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Master Agreement on Apportionment (1969)

The governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Canada entered into a Master Agreement On Apportionment, for sharing the waters of eastward flowing interprovincial streams. The agreement also recognizes the problem of water quality and groundwater matters, and reconstituted the Prairie Provinces Water Board to administer the agreement and provide a forum to resolve and report on interprovincial water issues.

Five schedules are part of the master agreement.

  • Schedule A
    The Apportionment Agreement between Alberta and Saskatchewan
  • Schedule B
    The Apportionment Agreement between Saskatchewan and Manitoba
  • Schedule C
    The Prairie Provinces Water Board Agreement describing the composition, functions and duties of the Board
  • Schedule D
    A listing of Orders-in-Council for allocations of interprovincial waters made before 1969
  • Schedule E
    A Water Quality Agreement. This Schedule became part of the Master Agreement in 1992.

The sharing of waters of eastward flowing streams (including Cold River, Beaver River, North Saskatchewan River, Battle River, Eyehill Creek, South Saskatchewan River, Boxelder Creek, Battle Creek, Middle Creek and Lodge Creek) between Alberta and Saskatchewan is governed by Schedule A of the Master Agreement On Apportionment. The general principle of the agreement is outlined in Paragraph 3, Schedule A, which states:

"Alberta shall permit a quantity of water equal to one-half the natural flow of each watercourse to flow into the Province of Saskatchewan, and the actual flow into the Province of Saskatchewan shall be adjusted from time to time on an equitable basis during each calendar year, but this shall not restrict or prohibit Alberta from diverting or consuming any quantity of water from any watercourse provided that Alberta diverts water to which it is entitled of comparable quality from other streams or rivers into such watercourse to meet its commitments to Saskatchewan with respect to each watercourse."

And by paragraph 2b which states:
"For the purpose of this agreement, the said natural flow shall be determined at a point as near as reasonably may be to the said common boundary."

The above rinciple applies to streams flowing eastward from Alberta to Saskatchewan, but several special provisions have been included in the agreement on sharing the waters of the South Saskatchewan River and of Battle, Middle and Lodge Creek.

Apportionment monitoring is carried out for the South Saskatchewan River, Battle Creek, Middle Creek and Lodge Creek and Cold River, but not for the Beaver River, North Saskatchewan River, Battle River, Boxelder Creek and Eyehill Creek, as Alberta's consumptive water use in these streams is an insignificant portion of the natural flow.


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Updated: Jan 10, 2010