EDMONTON – ENVIRONMENT – The Government of Alberta is safeguarding water resources with nearly $12 million in new multi-year grants for watershed planning and advisory councils and the Alberta Water Council.
Each year for the next three years, 11 local watershed councils will receive $3.2 million per year to assess watershed health and plan for water management. The Alberta Water Council will receive $750,000 per year for the next three years to preserve water resources.
“World Water Day challenges us to think about how we protect this extraordinary economic and environmental resource. We are taking steps to protect Alberta’s water through partnerships and collaboration,” says Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks, Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office.
Each watershed planning and advisory council represents a major river basin in Alberta. The non-profit organizations work with the public, First Nations, governments, industry and conservation groups to support community flood- and drought-resiliency planning. They also evaluate the health of local watersheds and support
water planning and management frameworks.
“The Alberta Government is making a solid commitment to protect an essential Alberta resource. Together with the Alberta Water Council, each water planning and advisory council will leverage this investment into improvement and conservation that benefits Albertans now and into the future,” comments Mark Bennett, Executive Director, Bow River Basin Council.
The Alberta Water Council is a non-profit organization with 24 members from governments, industry and non-government organizations. Its primary task is to monitor and steward implementation of the Alberta’s Water for Life strategy. Members work with major water users to improve efficiency and productivity and work to improve water literacy in the province.
“Water-management issues affect all Albertans. The Government of Alberta’s commitment to predictable funding will support sound, consensus-based advice on important water management issues. We need to work together to tackle flooding and drought, headwater protection and the threat posed by aquatic invasive species and whirling disease,” says Andre Asselin, Acting Executive Director, Alberta Water Council.