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Basin and Sub-Basin Water Diversions

Water Matters sheds light on the implications that water diversions have on the environmental and the public interest. We also offer proactive management solutions.

Massive diversions of surface and groundwater sources between basins and between sub-basins could pose a major threat to Alberta's water resources.

In Alberta a 'basin-to-basin' diversions (or inter-basin diversion) is the movement of water between Alberta's seven large river basins. A ‘sub-basin-to-sub-basin' diversion (or intra-basin diversion) is the movement of water within a large river basin and between its sub-watersheds.

Intra-basin Diversions

Historically, it has been accepted practice in Alberta to pipe water from one watershed to another-for irrigated agriculture, for example. The pressure to divert water away from a basin has grown. The province's booming population coupled with the growing demands of industry contributes to an increasing number of requests for government-issued water diversions.

While Alberta has a foundation for addressing large-scale basin-to-basin diversions, current law and policy could be improved to address the future challenges associated with sub-basin-to-sub-basin diversions.

Piping Water Between WatershedsRead our report: Piping Water Between Watersheds


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