The Wapiti River basin lies within the Peace River watershed. Of all the basins in the Peace River watershed, the Wapiti basin has the highest concentration and diversity of water withdrawals and wastewater discharge. Communities in the Wapiti River basin had expressed concerns about water use from the river, particularly about diversions during winter low-flow periods and the potential negative impacts to the aquatic environment.
In response, a steering committee of local stakeholders was formed in 2012. Since then, the steering committee has engaged with the public, stakeholders and Indigenous communities and organizations, which led to the creation of the draft Wapiti River Water Management Plan.
The draft plan provides guidance and recommendations on balancing the needs of municipal water supply, industry uses, agriculture and other uses, while ensuring a healthy aquatic ecosystem in the Alberta portion of the Wapiti River basin.
Albertans were invited to provide feedback on the draft plan using an online survey from February 10 to May 8, 2020. Due to COVID-19, a planned open-house meeting in Grande Prairie on March 18, 2020 was cancelled.
Once the feedback is reviewed, a final plan will be presented as recommendations to the Alberta government. If the recommendations are adopted, they will help form new policy for water licensing in the Wapiti River basin.
During this final phase, prospective licensees and water licence applicants are proactively designing their plans with due consideration given to the Wapiti River Water Management Plan objectives. Water licence applicants within the basin are expected to make adjustments to their applications where necessary to meet the plan's water diversion limits.
Results under review
Who is listening
Ministry of Environment and Parks
Last updated: June 17, 2020