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ABWCI App transition to Survey123

The Alberta Watercourse Crossing Inventory (ABWCI) App is transitioning to a new platform in summer 2023. For more information, email [email protected].


The watercourse crossing program aims to repair and upgrade water crossings along roads, rails and trails to reduce their impact on fish habitats and water quality.

Alberta is home to over 60 species of fish, including native Arctic grayling, Athabasca rainbow trout, bull trout and Westslope cutthroat trout. These species require cold, clean, clear and connected water to survive, and are now experiencing severe declines in population size and distribution, in part due to habitat fragmentation and declines in water quality.

Historical road building practices did not consider all the possible environmental impacts. Now the magnitude of the fish habitat restoration challenge is considerable, with thousands of crossings across the province spanning multiple industrial sectors and regulatory authorities.

Provincial and federal regulators work with crossing owners and stewardship groups to identify and prioritize crossings that maximize ecological outcomes. These regulators include:

  • Ministry of Environment and Protected Areas (EPA)
  • Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)
  • Ministry of Forestry, Parks and Tourism (FPT)
  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Watercourse Crossing Management Directive

The Watercourse Crossing Management Directive is a voluntary program that enables crossing owners to inspect and report on the state of crossings on their properties. The directive will guide the development of a remediation plan, as needed.

Crossing owners that don’t participate in this voluntary program are subject to inspections by the appropriate regulator and may face enforcement actions by the appropriate regulator if their crossing does not comply with current legislation.

To comply with the directive, crossing owners must:

  • Magnifying glass icon

    Crossing owners must have an inspection program for the watercourse crossings that they own. These inspections are subject to audit from the appropriate regulator. The following data must be collected annually for each watercourse:

    • crossing location and crossing type
    • structure sizing
    • fish passage
    • water quality (erosion or sedimentation)
    • presence of barriers
    • any structural issues of the crossing itself that contribute to the potential failure of the crossing
  • Paper and pencil icon

    Watercourse crossing inspection data must be submitted to the applicable regulator by November 30 each year.

  • Wrenches icon

    Crossing owners must submit a plan to address non-compliant crossings by end of March (of the year following their reporting).

    Are you a crossing owner?  Find more information about the program, and priority watershed in the Alberta Watercourse Crossing Owner Information Package.

  • Clasped hands icon
    Watershed-based collaboration for priority remediation

    Contact us to become involved with the:

    • Crossing Owner Stakeholder Advisory Committee
    • Native Trout Coordination Committee

    Collaborative Watershed-based approach to crossing management in priority order for non-compliant crossings can be found in the Watercourse Crossings Management Directive.

Data and maps

The Watercourse crossing program compiles watercourse crossing data and mapping products. Maps coming spring 2023.

If you are a staff, regulator, or member of the directive and you would like to request access to the map, email us.

Municipal grant program

Dedicated remediation funding for municipalities

The Government of Alberta established the Watercourse Crossing Remediation Grant Program in 2021 to provide financial and planning assistance to municipalities to remediate and reclaim roadway crossings that are causing erosion, excessive sedimentation and fragmentation of fish habitat in Alberta. The program will fund $11.5 million of projects between 2021 and 2025.

  • $1.5M in 2021-2022
  • $4M in 2022-2023
  • $3M in 2023-2024
  • $3M in 2024-2025

The grant application guide outlines how qualified municipalities can apply for funding. Applications are open from June 2023 through to October 15, 2023 at 11:59 PM MST and will be considered for 2023-24 funding as they are received.

The grant application guide and form will be available in June 2023.

Related legislation

Provincial and Federal legislation guides the Watercourse Crossing Program.




Connect with the Alberta WCP:

Email: [email protected]
Email (AER): [email protected]

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