At the same time, though, the relationships we have with water are often incredibly local. People in different areas have different water needs and face different issues. Urban communities may have different water concerns than rural ones; areas with lots of industry might be more concerned with monitoring, while in the heavily populated parts of southern Alberta, water supply is a more pressing issue.
Good water management requires a really solid understanding of these issues – and no one understands them better than the people who live with them. That’s why Alberta’s water stewards are so important. Although you don’t often see it, there’s a huge network of dedicated people in our province working to manage our water supply and protect it for future generations. Just a few members of this network:
- 11 Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils (WPACs) throughout the province
- Over 140 watershed stewardship groups, working with municipalities at the community level
- Non-profit organizations (like the Alberta Water Portal)
- The Alberta Water Council, made up of 24 reps from government, industry, and the non-profit sector
These folks do a ton of important research and long-term, proactive planning. But they mostly work behind the scenes – when really, they should be the ones in the spotlight.
The Council of the Federation – made up of Alberta’s Premiers – is out to change that with the 2014 Excellence in Water Stewardship Award. This award celebrates the innovation and leadership of water stewards across Canada – and rewards it with a $1000 cash prize.
Water stewards come in all shapes, sizes, and from all places – organizations, partnerships, businesses, institutions, municipalities, and community groups are all eligible for the award.
Here’s how it works:
Award winners are decided by nomination. If you work for, help out at – or just love – an organization that has done great things for our water this past year, consider downloading a nomination package. The process is pretty quick and painless – and the potential rewards are awesome.
Nominations close January 15th
Here’s what happens next:
The Council of the Federation will announce one winner for each of the provinces and territories on March 17th of next year – right at the beginning of Canada Water Week. We’ll be posting a profile of the winner on the blog – so stay tuned.