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Water Governance

Water Matters addresses issues of water governance to improve watershed protection.

Water governance can be thought of as the processes and institutions used to make decisions around water. It involves consistent management, cohesive policies, transparent processes and the protection of rights for the appropriate use and protection of water. As demand for water intensifies and pressures on watersheds increase, a strong and effective governance structure is needed to ensure the best decisions are made.

Our Work

To ensure watersheds are protected for everyone, Water Matters seeks to ensure that the governance structures and approaches surrounding decision-making around water results in sustainable long-term decision making. Alberta's main initiative on water resource issues, the Water for Life strategy, acts as a broad governance strategy for decisions around water through 2015. We track the strategy's progress and engage in how the strategy defines our water future.

Water for Life

Water for Life: Alberta's Strategy for Sustainability (2003) embraces a watershed approach to water management planning that allows for water and land issues to be dealt with in tandem. It advocates a collaborative multi-stakeholder governance model. If implemented it has the potential to greatly improve the ways Albertans think about and use water. It has the potential to position Alberta as a leader in protecting watersheds. While Water for Life is a well-designed strategy uneven progress in implementing the strategy's actions has limited its effectiveness to date. Read more...

Shared Governance

Alberta's Water for Life strategy indicates that "shared governance" will act as a primary mechanism to implement the strategy. Shared governance implies shared decision making among government, industry, and the public. While this more inclusive decision making is a good solution to governing a resource that we all share, the details of implementing shared governance are more challenging than anticipated. Read more...