How Water is Governed: What is "Water for Life?"
"Water for Life" is a strategic action plan set by the Alberta Government in 2003 by then Minister of the Environment Lorne Taylor. This plan looks at strategizing effective ways to ensure water availability for future generations with three main goals:
- Safe, secure drinking water;
- Healthy aquatic ecosystems; and
- Reliable, quality water supplies for a sustainable economy.
This "Water For Life" strategy involves strategic thinking, planning and action around current water use. The Government of Alberta has released the action plan as a guide for the government and its partners to follow over the next 10 years. The "Water for Life" strategy analyzes the population increase and economic growth that Alberta has seen over the past years, which has impacted Albertans’ changing water needs.
The goals outlined within this plan are expected to be achieved through extensive research, knowledge, partnerships and education. The action plan demonstrates Alberta’s commitment to the "Water for Life" approach: the wise management of our province’s water resources for the benefit of all Albertans.
“All Albertans must recognize there are limits to the available water supply” – Water for Life: Alberta’s Strategy for Sustainability, 2003.
As part of Water for Life: Alberta's Strategy for Sustainability, Alberta Environment has released two reports that offer insight into the state of Alberta’s water resources and will help inform the decisions made by government and watershed planning and advisory groups for the next 20 years.
- Current and Future Water Use in Alberta
- Information synthesis and initial assessment of the status and health of aquatic ecosystems in Alberta: surface water quality, sediment quality and non-fish biota
Alberta Environment has also conducted an initial assessment of the health of the province's aquatic ecosystems.
Their reports provides an overview of current knowledge on Alberta’s major water bodies, based on an assessment of water and sediment quality and invertebrate and algal information. Most sites marked on the report's maps show 'excellent' or 'good' water quality. None was rated 'poor'. This science-based, province-wide evaluation helps us spot where data and information gaps exist and need to be addressed. Click here to read those reports.
Alberta Environment commissioned a group of nine world experts from the Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy to review and make recommendations to strengthen Water for Life. Their review is clear that implementation of the strategy should continue.
- Report of the Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy to the Ministry of Environment, Province of Alberta (2007)