Learn more about sector-based planning by the Water Conservation, Efficiency and Productivity (CEP) Project Team and the Alberta Water Council's efforts to improve water use in Alberta.
The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) is leading the development and implementation of a CEP plan for the urban municipal sector. The AUMA’s CEP Plan was approved by their membership on November 5th 2009 at their Annual Convention with 89% support. Due to the extensive length of the full report, a shorter policy paper was put forward for approval, rather than the full-length CEP Plan. The AUMA expects to present their plan to the Alberta Water Council at their March 2010 meeting. The policy paper and complete CEP plan can be found online at http://water.auma.ca. The urban municipal CEP plan and its targets are primarily based on input the AUMA received from members via feedback at AUMA events and guidance from a Team of Experts. Their targets focus on: (1) increasing water use reporting, (2) estimating a municipal infrastructure leak index, (3) getting municipal CEP plans in place (that is, plans for individual cities, towns and villages), and (4) implementing incentives or disincentives to promote water-efficient fixtures.
The AUMA has developed a water microsite to assist urban municipalities in implementing the plan by providing information, resources and a member discussion forum. The microsite is now available at http://water.auma.ca. Resources (either completed or upcoming) include a model bylaw, a model motion, tools to estimate municipal infrastructure leakage, a guide to assist municipalities in completing their individual CEP plans, and resources to get started using Alberta Environment’s online Water Use Report System.
The Alberta Irrigation Projects Association (AIPA) is leading the development of a CEP plan for the irrigation sector. They have completed a final draft of their plan, reviewed the draft with their board, and provided time for additional feedback and revisions, based on input from their board members. Although this report was originally scheduled for approval at the AIPA’s September 2009 board meeting, on-going concerns surrounding the recommended targets resulted in additional discussion and review. Revisions to the report based on AIPA board feedback are nearly complete, and it is tentatively expected to be approved at their March 2010 board meeting. In the meantime, the Irrigation Districts have been invited to start work on strategies for each district describing how they can contribute to implementing their sector’s CEP plan.
A key learning for the AIPA in completing their plan was the need for early and in-depth engagement of sector representatives to ensure issues and interests are identified and addressed as early in the process as possible. The time required to complete the plan to date is well over 250 person-days and counting.
The development of a CEP plan for this sector is being coordinated by the Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA). The forestry sector has established their committee and completed their data collection. They are now working on converting all of the data into the same format and collecting a list of water-related BMPs for both mechanical and craft mills. Sector engagement has been strong, although staff turnover has been a challenge for advancing the project. This sector has recently hired a consultant to assist them in developing their plan. The AFPA is continuing to work to include some members of the forestry industry that are not members of their umbrella organization. They also plan to post progress toward their CEP plan on the AFPA’s website www.albertaforestproducts.ca.
Oil & Gas / Oil Sands Mining
The Oil and Gas sector has established their CEP planning committee as a sub-group of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ (CAPP) Water Task Group, plus an additional member from the Alberta Chamber of Resources, representing the Oil Sands Mining sector. They have decided to develop a single plan for both sectors and have completed the first three chapters of their plan. These chapters are now being reviewed by key internal stakeholders. Data collection is nearly complete and verification of the data has begun. They are working to cross-reference their water licence data with Alberta Environment’s water licence database to ensure licence information is complete and correct. Data collected in this sector includes information about both water licence volumes and actual water use. CAPP has also developed and distributed a survey asking key sector-members to suggest CEP opportunities to consider in developing their plan. This sector plans to organize their CEP plan by watershed and production type (in-situ, conventional oil & gas, oil sands).
Click here, to read the Water Conservation, Efficiency and Productivity Plan for the Upstream Oil and Gas Sector (Revised Draft – November 15, 2010)
Initially, it was agreed that ATCO Power, EPCOR, and the TransAlta Generation Partnership would work together to develop a CEP plan for the power sector. A challenge has arisen since EPCOR has split into two companies – one retaining the name EPCOR that is focused on providing drinking water and wastewater treatment, and a second company called Capital Power that will focus on power generation. This shift has resulted in a need to re-confirm participants’ interest in completing CEP plans and to re- establish this sector’s CEP planning committee. The Alberta Water Council will also need to undertake some work to develop a relationship with Capital Power and reconfirm their interest in participating on the board and in Council activities. Other issues this sector is facing include considering how water conservation, efficiency and productivity may be affected by other environmental initiatives (such as clean-coal and SOx technology).
Chemical and Petrochemical
The Council’s Chemical and Petrochemical sector contains two umbrella organizations: the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, which represents chemical companies; and the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute, which represents petroleum refineries and marketers. Because of their differing water uses and umbrella organizations, the two sub-sectors have agreed to create their plans independently of one another.
Downstream Petroleum Products
This sector represents petroleum refiners and marketers. Their umbrella organization, the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI) is leading the development of this sub-sector’s CEP plan. The CPPI collects water-use data at the national level, which can then be broken down by province. Work to collect baseline water use data is now complete and they have formatted their dataset to align with federal Statistics Canada guidelines so it can be used in both federal and provincial initiatives. They have noticed that the accuracy of the data may not be as high as they would like. Analysis of the data is now underway. Discussion around the specific content of each section of the CEP plan has been initiated. A key consideration for this sector moving forward is how they can devise an approach that is as administratively efficient as possible, so as not to make CEP plans cumbersome for operators to complete and implement.
This sector is represented by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), formerly the Canadian Chemical Producers Association (CCPA). This sector includes a small number of large member companies that operate in Alberta. In general terms, they take methane and ethylene and convert them into a variety of derivatives such as polyethylene and ethylene glycol, which can then be manufactured into other consumer goods, such as film, fibers, latex and light plastics, among many other things. A challenge for this sector has been defining their membership. Many of these companies operate in “clusters” to maximize efficiencies; however, not all companies operating in each cluster are part of the CIAC. Regional initiatives such as watershed planning, and land use framework implementation will complement this sector’s water use understanding.
The rural municipal sector, although not initially identified as a priority for CEP planning within the “municipal” group of sectors, is considering developing a CEP plan for their sector. They are in the preliminary stages of work, focusing on identifying the necessary resources to complete the plan and considering how and when they could begin work. Where possible and appropriate, they may build on and adapt the work of the urban municipal sector’s CEP plan. This sector is represented by the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties.