EDMONTON, Dec. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - As the provincial water strategy, Water for Life, marks its 10th anniversary in 2013, the key to its continued success is to better
measure and relate the results of the many activities underway through
the strategy to its three goals of safe, secure drinking water; healthy
aquatic ecosystems; and reliable, quality water supplies for a
Establishing more formal evaluation and monitoring is one of the core
recommendations in the Review of Implementation Progress of Water for Life 2009-2011, released by the Alberta Water Council on December 20th. In making the recommendation, the Council states, the ability to
quantify the success of the various activities will help Albertans
better understand the impact of Water for Life, and in general, the importance of specific water practices in Alberta
today and into the future.
"As with previous reviews, in the 2009-2011 review we found significant
progress continues to be made in a number of areas around water
management practices and conservation across the province, but the
momentum of activity generated over the past 10 years needs to be
maintained," said Gord Edwards, Executive Director of the Alberta Water
Council. "The 10th anniversary of Water for Life provides an excellent opportunity for both the Government of Alberta
and all key stakeholders to re-affirm the commitment to the three goals
of the strategy, and more importantly, to set more specific measures to
build on that success."
In addition to better measuring results, other key recommendations in
the 2009-2011 review include:
The Government of Alberta conduct a transparent, broad-based public
consultation on water allocation to ensure current and future water
demand and supply are understood in each basin, and in relation to
environmental and socio-economic objectives.
The Government of Alberta and stakeholders complete outstanding actions
around the goal of healthy aquatic ecosystems, including the wetlands
policy, protection of critical aquatic ecosystems, and setting specific
water conservation objectives for each basin.
The Government of Alberta and its Water for Life partners work with research and academic institutions and other
education and outreach providers to revisit the current knowledge and
research direction, and to develop a plan to improve public and sector
understanding of the value of water.
The Government of Alberta investigate the use of additional economic
instruments, applied in an equitable manner, to encourage water
conservation, efficiency and productivity.
Water-using sectors which have developed conservation, efficiency and
productivity plans as part of the Water for Life Strategy need to both promote the plans to members of their respective
sectors, and encourage those members to develop specific and measurable
action plans to support the sector plan.
All Water for Life partners need to continue to work with the Government of Alberta on
watershed assessment and planning to ensure it is integrated with the
provincial cumulative effects management system at the regional,
municipal, resource and other land-use planning initiatives.
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 2009-2011 report is the fourth 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 government, industry and
non-governmental organizations. Its primary task is to monitor and
steward implementation of Alberta Water for Life strategy and to
champion the achievements 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.
SOURCE: Alberta Water Council
For further information:
Executive Director, Alberta Water Council