Alberta Council Offers Watershed Planning Framework

Groups and individuals who manage Alberta's watersheds or those affected by decisions on watershed management, need to have a voice in planning and decisions that may have an impact on water quality or quantity. An Alberta Water Council report offers a course of action to help make that happen.

"Recommendations for a Watershed Management Planning Framework for Alberta," released by the Council on March 31, provides advice for a planning framework that will integrate shared governance and a watershed approach with existing policies and legislation -- a key goal of Alberta's provincial water strategy, Water for Life. The report also identifies a number of key components of watershed management planning, and provides guidance on how stakeholders can work together under a shared governance structure to better plan and implement watershed management plans.

The report complements a previous council report, "Strengthening Partnerships: A Shared Governance Framework for Water for Life Collaborative Partnerships," which explains in detail how partners can work together to achieve the outcomes of the Water for Life strategy, including through watershed management planning.

"Governments can no longer be solely responsible for managing our water supplies, especially at the local, watershed level," said Gord Edwards, executive director of the Alberta Water Council. "The Government of Alberta clearly recognizes the importance of involving partners in the planning process, and now, we have a road map to guide Albertans on how to work together effectively to do so."

A copy of the framework can be found at www.awchome.ca.

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