The Government of Alberta is responding to the priorities of Albertans with 20 immediate actions that will help protect the province’s water resources.
The Water Conversation Action Plan outlines 20 short-term actions and five long-term actions that will further safeguard drinking water supplies, improve how we manage lakes and enhance groundwater protection during oil and gas development.
The Action Plan, along with Our Water, Our Future: A Conversation with Albertans, Summary of Discussions and Alberta’s Water Research and Innovation Strategy 2014: A Renewal reflect feedback from Albertans during the Water Conversation engagement initiative held in 2013.
“Albertans want to ensure that water quality and quantities remain strong for the future. Alberta has managed its water resources prudently for more than a century and these short- and long-term actions will help ensure that we will continue to effectively manage our water to benefit all Albertans.”
~ Kyle Fawcett, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
Highlights of the Water Conversation Action Plan include
- Enhancing lake health governance systems to clarify roles and responsibilities;
- Implementing science-based standards for baseline water well testing near hydraulic fracturing operations;
- Working with municipalities to improve the sustainability of municipal water systems;
- Laying the groundwork on new frameworks to reduce water use by oil sands producers and better manage tailings ponds; and,
- Establishing protected water through government-led initiatives and university-led research.
“Water is Alberta’s most critical resource. The renewed Water Research and Innovation Strategy will build on our position as a leader in the field of water research and support Alberta’s longstanding commitment to environmental protection and sustainable growth.”
~ Don Scott, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education
“The management of Alberta’s water resources is an increasingly complex challenge with many diverse issues to be addressed. We commend the Government of Alberta’s strategic leadership in the development of this Action Plan, and we look forward to working collaboratively with our partners and key stakeholders to support these initiatives.”
~ David Trew, Executive Director, North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance
More than 1,000 people attended over 30 Water Conversation community meetings. Separate meetings were held with First Nations and Métis in recognition of their special relationship with water and land. In addition, about 760 people completed water conversation surveys and 353 submissions were received by email, Twitter, blog and letter.