Approved Water Management Plan to be Developed for the Milk River Basin 

*Project has currently been put on hold*

An Approved Water Management Plan (AWMP) is a mechanism that provides direction to decision-makers regarding water allocation decisions under the Water Act, and provides assurance that the goals of the Water For Life Strategy are being achieved, including: safe, secure drinking water; healthy aquatic ecosystems; and reliable, quality water supplies for a sustainable economy.

In 2015, the Milk River Watershed Council Canada published our Integrated Watershed Management Plan, which recommends the development of an Approved Water Management Plan for the Milk River Basin with a specific focus on water allocation transfers under the provisions of the Water Act.  In response, Alberta Environment and Parks agreed to the development of an approved water management to address stakeholder concerns raised over the need for secure reliable, quality water supplies to support economic development in the basin.  Efforts are being made to ensure that this plan aligns with priorities of the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan and Alberta’s Water for Life Strategy.  The Framework for Water Management Planning was followed in developing this plan, as described in the Terms of Reference for an Approved Water Management Plan to be developed for the Milk River Basin (Alberta) – Phase One, approved on March 17, 2016.

From March to May 2016, Alberta Environment and Parks invited stakeholders and Indigenous people from Treat 6 and Treaty 7 to provide feedback on the Draft Approved Water Management Plan for the Milk River Basin (Alberta) – Phase One.  The feedback received was used to update the draft water management plan.

An open house public meeting was held on April 7, 2016 at the Heritage Hall in the Town of Milk River, Alberta.  The purpose of the meeting was to provide an update on the planning process and an opportunity to gather feedback on the draft water management plan. Invitations to the meeting were sent to municipalities, Indigenous peoples and water license holders in the basin.  The meeting was organized in partnership with the MRWCC.

Alberta Environment and Parks displayed posters of maps and information on water allocations and natural flows of the Milk River and the eastern tributaries (Lodge, Middle and Battle creeks).  A summary was presented on the process for developing the terms of reference for the planning process based on feedback received from November to December 2015.  The comment form on the draft water management plan was presented and summary notes were captured to record the verbal feedback and questions.  Participants were also invited to provide written feedback on the draft water management plan through the comment form.  Offers were extended to meet with stakeholders and Indigenous people in-person as needed.  Feedback on the draft water management plan was accepted until May 27, 2016.

A total of 29 people attended the public meeting on April 7, 2016 including local residents, water licensees, landowners and representatives from municipalities, First Nations, the Metis Nation of Alberta, Milk River Watershed Council of Canada (MRWCC) and Government of Alberta. 

If you require more information please contact Phil Boehme by email at phil.boehme@gov.ab.ca or by phone at 403-340-7195.

Terms of Reference