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Attend a Working Well Workshop This Fall

Posted September 19, 2018 by LSC

For 10 years now Working Well has delivered informative, hands-on workshops to well owners, helping them learn the basics of groundwater, well construction, common well problems, contamination risks, importance of well reclamation and best management practices.

Fall workshops

There are 13 workshops planned in October, November and December 2018. Check out the Fall 2018 Working Well Workshop Schedule and plan to attend a workshop in a community near you.

Learn more

Learn more about Working Well and check out the free information resources available to water well owners and others interested in learning and promoting how to protect and maintain water wells at workingwell.alberta.ca


Survey: Protecting Sources of Drinking Water in Alberta

Posted July 20, 2018 by LSC

The Alberta Water Council has created a project team to provide guidance for protecting public, private, and individual drinking water sources.

This project team is currently asking organizations and/or individuals involved in or supporting initiatives to develop, implement and evaluate source water protection approaches (i.e., plans, programs, policy, legislation, tools) that focus on protecting drinking water sources in public and private systems to provide input on source water protection in Alberta.

The results of this survey will inform the development of a guidance document on protecting drinking water sources. By participating in this survey, you will help the team identify:

  • existing SWP approaches in Alberta
  • drinking water risks and management processes
  • successes, barriers, and lessons learned
  • best management practices

Complete the survey here by September 14, 2018.


Meet the 2018 Watershed Stewardship Grant Recipients

Posted April 26, 2018 by LSC

Community stewardship groups are making a difference in communities across Alberta. Read on to learn how these 14 groups will be putting stewardship into action with the help of their 2018 Watershed Stewardship Grants.

Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society

The Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society will be conducting a base-line study to measure the impacts of the South West Calgary Ring Road within the Weaselhead Natural Environment Park, specifically on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This project will benefit the Weaselhead area, allowing the Society to base any requests for improved mitigation on credible evidence of change, and will benefit other groups and organizations when assessing likely impacts of similar large-scale construction projects in riparian areas.

Elbow River Watershed Partnership

In alignment with the Government of Alberta’s Water for Life Strategy, the Elbow River Watershed Partnership (ERWP) will work to create an online and easily accessible State of the Watershed Report. The ERWP plans to collaborate with community stewardship groups, the local Watershed Planning and Advisory Council (WPAC) and stakeholders in collaborative workshops to ultimately create a report that will allow all users of the basin to better understand the current state of the watershed state and how to use this information in a meaningful way.

Inside Education

Inside Education’s comprehensive water education and stewardship project aims to enhance Alberta’s watersheds over the long term by creating meaningful, accessible and curriculum-enhancing water education programs. Through classroom presentations, wetlands field trips and teacher professional development (Alberta’s Grasslands Education Program, June 2018) Inside Education will help inspire a generation of water stewards to find innovative and creative approaches to addressing watershed issues today and in the future.

Southern Alberta Land Trust Society (SALTS)

SALTS will be developing an online, shareable and publically accessible conservation-mapping tool in an effort to bridge an important data gap limiting the ability of stakeholders working to protect watershed and riparian health within the Bow River watershed. The maps created will highlight areas within the watershed with high conservation value based on the landscape’s hydrologic features and functions, and will assist to inform decisions around conservation priorities, land use planning, and riparian stewardship efforts. This project will allow groups to better focus their efforts and resources to maximize protection of the watershed.

Moose Lake Watershed Society

This year, the Moose Lake Watershed Society will utilize Landsat data to provide a history of algae blooms for Moose Lake from 1984–2017 and host a shoreline stewardship and invasive species workshop to engage the community and deliver program results. The intent is to inform residents of the dramatic changes in invasive species and water quality within the watershed, and to engage them in ways they can help mitigate these issues. The Society, along with volunteer citizen scientists, will also conduct tributary monitoring in Moose Lake using a newly purchased YSI probe to monitor basic water quality parameters to help supplement data for long-term LakeWatch programming.

