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Partnerships form a key part of the Water for Life strategy. Water issues can be large or small. They can be local in nature with a direct effect on communities, or they can cross provincial borders and involve national and international interests through transboundary water agreements.

Albertans want to be more engaged in decisions that impact their environment. Partnerships under the Water for Life strategy empower Albertans to become engaged in local water management.

Why have provincial partnerships?

The simple fact is government cannot do everything alone. Nor should it. In the past, the role of government was "command and control" regulatory enforcement. In many respects, it is a reactive approach to protecting the environment, based on correcting something that has gone wrong.

Partnerships help to effectively tackle the challenges of watershed management in Alberta, providing proactive approaches that help guide stewardship and prevent crisis situations. Our partners also provide an education component that helps to build awareness about positive behaviours, best practices, and how the environment is an integral part of everyone’s lives.

Water for Life’s three types of provincial partnerships in Alberta

The Water for Life strategy identifies three types of partnerships. Each focuses on participation at a different geographic scale.

  1. Alberta Water Council (AWC) - the province-wide scale
  2. Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils (WPACS) - the Alberta watershed scale
  3. Watershed Stewardship Groups (WSGs) - the local scale

Although the Government of Alberta maintains the responsibility for implementing the Water for Life strategy and administers water and watershed management, it also participates as a partner on both the Alberta Water Council and the Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils. In addition, government provides staff resources to advise and provide assistance to Watershed Stewardship Groups.

How the Water for Life partnerships work together

At the provincial scale the Alberta Water Council can identify projects and initiatives that would benefit from input or collaboration from Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils and Watershed Stewardship Groups. Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils and Watershed Stewardship Groups are able to raise issues and concerns from either the watershed or local scale to the Alberta Water Council for consideration.

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Updated: Apr 17, 2018