Alberta plans for drought with new advisory committee

Cracked earth. Wikimedia commons. CC license
Cracked earth. Wikimedia commons. CC license

The province is striking a new advisory committee to help Alberta conserve and manage water during a potential drought.

After several dry years, Alberta’s winter snowpack is well below average, many rivers are at record low levels, and multiple water reservoirs remain well below capacity.

“When it comes to water, we are all in it together,” said Rebecca Shulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas.

“This committee will provide me with ideas and perspectives from leaders across the province. They’ll share what they are hearing and seeing and help identify new or better ways to support families, farms, ranches and businesses if we face a severe drought this year.”

Alberta’s six-person Drought Advisory Committee will bring together leaders with experience in agriculture, irrigation, Indigenous, industry, rural, and urban issues.

In the coming months, the Water Advisory Committee will meet regularly to discuss and debate ideas on how best to prepare for and respond to drought, give feedback on work already underway and suggest new ways to help manage water as fairly and efficiently as possible. The members will also help identify long-term solutions to benefit future generations.

The Water Advisory Committee will include:

  • Justin Wright, MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat
  • Paul McLauchlin, reeve of Ponoka County and president of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta
  • Ian Anderson, former CEO of Trans Mountain
  • Alex Ostrop, chair of the Alberta Irrigation Districts Association
  • Jack Royal, CEO of the Blackfoot Confederacy Tribal Council
  • Tanya Thorn, mayor of Okotoks and director, Towns South on the board of Alberta Municipalities

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