Calgary River Valleys

In 2018, Calgary River Valleys will expand their “Redd Counts-Why They Count” scientific monitoring program to broaden knowledge of Brown Trout spawning areas, particularly in the never-before-surveyed area of the Elbow River upstream of the Glenmore Dam. Combining data with public outreach, the project will demonstrate to a wider audience how and why to protect the river ecosystem and fish habitat as well as the impacts of changes in the river environment on fish populations.

Jenson Reservoir Working Group

Working with volunteers and the surrounding community, the Jenson Reservoir Working Group will focus their efforts on protecting riparian land surrounding the Jenson watercourse and reservoir. The group will engage local volunteers and schools to restore eroded banks by replanting trees and native shrubs, as well as install fencing and an off-site watering system. All of these efforts will contribute to ensuring a clean water source, protecting wildlife habitat and gaining social license.

Castle Crown Wilderness Coalition

Castle-Crown Wilderness Coalition has been active in watershed restoration work in the Castle River and its tributaries for the past sixteen years. This year, they continue their invasive species program, aiming to increase staff and volunteer engagement, and introduce new techniques to steward ecologically restored areas using a combination of reclamation methods, data collection and stewardship events.

Ridge Reservoir Working Group

To slow runoff from the Milk River Ridge and help decrease erosion, the Ridge Reservoir Working Group, with the assistance of Westwind School Division volunteers, will plant trees and shrubs on the banks and at the edge of the Reservoir. These efforts will directly improve and protect water quality, enhance the riparian area and provide wildlife habitat. The Group will also create and install educational, interactive signage at the restoration sites to further educate the public on the importance of riparian and watershed health.

Pigeon Lake Watershed Association (PLWA)

“We Love Pigeon Lake” is an umbrella project to extend the PLWA’s reach, build on progress to date, and shine light on a new healthy-shoreline initiative to achieve healthy-lake actions. Through open houses, shoreline assessments and physical restoration projects on shoreline properties, this project combines community engagement with on the ground efforts to enhance the health of Pigeon Lake watershed.

Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association

This project focuses on improving stewardship of water and wetland resources in Waterton Biosphere Reserve through three main activities: a Wetland Field Day for Grade 5 students from Cardston, providing support to Pincher Creek elementary teachers as they become comfortable with using “Creek Explorer Kits” to deliver outdoor environmental education for their students, and a workshop to promote wetland stewardship.

Skeleton Lake Stewardship Association

The Skeleton Lake Watershed Education Program encourages landowners in the watershed to implement best practices to protect the lake water quality, fisheries and wildlife habitat. The Education Program will include public education sessions, watershed tours and focus group sessions to engage stakeholders and encourage them to taking action. The Program longer-term goals include developing stewardship centric signage and pamphlets, making improvements to the SLSA website, and educating local land owners, land planners and developers on practices to minimize impacts on the watershed on future development.

Clear Hills Watershed Initiative

The Clear Hills Watershed Initiative will be enhancing and re-opening their Wetlands Walk Way, which has been closed due to severe damage from windstorms and falling foliage. The Wetlands Walk Way is used for educational field trips highlighting the value of Alberta’s wetlands and provides an enjoyable place to view wetland habitat and wildlife to local schools and the community.

Stettler and District Community Adult Learning Council

Actively engaging with agricultural producers, the Stettler and District Community Adult Learning Council will run a series of workshops and field days covering on-farm climate solutions and climate-positive agricultural and land-use practices in order to empower members of the rural community by providing them with the tools and understanding to be part of the clean energy economy of the future.


Apply for a Watershed Stewardship Grant Today

Posted January 21, 2018 by LSC

Applications are now being accepted

The Watershed Stewardship Grant (WSG) Program provides funding to support collaborative, community-based stewardship efforts consistent with the principles, goals and outcomes of Alberta’s Water for Life strategy. In this grant round, funding up to $20,000 will be issued to eligible groups on a per-project basis.

Learn more and download the application form here >>.

Have questions? Connect with our Stewardship Program Coordinator

The deadline for grant applications is February 22, 2018 at 4:30 PM (MST).


