Wednesday, 03 April 2013 14:53

Watershed management plan for southeast Alberta well underway

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Maggie Romuld,  project co-ordinator, gave an update about the work being done on the Integrated Watershed Management Plan. Maggie Romuld, project co-ordinator, gave an update about the work being done on the Integrated Watershed Management Plan. Photo by Rose Sanchez

This year, officials with the South East Alberta Watershed Alliance (SEAWA) will focus their attention on the second phase of the Integrated Watershed Management Plan (IWMP).


Maggie Romuld, IWMP project co-ordinator, gave an update about the plan at SEAWA’s Annual General Meeting March 19.
“Cities, communities, industry and government must share the responsibility (for watershed management),” said Romuld. “SEAWA is just a facilitator. The watershed management plan belongs to the region.”
The IWMP helps guide the development, protection, maintenance or restoration of the watershed while balancing environmental, social and economic needs.
“It sets out the shared goals for a region and provides watershed management advice to decision-making authorities to address issues raised by (stakeholders),” added Romuld.
“Basically we’re trying to get everyone together to play nice when it comes to water and the land.”
A lot of issues surrounding water and its management are similar as other areas of the province. Romuld said many people want to see a wetlands policy in place in Alberta, and there are issues surrounding endangered species and water quality.
Phase 2 of the IWMP involved ensuring stakeholders are engaged and informed about watershed issues. This includes strengthening partnerships and as well filling water quality data gaps to support science-based recommendations in Phase 3 of the plan.
There are six sub-basins in the South Saskatchewan watershed, but data is only available on two of them. SEAWA wants to focus on gathering data for the rural areas and tributaries.
“We do a lot of activities, but it’s a constant challenge,” said Romuld, about public engagement.
Anyone wanting more information about SEAWA or the IWMP can find it online at: www.seawa.ca.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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