once removed from the river, the diverted water will be stored, off stream, within a large existing reservoir. This reservoir will have a storage capacity that is much larger than the annual Project water requirements. Since the Project’s water requirements are only a very small percentage of both the river flow and the reservoir’s storage capacity, this will not only protect the regional aquatic environment but also ensure that a continuous supply of water is available, on an annual basis, irrespective of local conditions (e.g. drought).