CreekWatch Releases Water Quality Report Card

Posted March 24, 2016 by LSC

In celebration of World Water Day (March 22) RiverWatch’s citizen science program, CreekWatch, released its first annual “Report Card” on the quality of water in Alberta urban stormwater creeks.

The CreekWatch Report Card scores are based on water quality data collected by 24 active and trained volunteers from HSBC Bank Canada, Keepers of Mill Creek and GE Water, as well as two science technicians. From June to October 2015, they spent an estimated 130 hours conducting 178 site visits and collecting 1,500 water samples on urban creeks which function as conduits for stormwater runoff in Edmonton and Calgary.

Creek scores were obtained by awarding points for eight parameters, including dissolved oxygen, ammonia nitrogen, nitrate-nitrogen, phosphorus, temperature, conductivity, turbidity and macroinvertebrates. Higher points were awarded for the best values in each parameter. A top score for each of the eight parameters would result in a total possible score of 56.

2015 CreekWatch Report Card on Alberta Urban Creek Water Quality
(score out of 56)
1 Fish Creek, Calgary Score = 47 (least impacted)
2 Pine Creek (Calgary) Score = 39
3 Blackmud Creek (Edmonton) Score = 38
T 4 Whitemud Creek (Edmonton) Score = 37
T4 West Nose Creek (Calgary) Score = 37
6 Mill Creek (Edmonton) Score = 36
7 Nose Creek (Calgary) Score = 28 (most impacted)

“We are sharing our findings with the public, watershed planning and advisory councils, watershed stewardship groups, industry operators, provincial monitoring agencies and government water quality professionals to promote and advance collaborative efforts that support the consistent monitoring and water quality improvement of our urban creeks in Alberta.” Jim Gendron, RiverWatch Board Chair

“As we developed the Report Card, it became apparent that there is a range of creek water quality in Edmonton and Calgary. While infrastructure and stewardship projects are currently underway on each creek, our ranking system does highlight differences between creeks. It also suggests that improvements can be made in the lower ranked creeks by emulating best management practices taking place on the higher ranked creeks.” Reed Froklage, CreekWatch Citizen Science Coordinator

CreekWatch by the Numbers:

  • 7 urban storm water creeks in Edmonton and Calgary
  • 24 volunteers from HSBC Bank Canada, Keepers of Mill Creek and GE Water
  • 2 science technicians
  • 11 organizations and/or individuals provided advice and support to the project, including Alberta Environment and Parks, City of Calgary, City of Edmonton, Bow River Basin Council, North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance, EPCOR, Web3 Marketing, Exova, Miistakis Institute, Salmo Consulting and Kevin Weimer

Learn more about CreekWatch. For more information please contact Reed Froklage, Citizen Science Coordinator, CreekWatch C (403) 369–8499 E science@riverwatch.ab.ca


Today is World Wetlands Day

Posted February 2, 2016 by LSC

World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year to mark the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar.

Did you know…there are three Ramsar sites in Alberta, including:

Peace-Athabasca River Delta – composed of three river deltas and four large freshwater lakes with rich growths of aquatic vegetation, linked to Lake Athabasca by meandering river channels. One of the most important nesting, resting and feeding areas for numerous species of waterbirds in North America. Up to 400,000 birds occur during spring migration, and more than one million occur in the fall. The delta meadows provide grazing for several hundred free-roaming bison, one of 44 other mammals recorded.

Hay-Zama Lakes – a vast wetland complex associated with the Peace River consisting of a series of freshwater lakes, floodplains and river deltas. The site holds large numbers of ducks (200,000 in fall) and geese (up to 177,000) during spring and fall migrations.

Beaverhill Lake – is an important breeding and staging area for various migratory waterbirds. Nesting species include a variety of ducks, colonies of Pelecanus erythrorhynchus and Phalacrocorax auritus. Spectacular numbers of birds occur particularly during fall migration, when over 200,000 Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans, etc.) gather. Notable concentrations (for the prairie region) of migratory shorebirds also occur.

