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  • Southern Alberta's semi-arid climate means drought is common and there is a limited amount of water available. Demand for water is high so it must be managed carefully to ensure there is enough for all users, including cities and towns, irrigators and industry, and enough to keep the river environment healthy.
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  • People have always recognized the importance of water – early settlements were built around sources of freshwater. Rivers, streams and lakes provided transportation routes, drinking water and food and were also used to dispose of waste. They supply electricity and play an important role in commercial and industrial enterprises.
     
    Here are the benefits of a healthy watershed:
    1. Safe Water Supply
    2. Services
    3. Recreational Opportunities
    4. Habitat for Wildlife and Plants
    5. Economic Options
    6. Aesthetic Value
  • Water Management

  • Tips and tricks covering topics ranging from water in our bodies to bodies of water, the video empowers viewers to become active watershed stewards in their own urban neighbourhoods.

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  • The massive consumption of bottled water has a negative impact on environment and at the Chamber we say STOP!

    Bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes. In the US alone, landfills are overflowing with two million tonnes of discarded water bottles. Just producing the plastic bottles for bottled-water consumption worldwide uses 50 million barrels of oil every year, which does not include fossil fuel and emissions costs of greenhouse gases needed to transport the final product to market. It is estimated that around three litres of water is used to package one litre of bottled water. This contributes significantly to depleting groundwater levels and decreasing the downstream water supply.

    We are proud to announce that at the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce we only drink tap water.

  • Water Act

  • In Alberta, we have a system that allows people, companies, and towns to purchase a license to use water from our streams and lakes. The Ministry of Environment manages water licenses through the Water Act and allocates or refuses water to those that apply. This process is based on principles of priority allocation where those with the highest priority are ensured of water before any others. In dry years, this could mean some license holders with the lowest priority may not be able to use any water because there would only be enough for those with higher priority. However, there are provisions in the Water Act that allow sharing of water among all users and this has worked well during past droughts. Priority allocation aims to cause no harm to other users while protecting those who were first in line to apply for water.

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  •  The Yellow Fish Road program's goal is to help Canadians understand that stormdrains are the doorways to our rivers, lakes and streams. Preventing pollutants from entering our stormdrains is critical to protecting and improving our watersheds, water quality and aquatic habitat.

    Youth volunteers paint yellow fish symbols next to storm drains and distribute information to nearby households to remind residents that anything on the street or dumped into storm drains ends up in their local water body untreated.

  • More Videos

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  • Impacted by a water storage dam during the late eighties, the Old Man River, in present-day Alberta, has from time immemorial been the sacred center of the Aputosi Pii'kani people's homelands. 

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  • Lessen your impact at home

    The chemicals used around homes and cottages can affect our rivers and lakes. Untreated runoff from these areas enters water bodies from storm drains. Please take care when handling and disposing of chemicals and other waste materials so that they do not end up in our water bodies.

    • Most towns and cities have Toxic Waste Round-ups where you can safely dispose of paints, batteries, motor oil, cleaners, etc. Contact your local municipal office for information on proper disposal.
    • Use phosphate-free or biodegradable soaps, detergents and cleaners.
    • Use a broom rather than a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks. Not only does this save water, but oil, antifreeze, salt and other contaminants will not be washed right into the storm drains or nearby waterways.
    • Do not apply herbicides if rain or wind is in the forecast! Spot spray dandelions instead of applying herbicides or an herbicide-fertilizer mix over the whole lawn.
    • Medicines flushed down the toilet are not removed at the water treatment plant. Please return them to the pharmacy.
    • Washing your car in the street sends all your soap and oil right to the river. Go to a car wash that recycles or treats their water.
    • Drinking water taken from private sources such as wells should be tested on a regular basis. Contact your health region for free testing of your household water supply.
    • Keep your vehicle motors in good running condition. When it rains, those driveway spills are drained into the storm sewer.
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  • The Oldman watershed is a large, diverse land and water system in southern Alberta, covering 23,000km in southwestern Alberta and 2100 km in Montana.

  • This video appeals to scientists and those interested in the science of watershed work. From an urban point of view, find out what life was like before the city began treating its water, and what is unique about the City’s approach

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  • From the early morning shower to the products we buy, our lives depend on continuous access to water. Southern Alberta’s largest municipality is located in a semi-arid region.