Runoff from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains is the major water supply for the large southern rivers of the prairie provinces. These rivers flow eastward across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to empty into the Hudson Bay.

To ensure water resources are shared fairly, the Provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and the Government of Canada created the Prairie Province Water Board in 1948. In 1969, the 4 governments changed how the Prairie Provinces Water Board operated by signing the Master Agreement on Apportionment (MAA).

The purpose of the MAA is to apportion or share water equitably between the prairie provinces and to protect transboundary surface water quality and groundwater aquifers. The Prairie Provinces Water Board administers the agreement and provides a forum to resolve and report on interprovincial water issues.

The MAA includes the following 5 schedules:

  1. Schedule A: Apportionment Agreement between Alberta and Saskatchewan
  2. Schedule B: Apportionment Agreement between Saskatchewan and Manitoba
  3. Schedule C: Prairie Provinces Water Board Agreement describing the composition, functions and duties of the Board
  4. Schedule D: listing of Orders-in-Council for allocations of interprovincial waters made before 1969
  5. Schedule E: Water Quality Agreement

The Prairie Provinces Water Board is currently developing an additional Schedule, “F”, on groundwater.


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