Watershed Management Planning

Integrated Watershed Management Plans (IWMPs)

IWMPs are the second key deliverable produced by Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils (WPACs). These plans provide advice to governments and agencies that have policy and regulatory decision-making authority for land and resource management. Collaboration is central to the development of IWMPs, which are based on consensus agreement and inclusive participation of stakeholders and community representatives from within the watershed.

Finalized in 2015, the Guide to Watershed Management Planning in Alberta provides advice on the steps to develop and implement a watershed management plan. The guide is based on the iterative process of adaptive management, from planning through to implementation and evaluation, and back to planning.

Water management plans and watershed management plans: what is the difference?

Unlike watershed management plans, water management plans are statutory plans developed under the Water Act. They provide guidance for regulatory decisions made under the Water Act, including the establishment of minimum in-stream flows, conditions on diversions, and strategies for the protection of the aquatic environment. When a water management plan is approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, it becomes an "Approved Water Management Plan" and must be considered when making water approval decisions.

Find out if an IWMP has been developed for your watershed

Each WPAC is taking its own approach to the development of an IWMP and is at a different stage in the process. The list of watershed plans below will be continuously updated as new plans become available. For more information about the status of watershed planning work, click on any of the WPAC names below to consult their website.

Note: Alberta Environment and Parks is a key contributor to the development of these plans. The department coordinates a cross-ministry review of the plans upon completion, and provides ongoing support for their implementation.


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Updated: Aug 25, 2015