What is a watershed and why are watersheds important to protect?
A watershed is an area of land that catches rain and snow and drains water into a shared destination such as a stream, river, or lake. Watershed protection is important so we continue to protect and improve water quality and ecosystem functioning.
Your Role in Watershed Protection & How can YOU contribute?
- Reduce the use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
- Use environmentally friendly products whenever possible.
- Compost or mulch yard waste to keep it out of waterways.
- Prevent soil erosion by landscaping to minimize run-off.
- Prevent leaks from motor vehicles by performing regular maintenance.
- Dispose of your hazardous materials, such as used batteries and motor oil, at collection facilities.
- Don’t dump materials down the storm sewers because they flow straight to the river.
- If you have livestock, ensure the proper management of their waste.
- Clean up after your pets.
- Take part in citizen’s groups to protect the watershed.
- Remember that we all live downstream of someone and to follow “good neighbour” practices.
Watershed Protection Resources
North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance
NSWA has developed an integrated Watershed Management Plan (IWMP) for the North Saskatchewan River Basin. You can check out the NSWA progress on th eplan and learn how you can contribute, visit their Website here.
Understanding Alberta Watershed environmental issues
Water Matters provides a public voice to protect Alberta’s watersheds. For various reports on watersheds and a detailed description of each Alberta watershed, see their website here.
Alberta Stewardship Network
This link provides a directory which gives a listing of watershed organizations within the seven major basins. Along with contact information there is also a profile of the organization to help other groups with similar projects.
Watershed Stewardship Grant Program
Grants from a variety of partners provide support to the Alberta Stewardship Network who then can provide funds to Watershed Stewardship groups wishing to apply. For more grant information use this link.
How to create a Watershed Report
Groups interested in the state of watershed reporting are encouraged to use Alberta Environment’s Handbook for State of the Watershed Reporting.
Water For Life Strategy
This was developed to recognize changing water needs, economic growth and changing population. The Environment Minister requested the Alberta Water Council provide recommendations for renewed Water for Life Strategy keeping in mind the above changes.
Alberta Ecotrust Foundation
Alberta Ecotrust created the Watershed Protectors Program to improve long-term watershed protection in Alberta. The program provides assistance to local volunteer watershed stewards to work more effectively and collaboratively in their conservation and protection roles.
Water Education Information
Alberta River Watch – provides Grade 8 – 12 science and biology students in Calgary and Edmonton with a chance to participate in this national award-winning science resource program. Alberta River Watch helps science classes to explore a 10 km section of their local river during a raft float trip. Along the way, students make shoreline stops to conduct water chemistry and biology tests. Back at school, students use the data they collect to answer the question, “How healthy is our river?” For more information visit their website here. Alberta Lake Managment Society – The purpose of the Society is to promote understanding and comprehensive management of lakes and reservoirs and their watersheds. Visit their website here.