Resources for watershed-level planning in Alberta
In Alberta, regional planning is closely linked to the watersheds.
Regional planning in Alberta – as guided by the Land-use Framework – uses watersheds to help define the boundaries of the regions.
Watersheds are often used as an “ecosystem proxy” for land use decisions, in order to divide landscapes into definable regions. In Alberta, regional plans are aligned to the watershed regions because it provides a framework for boundaries, integrates cumulative effects considerations into decisions and acknowledges the importance of watershed-level plans.
The resources in Alberta for watershed planning and land use planning often overlap.
Watershed planning regions
The overlap isn’t perfect, but Alberta’s regional planning boundaries are aligned with the watershed boundaries.
There are 11 watershed management planning regions in Alberta. Each watershed planning region has a Watershed Planning Advisory Councils (WPACs) – independent organizations that facilitate monitoring, collaboration and outreach.
The 11 WPACs in Alberta are:
- Athabasca Watershed Council
- Battle River Watershed Alliance
- Beaver River Watershed Alliance
- Bow River Basin Council
- Lesser Slave Watershed Council
- Mighty Peace Watershed Alliance
- Milk River Watershed Council Canada
- North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance
- Oldman Watershed Council
- Red Deer River Watershed Alliance
- South East Alberta Watershed Alliance
Watershed management planning is an iterative process that promotes adaptive management. See the Guide to Watershed Management Planning in Alberta.
Resources for watershed management in municipalities
Alberta’s land use planning regions are aligned with watersheds and use watersheds as an ecological proxy.
Municipalities can also use land use planning to aid in watershed management. These are some resources available for Alberta’s municipalities.
Presentation by Bill Shaw (Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners) at the CWRA/WPAC Joint Conference (March 2013) in Red Deer.
Watch the video.
A guide for voluntary watershed management. This document was developed in 2006, but it provides an overview of a municipalities’ water operations and how they fit within watershed stewardship.
To guide the use and protection of water in Alberta, the Water for Life strategy outlines goals and strategies to manage water. Included in the guide are the guiding strategies for watershed management.
List of organizations, from local groups within the Athabasca River Watershed to beyond the province.