Improvements needed to update water allocation transfer system

EDMONTON, Nov. 23 /CNW/ - As the province begins closing some of its basins to new allocations, the Alberta Water Council is calling for improvements sooner than later to better utilize and enhance Alberta's water allocations transfer system.

In its report - Recommendations for Improving Alberta's Water Allocation Transfer System - the Alberta Water Council outlines 23 specific recommendations on how Alberta can improve its water allocation transfer system to better respond to seasonal and annual variations in water flow, increased demand on supply caused by community and economic growth, and the impacts of climate change.

The Council's recommendations - all of which are possible under Alberta's current Water Act - focus on six key areas: protected water; transfer markets; unused water; conservation; administrative process; and data and information.

"If we are going to sustain our water supply for generations to come, Albertans need to have an open and frank discussion on how we manage and use water," said Gord Edwards, Executive Director of the Alberta Water Council. "While it will take a concerted effort, time is of the essence to ensure Alberta has a water allocation system that will provide sustainable, quality supplies for our communities, our environment, and our continued economic prosperity."

Edwards said the Council expects its recommendations will generate further discussion on the issue of water use, adding the Council is pleased its report is part of a process by the Government of Alberta to conduct a more detailed review and consultation on water allocation.

Copies of the report and more information on the Alberta Water Council can be found at www.albertawatercouncil.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.

SOURCE Alberta Water Council

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

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