Learn more about World Wetlands Day >>

Learn more about the Ramsar Convention >>


Take the Water for Life Implementation Review Survey

Posted October 15, 2015 by LSC

The Alberta Water Council’s (AWC) Water for Life Implementation Review Committee is conducting a sector survey to help inform an assessment of the status, progress, and effectiveness of the Water for Life strategy.

The Water for Life strategy is a provincial water strategy adopted by Cabinet in November 2003. Since then, the Government of Alberta released a renewed Water for Life strategy in 2008 and a Water for Life Action Plan later in 2009.

This review focuses on progress made during the period of January 1st, 2012 to December 31st, 2015. Input will inform the committee as it makes recommendations to move the Water for Life strategy forward. The survey will be open until November 16th, 2015.

Take the survey now >>

If you have any questions about this survey please contact the committee’s Project Manager Anuja at a.ramgoolam@awchome.ca

Learn more about Water for Life.

Learn more about the Alberta Water Council.


Room For the River Workshop

Posted May 4, 2015 by LSC

The Red Deer River Watershed Alliance (RDRWA) & the Red Deer Municipal Users Group (RDMUG) are very pleased to be working with Alberta WaterSMART on their Room for the River rogram.

Please join them for a working session on May 8, 2015 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm at the Radisson Hotel in Red Deer to consider how the Dutch Room for the River program and measures have been and could be applied in the Red Deer River Basin.

To register for the event visit Eventbrite

The Room for the River work in the Red Deer Basin adapts the Dutch Room for the River program to the Alberta context and builds on a pilot in the Bow River Basin to identify and consider potential flood mitigation options .The program looks at reducing the vulnerability of people and infrastructure while improving the overall environmental quality of the river.

The outcome of this work will be advice to the Government of Alberta including a scan of room for the river opportunities, preliminary identification of promising opportunities, and suggestions for a potential broader program, process and engagement for Alberta.

This is a joint RDRWA, RDRMUG and Alberta WaterSMART event. This event will be facilitated by Alberta WaterSMART on behalf of ESRD‘s Resilience and Mitigation Branch.

The following river reaches are included in the current scope of work:

  • Red Deer River main stem from the headwaters to just downstream of Drumheller
  • Little Red Deer River
  • James River
  • Bearberry Creek
  • Fallentimber Creek
  • Medicine River
  • Raven River

For more information on the Room for the River program please see the following links:

  • A summary of the Room for the River program in the Netherlands. More information is available here
  • The final report and addendum for the Room for the River scan in the Bow Basin is available here

Septic Sense: Solutions for Rural Living

Posted March 6, 2015 by LSC

Land Stewardship Centre (LSC), in partnership with the Alberta Onsite Wastewater Management Association (AOWMA), are pleased to announce the launch of a pilot program called Septic Sense: Solutions for Rural Living to provide landowners access to the information, resources and support that can help them responsibly manage their septic systems.

Learn more >>


High Level Bridge Lights Up for Watersheds

Posted October 21, 2014 by LSC

For anyone who will be in the Edmonton river valley on the evening of October 21, check out the High Level Bridge. It will be lit up with blue, green and white lights in celebration of watersheds.

This coincides with the three-day Watershed Planning and Advisory Council (WPAC) Summit being held at the Old Timer’s Cabin on Scona Road.

If you are able to take photos of the bridge that night we would love to see the pictures!

Share your pics on Twitter #celebratewatersheds @LSC_ASN @landstewardship, Facebook or email them to us at info@landstwardship.org


How Will You Celebrate World Water Day?

Posted March 21, 2014 by LSC

World Water Day is March 22, 2014. The theme of World Water Day 2014 is “Energy and Water”.

In 2014, the UN System – working closely with its Member States and other relevant stakeholders – is collectively bringing its attention to the water-energy nexus, particularly addressing inequities, especially for the ‘bottom billion’ who live in slums and impoverished rural areas and survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services.

