The Alberta Water Nexus Simulation

This simulation is best viewed full screen on a desktop with standard resolution or higher.

What would you do to manage water in 2030?

Fast forward to 2030: you’ve become the decision-maker responsible for how water is managed in the Bow River Basin in southern Alberta where the Water-Energy-Food Nexus presents a challenge to manage converging water demands.

First, select how much water is available to use–is it a dry, average, or wet year impacting the river’s flow?

Then use each slider to manipulate the graphs and see how well you can manage the water available under different circumstances.

Adjusting the amounts for agriculture, energy, and communities will reveal trade-offs between these sectors. But don’t forget the river’s health as you also need to consider water requirements for the environment. Also, play with the rate of population growth and see the impacts on overall water availability.

Are you an effective water manager?

Can you ensure the Bow River Basin has enough water to meet the needs of agriculture, energy, and communities while ensuring a healthy river flow? How might climate change impact the situation? Did you sacrifice one sector for another to make it all work?

The Alberta Water Nexus poses many questions and aims to get everyone thinking about a more holistic approach to water management for the province.

Behind the scenes: assumptions and constraints

pdf Click here (1.05 MB) to read more about the calculations and assumptions used to create this simulation.

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Water withdrawn for agricultural production.


Water withdrawn for cooling in natural gas-fired electricity production


Water withdrawn for residential, commercial, and industrial applications


Net consumption for agriculture, energy, and communities