Applicants proposing an activity that will impact a wetland must submit a wetland assessment to the regulatory body with their application and all other required plans.
Any wetland assessment submitted to the regulatory body must be signed by an authenticating professional (see Wetland Professional Practice Standard section below).
A suite of guides and tools have been developed to support standardized wetland assessments for professionals.
Alberta Wetland Identification and Delineation Directive
This directive provides guidance on how to define a wetland and delineate its ecological extent. The directive also provides submission standards for creating a spatial file of a wetland.
The template below can be used to create a spatial shape file of a wetland:
Alberta Wetland Classification System
The Alberta Wetland Classification System groups wetlands into 5 major classes – bogs, fens, swamps, marshes and shallow open water wetlands – based on common physical, chemical and biological characteristics. The system subdivides each class by their vegetative form (for example, dominated by trees, shrubs, grass-like plants, aquatic plants) and type (for example, water permanence, pH, salinity).
Alberta Wetland Assessment and Impact Report (WAIR)
For the majority of activities that may impact a wetland, a qualified professional or team must prepare a WAIR in accordance with the Alberta Wetland Assessment and Impact Report Directive. The report must be signed by an authenticating professional and submitted as part of the regulatory application(s).
Alberta Wetland Assessment and Impact Form (WAIF)
The WAIF is used to support low risk activities regulated by AEP and the AER. For eligible activities, the form is to be used in place of the WAIR and must be authenticated by a qualified professional and submitted with a regulatory application(s) or notification and all other required plans. Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool - Desktop (ABWRET-D) results must be obtained from AEP and attached to this form.
Questions related to activities regulated by AEP can be submitted to:
Questions related to AER regulated energy resource activities within a wetland can be submitted to:
Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool – Actual (ABWRET-A)
ABWRET-A is a standardized method for assessing the function of wetlands using onsite observations and offsite spatial data. The relative value determined by ABWRET-A is used to inform decisions to avoid high-value wetlands and determines the replacement ratios and costs for wetland replacement where avoidance is not possible. ABWRET-A results must be obtained from AEP and attached with a WAIR as part of the Policy’s requirements.
ABWRET-A is calibrated for 2 broad regions in Alberta: the Parkland-Grassland Natural Regions and the Boreal-Foothills Natural Regions. The appropriate guide and form is determined by the natural region in which the wetland(s) is located. If the project is on the border of two natural regions, the Boreal-Foothills tool should be used if the majority of wetlands are peatlands and the Parkland-Grassland tool should be used if the majority of wetlands are mineral wetlands. The assessment must be completed during the growing season.
Parkland and Prairie Natural Region Wetlands
Boreal and Foothills Natural Region Wetlands
To obtain a relative wetland value for a wetland, submit the wetland shapefile(s) and the completed ABWRET-A Form to:
Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool – Desktop (ABWRET-D)
The Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool – Desktop (ABWRET-D) was developed to support wetland evaluation for eligible activities that require a WAIF. ABWRET-D results must be obtained from AEP and attached to a WAIF.
Wetland spatial files are used in the calculation and no field assessment is required. Delineation of wetland extent must be completed in accordance with one of the desktop pathways and follow the submission standards outlined in the Alberta Wetland Identification and Delineation Directive.
To obtain a relative wetland value with ABWRET-D, submit the wetland shapefile(s) and the completed ABWRET-D Form to: