Engagement and Past Planning

Fall 2016

A summary document (PDF), of the working draft of the Integrated Watershed Management Plan.

The results of the engagement process are contained in a report that can be downloaded (PDF) or download the Executive Summary (PDF).

The Watershed Council has been meeting with First Nations and Métis communities in the watershed since the fall of 2015.

LSWC staff regularly met with representatives from municipal governments in the watershed throughout the IWMP process. Local governments have a key role to play in the development and implementation of the plan.

The watershed planning process is being assisted by a Technical Advisory Committee, which consists of members from government, industry, academia, conservation and other sectors and provides technical and professional advice to support the development of the plan.

2015 Watershed Planning - Finding Solutions

Results from the workshops and the response forms were used to prepare a report on the consultation process.

The Watershed Council identified 11 issues that the watershed plan addresses based on public and stakeholder consultations, and other Watershed Council documents:

  1. Increased phosphorus loading and associated algae growth in lakes
  2. Increased land development causing erosion, run-off, and sedimentation, and loss of wetlands
  3. Stream crossings in upper watershed fragment fish habitat, and cause erosion and sediment loading
  4. Agricultural crop production contributes to sedimentation and nutrient loading, and chemical use degrades water quality and harms aquatic species
  5. Increased freshwater use across all sectors
  6. Unstable Lake levels
  7. Impact of hydraulic fracturing on groundwater and the demand for freshwater
  8. Degradation and loss of riparian are
  9. Degradation and loss of wetlands
  10. Unrestricted access to streams and riparian areas by livestock degrades riparian areas and water quality
  11. Lack of knowledge on cumulative water withdrawal

Five First Nations, two Métis Settlements and one Métis organization were contacted. Meetings took place with the Swan River First Nation, the Driftpile First Nation and Peavine Métis Settlement. All the meetings were positive.

LSWC Integrated Watershed Management Plan Engagement Report

2014 preparing for the plan

In 2015 the LSWC worked with CPP Environmental to complete a watershed risk assessment, develop a communication and engagement strategy, and a Terms of Reference for the Project Steering Committee. 

The LSWC Steering Committee also finalized the IWMP project terms of Reference and it was submitted to Alberta Environment and Parks. Download the IWMP Terms of Reference.

2013 - Stakeholder Engagement and Terms of Reference

The LSWC and Aquality Environmental hosted a stakeholder workshop to:

  • Introduce the watershed issues and concerns highlighted in the Abell’s Henry report (2012).
  • Introduce the concept of SDM to stakeholders within the watershed and provide a venue to gather information and input towards the development of an IWMP.
  • Openly discuss watershed issues, risk and prioritization strategies.
  • Through the SDM process first steps; determine next steps and future direction for the IWMP and associated technical studies.

Aquality Environmental prepared a summary document outlining the IWMP planning process, the SDM process and what the main water management concerns of the September 19th participants were. The appendix to the document provide a copy of the information PowerPoint that was delivered by Jay White at the workshop and a copy of the participant workbook.

For a copy, please download the PDF: SDM Workshop Summary Report

Download a PDF version of Jay’s Presentation - HERE

2012 - Watershed Visioning

Click here, to download a copy of the IWMP Project Information Sheet

In 2012, the LSWC began to reach out to people who live, work and play in our watershed to find out what matters to them when it comes to our water and our lake. The first part of the project involved selecting 24 people from around the watershed, and providing the LSWC with a broad representation of all stakeholder groups and interests.

The LSWC project team members conducted one on one interviews with participants and asked the following questions:

  • In the time you have lived here, what are the changes you have seen or concerns that you have?
    • What do you think is the cause of these changes or concerns?
  • What do you think the greatest risks to our watershed as we move into the future?
  • Based on the changes, concerns, and risks you identified, on a scale of 1 - 5, with 1 being not concerned and 5 being very concerned, how concerned are you about the future of our watershed?
  • What do you think we need to do now to address your concerns?
    • Who do you think is responsible for doing this?
    • What do you think the Lesser Slave Watershed Council can do to help?
    • What do you think you can do to help?
  • Are there areas in our watershed that you are aware of that you feel should be protected or preserved?

Based on what we heard during the interviews an online survey was developed to reach out to the broader watershed and quantify their feelings around the watershed issues and concerns identified. The survey was posted on the LSWC website for a month and we received about 60 responses.

students-300x221.jpegMike and Susan engaged high school students in the project by visiting three high school classes in High Prairie. The Science 10 and Biology 20 students were very helpful in sharing their ideas and thoughts with us. Two public open houses were held to present the findings of the interviews and survey. The Slave Lake and High Prairie events had about a dozen people at each and those who came were very engaged in the subject matter. At the open house events, the LSWC Executive Director shared information about the LSWC and the role of WPAC’s in watershed planning in Alberta to set the context for the issue scoping presentation that Susan Abells delivered.

The Grade 10 Science Students at EW Pratt had an excellent grasp of why we need to manage water resources properly. After all, they are our future!

For a full project description and results please download the PDF: Final Report