Water is not only our most valuable resource – it’s a life source.
We’re proud of our water accomplishments to date. We have a long history of strong policies, like the Water for Life strategy, and effective conservation and protection.
In fact, environmentalists have applauded our current water allocation system, which has been in place for more than 100 years, for effectively managing water in times of low supply.
Our province is growing fast.
Vibrant communities and a thriving economy means we must start planning now to ensure our water resources continue to meet the needs of Albertans – now and in the future. We must manage water in a way that protects our resources – from clean drinking water to enjoying our lakes – while allowing economic growth to continue.
We’re committed to getting it right. Albertans are passionate about water, and we don’t want to jump to solutions until we’ve heard what Albertans have to say. It’s a commitment Premier Redford made during the election, and a commitment I plan to fulfill as Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. Collectively, we need to take a long-term view of water – for people, food and industry – to ensure our water is here for generations to come.
But, we need your help.
We want to hear all sides of the water conversation. By sharing your experiences and exploring ideas, we hope to come to a common understanding about how best to meet our long-term needs. This is vey much a two-way conversation.
While all water-related concerns are a welcome part of the discussion, we’re starting out by focusing on four priorities identified by Albertans:
- Healthy lakes;
- Water use in hydraulic fracturing;
- Drinking water and wastewater systems; and
- Water management.
This is just one step in what will be an ongoing dialogue.
However, it’s important to be clear that certain options are not under consideration:
- Our water will not be sold beyond our borders; and
- The fundamental principles of our “first in right, first in time” priority allocation system will not change.
And I want to assure you that landowners don’t have to worry about their private water wells or licences.
Join the conversation
Alberta’s water belongs to all Albertans – how it’s managed for the future is vitally important to us all. I encourage you to join the conversation:
- Attend one of 20 community sessions
- Read more about water in Alberta and the Conversation Guide
- Complete an online workbook (available Feb 11-Mar 29)
- Provide feedback through email
- Follow the discussion on our Blog and Twitter
So let’s talk water. I hope to hear from you soon.
– Diana McQueen, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development