WHEREAS the Government of Alberta Water for Life strategy identifies as a key strategy that the Province should ‘adopt a watershed management approach to decision making’;AND WHEREAS the watershed management approach to decision-making must involve a new initiative to develop and implement a watershed and source protection framework that addresses cumulative effects on a watershed scale;AND WHEREAS partnerships identified in the Water for Life strategy include those partnerships with municipalities;AND WHEREAS all rural municipalities can benefit from this strategy;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Government of Alberta take immediate action that will encourage and support municipal governments to participate in watershed initiatives and to take a leadership role in protecting watersheds;AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the Government of Alberta invest in the watershed management initiative by providing funding and/or technical support to ensure that a partnership involving municipal governments can be achieved.
The Water For Life strategy contains many ideas and initiatives that require further study and action. Without the buy-in from municipalities, one of the eight key strategies involving watershed management will be difficult to achieve.The province recognizes that they have to monitor and report on the quality of water in Albertas watersheds. Furthermore, the province recognizes that land-based activities must be undertaken in a manner to protect watersheds. However, municipalities are responsible for development of land. In particular, the activities in rural municipalities can have a dramatic impact on Albertas watersheds.Management of water resources is a provincial responsibility. The province and municipalities can work together to develop a meaningful initiative; however, such an initiative must have adequate provincial funding and staffing. Without meaningful funding and personnel assistance from the province, municipalities will not have any incentive to buy in, and without a municipal buy-in, a key provincial water strategy will be difficult to achieve.
The AAMDC has no resolutions currently in effect with respect to this issue.