Water charter proposed for southern Alberta

22 Jan 2017
Lethbridge Herald
Stephanie Labbe Southern Alberta Newspapers

The Oldman Watershed Council (OWC) is excited for its new proposed Water Charter 2017 which is targeted to benefit the southwest part of the province.

Anna Garleff, communications specialist for the OWC, says this water charter is important because it is a formal confirmation from both citizens and their municipal leaders they are not only standing behind watershed protection on a theoretical level, but people throughout the Oldman Watershed now recognize there is a heightened sense of urgency and people are ready to act.

“We hope that all the municipal, county and industry leaders will sign on and that key community organizations and schools will also want to throw their support behind the movement and show the rest of the province that southern Alberta can demonstrate leadership,” says Garleff.

Municipal leaders can add themselves to this charter and be a part of the initiative.

It was a good day for the OWC, when on Nov. 3 the City of Lethbridge added itself to the charter. By signing the charter, the community pledges it will do what it can to help better the watershed. Other communities or groups that have signed up include the M.D. of Pincher Creek, Coalhurst, Nobleford, Pogo Bros and Vauxhall.

Garleff says Nanton has also expressed interest in signing the charter and will be following up with the OWC in the new year. Many irrigation district administrators have shown interest as well.

“We hope that people will find out that watershed stewardship is very rewarding and that it is easy and fun to make positive change. We hope people will make new connections and friendships and experience the satisfaction of having done something truly beneficial for everyone who lives, works and plays in the Oldman including for our furred and finned friends,” adds Garleff.

Garleff says the activities of the charter will kick off on the May long weekend and organizations can participate at any time. Water acts can range anywhere from garbage pick-ups and weed pulls to stopping the purchase of bottled water.

People can also take part in storm drain clean ups, stream bank restoration work and bridge decking. These activities can be done anywhere in the watershed. With this charter, the OWC will also organize classroom presentations.