To aid in the management of watersheds within the South Saskatchewan River basin, the South Saskatchewan River Basin (SSRB) Water Management Plan balances water usage with protection for aquatic environments. The SSRB Water Management Plan was implemented in 2006 for the Bow, Oldman and South Saskatchewan sub-basins.
The key aspects of the SSRB Water Management Plan are:
- Restrict new water allocations in the Bow, Oldman and South Saskatchewan River sub-basins.
- Allocate water for water conservation, water storage and First Nations Reserves.
- Review the maximum water allocation limit when the max is reached.
As the SSRB Water Management Plan reached its 10-year anniversary, Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils (WPACs) underwent a comprehensive review of the plan. The results of the review are available from the Bow River Basin Council:
- Final Report – Review of the Implementation of the SSRB Water Management Plan
- Appendixes – Review of the Implementation of the SSRB Water Management Plan
The review outlined the following emerging themes related to water management in the South Saskatchewan River basin:
- More needs to be done for long-term protection and preservation of aquatic environments.
- More data collection, monitoring, modeling and evaluation is required to assess water management plans and policies.