It also aims to facilitate the development of policies and crosscutting frameworks that bridge ministries and sectors, leading the way to energy security and sustainable water use in a green economy. Particular attention will be paid to identifying best practices that can make a water- and energy-efficient ‘Green Industry’ a reality.

What you will do in 2014 and beyond to promote sustainable practices in the realm of water and energy?

Learn more at World Water Day 2014 >>


Alberta's Water Conversations Continue

Posted March 25, 2013 by LSC

Over the past month, Albertans have been sharing their experiences, ideas and recommendations on to how best to meet our province’s long-term water needs.

The last of 20 public water conversations is scheduled for Wednesday, April 3 in Fort Chipewyan.

Catch all the water conversation highlights from each community on Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development’s blog >>


Celebrate Canada Water Week 2013

Posted February 14, 2013 by LSC

I Love My Water Body! Engaging Communities for Living Waters

March 18–24, 2013

As part of Canada Water Week 2013, you are invited to build and strengthen the shared love of the waters in YOUR community. By hosting an event that will display your community’s connection to your local water body, Canada Water Week organizers will create a national story that depicts our Canadian heritage.

Learn more at Canada Water Week.


Albertans Invited to Participate in Water Conversation

Posted February 8, 2013 by LSC

Albertans from across the province are invited to share their thoughts on water as part of a province-wide conversation. Public sessions are scheduled to take place in 20 communities across the province, beginning February 19.

Albertans who are unable to take part in the three-hour facilitated sessions can participate in the conversation in a variety of ways, including an online survey that will be available from February 11 to March 29. The survey and other information related to the water conversation are available at www.waterconversation.alberta.ca

While Albertans are welcome to raise any water-related topic, the conversation will focus on four priority areas: healthy lakes; water use in hydraulic fracturing; drinking water and wastewater systems; and water management.

“Albertans are passionate about water issues, and they want to have a say in how we manage this resource into the future,” said Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Minister Diana McQueen. “During our recent consultations on the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, water was the number one issue Albertans talked about. This conversation is an opportunity for Albertans to delve even deeper into this important topic. We will be clear however, that Alberta’s water is not for sale and will never be for sale to other jurisdictions.”

In addition to the facilitated public sessions, government will hold several targeted stakeholder sessions in communities where Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils already exist. These meetings will engage stakeholders that have a significant interest and involvement in water management. First Nations and Metis are being engaged on water issues through separate processes.

- 30 -

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Wayne Wood
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
P 780–975-9542
E wayne.wood@gov.ab.ca

Carrie Sancartier
Communications
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
P 780–427-8636
E carrie.sancartier@gov.ab.ca

To call toll-free within Alberta dial 310–0000.


Athabasca Watershed Council Seeking Proposals

Posted July 31, 2012 by LSC

The Athabasca Watershed Council is seeking proposals from contractors for the production of phase three of their State of the Watershed Report which will focus on on surface water quality indicators and their associated surface water quantity indicators.

The closing date for submissions is August 17, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.

Click on the link Athabasca Watershed Council RFP to download a copy of the Request for Proposals.

For more information e-mail the Project Coordinator at marilou.montemayor@awc-wpac.ca and cc the Executive Assistant admin@awc-wpac.ca or phone 780–865-8223.


Apply for a Watershed Stewardship Grant Today

Posted January 5, 2012 by LSC

Calling all grassroots watershed stewardship groups! We are now accepting applications for the 2012 Watershed Stewardship Grant.

Since 2005, the Watershed Stewardship Grant (WSG) program, made possible through the Government of Alberta’s Water for Life Strategy, has provided funding to the province’s stewardship community to support their efforts.

Through this program, grants of up to $7,500 are awarded to watershed stewardship groups which are working in their communities to raise awareness of local watershed issues or improve the condition of their local watershed.

As part of our effort to continually improve the program, we have updated the application process to include new web pages, easier to use application and reporting forms, and a sample application to guide you through the process.

Applications for the 2012 grant period will be accepted from January 1 to February 1, 2012. To learn more about the WSG program, projects funded in the past, available resources, and how to apply, visit the WSG web pages.


