WHEREAS Alberta Environment has a current policy not to allow municipalities to bank water license capacity, and;
WHEREAS water is vital to future economic development, and;
WHEREAS there may not be a suitable license for sale when economic development potential arises, or, it may not be possible to acquire a license within the economic development potential time window, and;
WHEREAS economic development is vital to the growth of the Alberta economy as well as for the municipality;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC advocates to the Government of Alberta that municipalities be allowed to acquire and bank unallocated water license capacity.
This is essentially the same resolution approved by the Foothills Little Bow fall meeting, but was lost at the AAMDC Convention by less than 1% point. (Required 60%, got 59%). It has been amended to take out the phrase requesting banking of 50% of current usage. One of the frustrations of having the resolution not pass, was that there was absolutely no discussion, so the County does not know why 40% of the delegates voted against it. This revision takes out one variable that may have been a concern, but we are just guessing.
Cypress County went through the process of acquiring additional water license capacity. During this four-year process, the County had to specifically show need for every acre foot of the license being acquired. Economic development often requires water, and requests for suitable land can be made without long lead periods. When such a request comes, what if there are no licenses for sale at that time? Businesses cannot wait for the municipality to acquire license capacity, therefore, being able to bank water license capacity without specific allocation is necessary to ensure future supply if required.
Resolution 4-10S: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the provincial government to amend existing statutes and regulations to easier enable these communities to be connected to regional water treatment plants located outside of the river basin where the community is located.