Right to Water

Experts warn water research could be hindered

EDMONTON - Water research in Alberta was dealt a blow this week when an important institute received news its work will now be directed by a board with energy industry priorities, water experts say.

The experts fear this means some basic research about the health, maintenance and reclamation of wetlands, rivers, lakes and watersheds won’t get done.

The Alberta Water Research Institute is headed by Lorne Taylor, a former Conservative environment minister. Taylor, who spearheaded the province’s Water for Life strategy, built the institute into a highly regarded organization that garnered praise for its independent international panel.

He was too upset Wednesday to talk about what was happening.

But several highly regarded water experts who sit on the institute’s advisory boards didn’t mince words.... Read more »

Draft Athabasca Land Use Plan Infringes Treaty 8

First Nations in Oil Sands Region say that the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan does not protect enough land and resources to sustain their traditional livelihood and creates legal risk for Alberta

- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -                                                                                                                    April 8, 2011

 ... Read more »

Mikisew Cree disagree with province’s draft plan

The Mikisew Cree First Nation is vehemently rejecting the province's latest attempt to balance oilsands production with environmental stewardship.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that the First Nation has been consulting with and providing information to the province about land-use concerns long before the land-use secretariat was created, said Melody Lepine, director of government and industry relations for the Mikisew Cree, this morning.

The province released its draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan Wednesday, the first regional plan developed under Albertas land-use Framework. With oilsands production expected to double within the decade, the draft regional plan, said the province, will conserve more than two-million hectares of habitat for native species. It will also increase recreation and tourism opportunities, plan for infrastructure and put strict environmental limits in place for air, land disturbance and water.... Read more »

Our Water Is Not For Sale Network Responds to Alberta Irrigation Districts' Declaration

Legislations not declarations needed to ensure water is protected for ecosystems, human needs, treaty rights and future generations

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Water rights could be up for sale, group says

As people around the globe celebrated World Water Day March 22 — which advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources — residents and environmental organizations in Alberta are concerned the provincial government may be heading towards a water market system.

“No longer will water be for the public good,” said Kevin Force, water educator with the Sierra Club.

“It will become private property.”

However, a spokeswoman for Alberta Environment said concerns are unsubstantiated.

“The government has no intention to privatize or sell our water,” said Carrie Sancartier.

At a March 15 presentation in Calgary, Force said a review announced by the province in 2008 is presently considering changes to the current water allocation system in Alberta.... Read more »


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