Alberta Water Council Releases Moving From Words to Action Final Report

Posted August 8, 2011 by LSC

The Board of Directors of the Alberta Water Council recently approved the Moving from Words to Actions Project Team’s final report. The report’s recommendations are variously directed to the three Water for Life partnerships as well as the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Stewardship Network. The implementation of the recommendations is expected to strengthen coordination and communication among and between the three Water for Life partnerships.

For more information and to download a copy of the Moving From Words to Actions final report, visit the Alberta Water Council website.


Flooding and Wetlands: What's the Connection?

Posted July 15, 2011 by LSC

With climate patterns that we haven’t seen since settlement began and increased flooding rivers in Saskatchewan and Alberta, Dr. John Pomeroy explains that our traditional reliance on water control structures like dams may not be enough.

Now is the time to rethink the role of wetlands as the original, natural form of storing water in watersheds and landscapes and reducing the effects of downstream flooding.

Having drained many wetlands over the past century, we have reduced natural storage and other benefits those wetlands provide, and at the same time, added strain to our water control structures and other flood management systems.

Visit GlobalSask for a brief news clip featuring Dr. Pomeroy.


Canada Water Week March 14-22, 2011

Posted January 25, 2011 by LSC

Do you have an interest in clean and healthy lakes and rivers?
If so, we would like you to join with us from March 14 to 22 as we celebrate Healthy Rivers, Living Lakes during our inaugural Canada Water Week.

Taking part is easy. There are endless opportunities to get involved: organize an art exhibit or concert; screen a documentary; host a water stewardship event; organize a public rally to unite voices for clean water in your community; or simply enjoy your favourite river or lake with family, neighbours and friends.

What is Canada Water Week?
Canada Water Week wants to raise the profile and understanding of water across Canada through a week-long celebration of this precious resource, starting March 14 and culminating with World Water Day on March 22, 2011.

National Canada Water Week activities are being organized jointly by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, WWF-Canada and Living Lakes Network Canada. Local activities will be coordinated by individuals and community groups across the country. By raising awareness about water and its importance to our nation’s prosperity, we aim to stimulate individual, community and government action on clean water.

How can you help?
We want to celebrate from coast-to-coast-to-coast. To that end, we are encouraging groups across the country to organize fun and educational events in their communities. Art exhibits, concerts, documentary screenings, sporting events; educational activities through libraries, community/recreational centers, museums, schools, water utilities or nature appreciation groups—there’s no end to creatively engaging people on water.

Let this year’s theme—Healthy Rivers, Living Lakes—serves as your inspiration. Having healthy rivers and living lakes is critical to all aspects of our lives — recreation, drinking water, family vacations, culture — not to mention the importance to animals, fish, birds, insects and plants; we all require clean water for our health.

The idea for Canada Water Week is to exercise the positive power of arts and culture to encourage people to embrace and appreciate water in order to protect it.

How will we help you?
In a few weeks we will launch “www.canadawaterweek.com, our shared online home. This interactive website will allow you to: upload and promote your event through a calendar and integrated social media; download tools you may need such as logos, poster and press release templates, and information sheets; contribute to our Flickr pool of photos; and connect with other individuals and groups across the country. As we approach Canada Water Week, we will also be promoting activities across the country, generating publicity and creating momentum for participation and attendance at events.

Be a regional water week organizer!
If reading this has you extra excited, then you are the perfect person to be a volunteer regional organizer for Water Week. This position involves helping our outreach coordinator in mobilizing local groups to host events, providing support to those events and assisting with web and social media platforms. Help us make this the most successful launch possible, become a regional water week organizer today – contact us at info@canadawaterweek.com for more information.

Be sure not to miss out. Together, across Canada, we will unite in our love for clean and healthy rivers and lakes. Mark your calendars today — March 14 to 22 — Canada Water Week. Get in touch with us for more information or to discuss your idea for a Water Week event.

Canada Water Week
Healthy Rivers,Living Lakes
March 14 to 22, 2011
www.canadawaterweek.com
info@canadawaterweek.com