Water Allocation Management

Currently, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) uses its water policies and legislation to allocate and manage the quality and quantity of our water resources to ensure safe, secure drinking water, healthy aquatic ecosystems and reliable water supplies for the economy.

The Water Act guides the department’s work through the use of legislative tools such as approvals and licences, guidelines, and codes of practice. In addition, Alberta’s Water for Life strategy has provided the province’s overall water management roadmap since 2003.

However, Alberta’s water supply and demands on it are changing. Pressures such as population and economic growth, new values and demands for water and the impacts of climate change have put a strain on our current water allocation management system.

With a mindset to adapt and respond to today’s regional water needs, while preparing for future water challenges, the Government of Alberta is reviewing its current water allocation management system. Through discussions with government, communities, industry and the public, the Government of Alberta is reviewing the system to ensure Albertans continue to have access to safe, secure water supplies.

As part of this process, the department has received recommendations from various groups. The Minister’s Advisory Group, a group of experts chosen by the Minister of AEP, has recommended ways to better allocate water for environmental, social and economic needs. The group, co-chaired by Dr. David Percy, former Dean of Law at the University of Alberta, consisted of nine water policy academics, scientists, water-law experts, and recognized industry leaders.

Government has also received recommendations from the Alberta Water Council, which has reviewed the current water allocation transfer system.

This information will be considered along with other research when developing water policy options.


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Updated: Dec 11, 2015