Water has been boiling to the top of people’s mind as the world is faced with more and more water-related issues like flood, drought and water pollution. In Alberta, we continue to find ways to protect our water resources. As World Water Day approaches on March 22, the day’s theme, Nature for Water, couldn’t be more fitting. Finding nature-based solutions to help solve our 21st century world water problems is the key to preserving this resource.
It may sound like some kind of prehistoric creature, but riparian refers to the strips of green vegetation alongside streams, creeks, rivers, lakes, sloughs and other bodies of water. Riparian areas are found across Alberta: in northern boreal forest, parkland, foothills, mountains and prairie grasslands. Although riparian areas make up a small percentage of the landscape, they are definitely a big deal. Riparian areas have far reaching benefits to water, land, livestock, wildlife and humans.
Right now, there’s a small section of the Bow River bank in Fish Creek Provincial Park that looks like it’s been gift-wrapped in burlap. But what’s really interesting is what’s going on underneath the surface of the river at this spot, the longest side-channel on the Bow between Bearspaw, just west of Calgary, and Carseland, more than 50 km southeast of the city.