Government funnels funding to protect and enhance watersheds

Lesser Slave Watershed Alliance held an open house March 22 on World Water Day at its office in High Prairie during Canada Water Week, March 19-25. People were invited to meet the staff, learn about the watershed, children enter a colouring contest and enter to win Canada Water Week prizes. Left-right, are watershed executive director Meghan Payne, Monique Roy, a Grade 9 student of Prairie River Junior High School in High Prairie, and watershed co-ordinator Kaylyn Jackson.

Richard Froese,
Lesser Slave Watershed Council and Mighty Peace Watershed Alliance will benefit from a pool of $12 million the provincial government has invested to protect water.

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, states a news release from the provincial government dated March 22, World Water Day.

“It’s a great commitment by the government,” says Megan Payne, executive director of Lesser Slave Watershed Council.
“It will provide some security to us for the next few years to continue our ongoing programs and watershed planning.”

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.

“We are taking steps to protect Alberta’s water through partnerships and collaboration,” says Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips, minister responsible for the Climate Change Office.
“World Water Day challenges us to think about how we protect this extraordinary economic and environmental resource.”

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 Government of Alberta’s commitment to predictable funding will support sound, consensus-based advice on important water management issues,” says Andre Asselin, acting executive director of the Alberta Watershed Council.
“We need to work together to tackle flooding and drought, headwater protection and the threat posed by aquatic invasive species and whirling disease.”

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.

Share this post