Province to invest in drought and flood protection

The province is planning to spend $125 million over five years to protect Albertans from floods and drought.

The Government says in recent years, many parts of the province have experienced flooding while many others have seen water shortages and drought conditions.

In an effort to help municipalities and Indigenous communities better prepare for extreme weather events, the Government is budgeting additional funds to build infrastructure to better protect Albertans.

“Droughts and floods can devastate public infrastructure and private property, disrupt our economy, damage the environment, and put lives at risk,” says Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas.

“The new Drought and Flood Protection Program would help communities across the province build the practical infrastructure they need to help protect people’s homes and keep businesses going, regardless of the weather.”

The Drought and Flood Protection Program builds on the work of the Alberta Community Resilience Program, which ended in 2020.

The province says this funding is part of their work to prepare for the risk of a severe drought this year and develop the long-term strategies and infrastructure needed to help maximize Alberta’s long-term water supply.

Alberta’s NDP say the plan does not recognize the role climate change plays in extreme weather conditions in the province.

“The UCP has admitted that Alberta is facing our worst drought since 2001,” says Sarah Elmeligi, Alberta NDP Banff-Kananaskis MLA & Critic for Environment and Tourism.

Elmeligi also expressed concerns over the lack of emphasis on regional cooperation in approaching extreme weather events. She notes that issues like drought cross municipal boundaries and affect many areas of the province at once.

“I know that Albertans will bravely face this potentially devastating season with the cooperative spirit they have always shown,” said Elmeligi.

“The risk, however, of the government refusing to take climate change seriously must not hinder how it prepares for the extreme drought risk this year.”

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