An Integrated Watershed Management Plan (IWMP) is a guiding document for use by landowners, governments, planners, and all other stakeholders in a watershed. It sets out common goals and objectives for the log term management of land and water resources in the basin.
The LSWC, in consultation with the community and stakeholders, developed a Terms of reference to guide the development of the plan in 2015. The provincial Framework for Water Management Planning (Alberta Environment 1999) and the Guide to Watershed Planning in Alberta (Alberta Government 2015) were consulted. The IWMP aligns with preceding and current provincial planning initiatives and municipal goals, objectives, plans and policies.
This IWMP does not have legislative authority. Howe ever, the Government of Alberta considers IWMP's ass valuable planning documents that inform other policy and regional planning initiatives.
The Lesser Slave IWMP:
- Takes a strong, comprehensive watershed approach.
- Encourages municipal influence by providing recommendations related to municipal development planning, including land use by laws, for future lake shore (subdivision) development planning that is consistent with the goals and objectives of the plan.
- Considers fisheries and wildlife management
- Provides specific recommendations that are accompanied by greater implementation detail, as opposed to general recommendations that are not easily implemented.
Watershed Plan Goals and Objectives
Indicators, Targets and Thresholds
Indicators, targets and thresholds are used to measure success in achieving watershed goals and objectives, or desired watershed outcomes. Indicators were identified for major watershed themes. Indicators expand on those identified in the State of the Watershed Report (Jamison 2009). Criteria used to establish the indicators included: relevance to the watersheds, importance to residents and stakeholders, and measurability. In some instances, indicators relate to more than one theme highlighting the necessity for an integrated approach to watershed management. For example, percent land cover is an indicator for biodiversity as well as for water quality.
Roles and Responsibilities
Collaboration between multiple levels of government, various industries (eg., agriculture, forestry, oil and gas), non-government organizations, landowners, leaseholders, and residents in the basin is essential to cumulative effects management in the watershed. Successful implementation of this plan will be achieved when agencies, organizations, and other recognize and accept their individual or shared responsibility for addressing collective goals and objectives that have been established. For the Lesser Slave IWMP general roles and responsibilities for key stakeholders and described in section 8 (pages 16-20). A comprehensive list of applicable legislation, policies and guidelines is provided in Appendix B (pages 85-96)
Summary of Plan Recommendations
Water and wetlands are integral parts of the Lesser Slave watershed and are managed as a precious resource for future generations.
Erosion and Sediment: The process of erosion and transport of sediment to and within Lesser Slave Lake is recognized as a natural process that is accelerated by human alteration and disturbance. Effort should be made to reduce/mitigate future transport of suspended sediment in tributaries to the lake, and minimize shoreline erosion and sediment re suspension due to human activity. Water Quality: Good quality water is necessary for communities that rely on Lesser Slave Lake for their water supply. Water quality is also important to the local sport fishing and tourism industry and should be maintained to support the fishery, contact recreation, and other water sport activities.
Guiding Principles: Healthy Riparian areas associated with rivers, creeks, wetlands, and smaller lakes contribute to better water quality, stable stream banks, flood reduction, and wildlife habitat in the Lesser Slave Watershed.
Guiding Principles: Wetlands provide flood protection and mitigate the impacts of drought through water storage, filter water to improve water quality, and provide habitat for an abundance of wildlife in the watershed. Effort should be made to conserve and protect wetlands of high value.
Guiding Principles: Biodiversity is an important part of the Lesser Slave watershed. Effort should be made to conserve quality habitat in substantial size to support plants, fish, and wildlife throughout the watershed.
Download the complete IWMP and Appendices HERE
Download a copy of the IWMP Summary document HERE
See the Past Planning Work page for details on previous planning work and community engagement associated with the IWMP.