There has been a prolonged period of urban growth within the municipalities in the Nose Creek watershed during the last decade. The population in the City of Airdrie, for example, more than doubled from 31,512 people in 2007 to 64,922 people in 2017. The human footprint covers about 78% of the watershed (ABMI 2014) (Appendix A). A large part of the footprint is attributed to agriculture (62%), while urban development accounts for about 18% (urban and rural residential and/or industrial development combined) (Figure 2).
The Nose Creek watershed, situated in the Bow River basin, is impacted by the cumulative effects of increasing residential and commercial development, industrial growth, stormwater discharge, agricultural activity, and stream channelization. These cumulative impacts have resulted in the loss of natural resiliency in the watershed to mitigate impacts of flood and drought, and have degraded water quality in the watershed.
There is a desire to maintain stream channel morphology, minimize risk of flooding, and improve water quality in Nose Creek and West Nose Creek. This requires a continued commitment to improving stormwater management in the watershed, the development of tools to identify management options that support watershed goals, and the implementation of targeted resiliency and restoration practices in the watershed.
Nose Creek originates near the northern boundary of Rocky View County and the Town of Crossfield, and flows south through Airdrie and Calgary, joining the Bow River near the Calgary Zoo. The watershed drains a gross area of 989 km2. The mainstem of Nose Creek is fed by numerous intermittent watercourses. The main, permanent tributary to Nose Creek is West Nose Creek, which joins Nose Creek near Deerfoot Trail (Hwy 2), west of the Calgary International Airport. West Nose Creek encompasses about 33% of the entire Nose Creek watershed.