Water Conversation: Drumheller

The Water Conversation kicked off the last week of community sessions in Drumheller on March 19. During his opening remarks, Dana Woodworth, Deputy Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, thanked participants for taking the time to influence the future of their own community and their own resource.

If you’re unable to attend a community session in person, we encourage you to learn more about the four priority topics in the conversation guide and provide your feedback through the online workbook before April 12.

Drumheller

In attendance: 25

Healthy lakes

  • Must maintain both quality and quantity of lakes and watersheds
  • Use all mechanisms to do this – education, monitoring, enforcement, and legislation
  • Reservoir health is important
  • Need better regulations for lakeshore developments
  • Need a consistent framework, clear authority to manage lakes province-wide – lake by lake approach is not sufficient
  • Prescriptive versus subjective approaches to management – look at both of these
  • Need greater transparency

Hydraulic fracturing

  • Need to enhance regulatory framework
  • More transparent, accessible info needed for laypeople
  • Finger-printing for aquifers, wells
  • Must use saline and low quality water sources first
  • More monitoring of groundwater, aquifers is needed
  • Government should incentivize partnerships between users to maximize efficiency of water use
  • Bottom line: we need to protect water and ecosystem health

Drinking water and wastewater systems

  • Conservation important – we need to use more gray water
  • More consistent monitoring and enforcement for systems that have semi-regular users (youth camps was the specific example that came up)
  • Geographic approach is acceptable as long as the focus continues to be on local realities
  • P3s are not a viable solution for delivery of these services
  • If government proposes standardized changes/upgrades, government should be responsible for costs and delivery of changes
  • Infrastructure and operating costs are different and both need to be accounted for

Water management

  • Need to protect waters in rivers – in-stream flow
  • Need to enhance water storage and consider all possible mechanisms to do this
  • Transfers – need to consider end-use (role for government to do this)
  • Incentivize conservation – this requires being able to measure usage

Upcoming Sessions

Join the conversation online by following us on Twitter or using the #abwater hashtag.

Wed, March 20
Calgary
Marriot Courtyard Calgary Airport
2500 – 48 Avenue NE
5 – 8 p.m.
Thurs, March 21
Canmore
Radisson Hotel & Conf Centre
511 Bow Valley Trail
5 – 8 p.m.

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