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The Water for Life Strategy

"All Albertans must recognize there are limits to the available water supply"Water for Life: Alberta’s strategy for sustainability, 2003

Water for Life is the Government of Alberta’s strategy for water. Introduced in 2003, it is one of the most comprehensive in North America. The strategy affects both water quality and quantity issues, as well as environmental concerns. It recognizes that the management and use of water involves not only economic and environmental aspects, but social ones as well. For example, the availability of safe, secure drinking water supplies is a part of the quality of life for Albertans.

"Citizens, communities, industry and government must share responsibility for water management… and work together to improve conditions within their local watershed."
- Water for Life: Alberta’s strategy for sustainability, 2003

Water for Life reflects a change in the thinking toward how water is managed in Alberta. It represents a shift from a government centred, regulatory approach that focuses on water allocation, to one that incorporates principles of place-based management, watershed management, and a shared responsibility for the stewardship of resources.

Water for Life has recognized that Albertan’s wish to be a part of decisions affecting water because those decisions affect them directly. It also recognizes the complexity of issues and the vast amounts of knowledge required to make informed decisions about water. Perhaps most significantly, it recognizes that government by itself cannot do everything with regard to water management. Partnerships play a vital role in supporting and sustaining the Water for Life strategy at provincial, watershed, and local levels.

"Albertans must become leaders at using water more effectively and efficiently…"
- Water for Life: Alberta’s strategy for sustainability, 2003

How we use water is fundamental to all life. How successfully we conserve it, maintain its quality, and recognize and preserve the habitats that depend on it cannot be treated as isolated elements. We cannot do one and not others. The complex and interrelated nature of managing water is at the core of the Water for Life strategy.

We must work together to find the solutions, create the policies, and foster the changes in attitudes and methods that will continue to support wise use and management of water in Alberta.


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Updated: Jul 6, 2018