Alberta’s watersheds – going right to the source


Albertans don’t always think about the water they drink, play in and rely on every day – it is often taken for granted. So where does that clean water that flows out of the tap when you turn it on come from? It depends entirely on where you live in the province! Continue reading

Did Canada Water Week ‘wet’ your appetite for advocacy? Check out Alberta’s WPACs

We’re coming up to the end of another Canada Water Week – and getting ready to celebrate World Water Day tomorrow. (The weather’s even getting in the spirit by blanketing most of the province with rain and slush!)

This year’s Canadian water celebrations brought us back to basics: the 2014 theme is ‘watersheds’.

Wonderful watersheds

What are watersheds? Simply put, they are areas of land where all surface and ground water drains into the same place. Streams, lakes, and oceans are all examples of watersheds.

But they’re more than that. They’re places where all living things share a common water course, and that impacts behavior – and ultimately, forms communities.

Photo of a boy splashing in water.

How we access water affects how we build communities – and how we live our lives.

Although our need for water is universal, our experience with water is often incredibly local. Every community has a different relationship with water based on its own needs, and external factors. Heavily populated areas are often more concerned about water supply, while those in areas with lots of industry might be more concerned with monitoring.

To solve local problems, you need local knowledge. That’s where Alberta’s Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils (WPACs) come in.

There are 11 WPACs across Alberta. They are independent and non-profit. Each council is in charge of monitoring one of Alberta’s 11 main watersheds; identifying issues with water quantity, quality, and use; and then creating plans to address those issues.

Check out the map below to find your WPAC (click to enlarge it): Map of Alberta's 11 WPAC regions.

We at ESRD wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the amazing work of Alberta’s WPACs – and all the amazing Albertans who help run them. So if one week a year just isn’t enough to quench your thirst for all things water, why not consider getting involved? Lots of volunteer opportunities are usually available – from spending one day working on a cool project, all the way up to volunteering for the board of directors.

Intrigued? Once you’ve figured out which WPAC is yours, click on its name to head straight to the website. Or, check out this handy Twitter list of all Alberta’s WPACs – and some other great water resources.