The Lesser Slave Watershed Council (LSWC) is a non-profit, charitable organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Members of the council are representatives from towns, municipalities, Indigenous & Metis communities, industries, land owners, and other non-profit organizations who have an interest in how the waters of Lesser Slave Lake and its tributaries are managed. We first came together as a group of concerned citizens in the late 1990s. In 2006 the LSWC became a not for profit society, and in 2007 the LSWC was recognized by the province of Alberta as the Watershed Planning and Advisory Council (WPAC) for the Lesser Slave watershed. In 2010 were granted status as a Canadian charitable organization.
A healthy resilient watershed that is valued and stewarded by engaged citizens and communities.
The Lesser Slave Watershed Council works to improve and maintain a healthy watershed through education, planning and implementation of shared initiatives in support of communities and ecosystems throughout the region.
A healthy Lesser Slave watershed
- Be accountable to all stakeholders and citizens within the watershed.
- Work collaboratively with stakeholders and citizens to improve the health of the lake and its watershed.
- Share responsibility for the health of the lake and its watershed by involving communities and stakeholders in watershed management.
- Promote a better understanding of natural watershed processes and the interaction between land, water, ecosystem and human activities.
LSWC Strategic Goals
- Maintain Good Governance
- Be a Convener and Collaborator
- Engage in Policy and Planning
- Lead or Support Monitoring and Reporting
- Promote Education, Literacy, Stewardship
Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils in Alberta
WPACs are important stewards of Alberta's major watersheds. They are independent, non-profit organizations that are designated by Alberta Environment and Parks to report on the health of our watersheds, lead collaborative planning, and facilitate education and stewardship activities.
WPACs engage representatives of key stakeholders in the river basin area, including municipal, provincial and federal governments; industrial sectors; conservation groups; aboriginal communities; academia; and the public. In their work, they seek consensus on land and water resource management strategies that support the achievement of shared environmental, social, and economic outcomes for the watershed.
Check out the 'Watershed Planning in Alberta' presentation here, which highlights much of the work that WPACs do!
The 11 WPAC's in Alberta are:
- Athabasca Watershed Council
- Battle River Watershed Alliance
- Bow River Basin Council
- Lesser Slave Watershed Council
- LICA Environmental Stewards
- Mighty Peace Watershed Alliance
- Milk River Watershed Council Canada
- North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance
- Oldman Watershed Council
- Red Deer River Watershed Alliance
- South East Alberta Watershed Alliance
Download the 2020-21 WPAC Compendium HERE
The roles of Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils in Alberta are:
1. Convener and Collaborator
Providing important forums and opportunities for stakeholders and community members to meet to share information and identify, discuss and recommend priorities for issues and initiatives within their watershed. Working in partnership with stakeholders supporting and leading various projects, programs and initiative that address watershed-related issues.
2. Monitoring and Reporting
Focusing on regional issues and monitoring needs related to watershed health and management to fill data gaps and ensure best practices are followed. WPACs produce “state of the watershed” reports identifying local pressures facing the watershed, and any data or research gaps that may need to be addressed.
3. Policy and Planning
Acting as a source of knowledge and regional perspectives for relevant policy development at all levels of government. Promoting and coordinating the creation and implementation of opportunities to integrate and adopt strategies from various planning, policy and operational products and processes. WPACs prepare integrated watershed management plans (IWMPs) that identify issues and examine the best course of action to address them as advice to decision makers, including the Government of Alberta.
4. Education and Literacy
Engaging in education and outreach to improve overall scientific literacy, with a focus on raising public awareness about issues and stewardship within our watershed. We recognize the value of public involvement in water issues and watershed management, and deliver water-based education and environmental literacy programs to build community capacity and active participation.