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Wetlands Alberta

Engaging Albertans to conserve and protect wetlands

DID YOU KNOW?

18% of Alberta’s land base is covered by wetlands.

News from November 2008

Alberta government ensures future of water quality, quantity

November 19, 2008

Water for Life strategy renewed to reflect changes in province

Edmonton…The Alberta government has renewed its Water for Life strategy to ensure the water quality and quantity needed to support population and economic growth in the province.

“Continuing to support Water for Life is critical to making the right choices for Alberta’s water resources,” said Rob Renner, Minister of Environment. “There’s a new reality in Alberta and this renewed strategy reflects it.”

The renewed strategy accelerates action to safeguard Alberta’s water sources, ensuring integration of watershed planning with regional planning under the proposed Land-use Framework, and sets clear direction and action for improved watershed management in Alberta. It outlines the need to take action on a number of fronts, including:

  • regional drinking water and wastewater solutions;
  • aquatic ecosystem health;
  • viable governance system that supports sustainable management of surface and groundwater; and
  • water monitoring, evaluation and public reporting.

The Alberta government asked the Alberta Water Council, appointed in 2004 to provide independent oversight and advice on Water for Life implementation, provide government with renewal recommendations, which they submitted in January 2008. Those recommendations were accepted by government and guided the renewal process.

“By renewing Water for Life, we are making a good plan even better,” said Renner. “Water for Life is among the most comprehensive water management plans in North America, and we plan to keep it that way.”

Implementation of Alberta’s original Water for Life strategy, released in November 2003, has involved the efforts of many partners from a number of sectors including non-government organizations, industry, provincial and other governments. To successfully move the renewed strategy forward, a detailed action plan will be released in 2009.

For more information about the renewed strategy, visit www.waterforlife.alberta.ca.

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Attachments

{% file_link 556 ‘Water for Life Backgrounder’ %}

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Cara Van Marck
Communications
Alberta Environment
780–427-6267

To call toll-free within Alberta, dial 780–310-0000.

Provincial funds support watershed stewardship groups

November 19, 2008

Edmonton…A $250,000 installment to the Alberta Stewardship Network’s Watershed Stewardship Grant Program will help with community-level action to safeguard Alberta’s water resources.

“Stewardship is a shared responsibility,” said Rob Renner, Minister of Environment. “Our $250,000 contribution partnered with grassroots commitment translates into better protection of Alberta’s water resources.” With this latest installment, the province has contributed $1 million to the Alberta Stewardship Network since Water for Life was first released five years ago.

Watershed stewardship groups are community, volunteer-based partnerships actively engaged in environmental stewardship of their watershed. They include individuals, organizations, agriculture, industry, municipalities and other local governments.
There are more than 140 watershed stewardship groups throughout Alberta involved in on-the-ground measure to protect Alberta’s water. Some examples of their efforts include the following.

• The Elbow River Watershed Partnership’s Youth Field Study Program – nearly 1,000 students have taken part in monitored the river’s water quality and discovering the connection between land and water.
• The Nose Creek Watershed Partnership – the first community-based group to develop a sub-basin water management plan. The plan is a consistent and integrated approach that provides valuable tools for watershed management across municipal boundaries.
• West Athabasca Watershed Bioregional Society Hardisty Creek Restoration Project – fish passage remediation and habitat restoration has resulted in the restoration of about 300 metres of fish habitat and the return of bull trout, northern pike, and mountain whitefish to the creek.

The Alberta Stewardship Network is a multi-agency, multi-stakeholder group that supports information exchange and grassroots stewardship efforts.

Other provincial grants for Water for Life partners this fiscal year includes $900,000 for the Alberta Water Council and $1.7 million for Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:
Cara Van Marck
Communications
Alberta Environment
780–427-6267

To call toll-free within Alberta, dial 780–310-0000.