Alberta: Province Passes Motion on Water Security
On December 12, just as the last session of 2016 wrapped up, the legislative assembly of Alberta passed a motion to increase the government’s involvement in managing the province’s headwater region.
Water from mountains and hills of the Rocky Mountains account for 80 per cent of Alberta’s water. Downstream, Saskatchewan and Manitoba count on it, too. The Eastern Slopes of the Rockies contain the headwaters of rivers that supply water to the prairie provinces and Northwest Territories. Protecting the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains is crucial for preserving water quality and quantity. For example, 90 percent of the water in the South Saskatchewan River Basin comes from the foothills watersheds, which make up only 12 percent of the area of the river basin.
Following the motion’s passage in the legislature, Minister of Environment & Parks Shannon Phillips approved a multi-year grant totalling $925,000 to the Land Stewardship Centre to help protect Alberta’s water resources, as well as $14 million to the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program.