Better communication and education the foundation for future success of provincial water strategy



    EDMONTON, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - Enhancing education and communication among
water users and emphasizing activities around source water protection are two
key areas of focus for continued success around implementation of Water for
Life, according to the multi-stakeholder group set up to monitor and assess
progress of the provincial water strategy.
    In its Review of Implementation Progress of Water for Life, 2006-2008,
released September 11, 2009, the Alberta Water Council also calls for better
integration with other strategies and actions related to land, air,
biodiversity and cumulative impacts of development - specifically ensuring
good coordination and integration with the Land Use Framework - and the need
for reliable, consistent resources to support all aspects of implementation.
    "Because the Council recognizes resourcing may be an issue in the current
economic climate, we believe one of the best ways to ensure continued success,
even with limited resources, is to develop strong and effective leaders and
champions in all sectors, including government, industry, and the
environmental community," said Gord Edwards, Executive Director of the Alberta
Water Council. "As communication and education are the foundation for creating
champions, we firmly believe one of the best investments the government can
make is in improving its efforts in both of these areas."
    A source water protection framework aimed at addressing the effects of
non-point source pollution on provincial water quality is another key area
that can help leverage success to all three Water for Life goals, Edwards
said.
    "The Council believes that improving the management of water quality at
the source will ensure healthy aquatic ecosystems, support a multi-barrier
approach to drinking water safety, and directly affect the availability of
reliable, quality water supplies for sustainable economic development."
    One of the primary roles of the Alberta Water Council - an independent,
consensus-based group made up of stakeholders from all key sectors involved in
water management and use in Alberta - is to regularly review the
implementation progress and effectiveness of the Water for Life strategy. The
2006-2008 report is the third review conducted by the Council.
    Copies of the report and more information on the Alberta Water Council
can be found at www.awchome.ca.

    Established in 2004, the Alberta Water Council is a multi-stakeholder
partnership with 24 members from governments, industry, and non-government
organizations. Its primary task is to monitor and steward implementation of
Alberta's Water for Life strategy and to champion the achievement of the
strategy's three outcomes of a safe, secure drinking water supply, healthy
aquatic ecosystems, and reliable, quality water supplies for a sustainable
economy.





For further information:

For further information: Gord Edwards, Executive Director, Alberta Water
Council, (780) 644-7373

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Alberta Water Council

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