Watershed Planning

Watershed Planning and Advisory Council's in Alberta are tasked with the development of watershed management plans in their respective basins around the province. The LSWC brings together technical experts & professionals with input from public, stakeholders, local governments, First Nations and Métis organizations to develop plans with mutually agreed upon goals and objectives for our lake and watershed.

Economic, administrative and environmental benefits of watershed management planning:

  • Providing various levels of government with information to make decisions on a whole watershed basis;
  • Helping local boards and councils and other decision makers prioritize limited resources;
  • Giving community members a voice in protecting and restoring watershed resources;
  • Providing greater access to resources for project implementation;
  • Targeting activities and programs to areas that need greater protection or to areas where limited resources will be most effective;
  • Setting a baseline for measuring the success of management efforts and reduce the cost of remedial actions by preventing future problems.

The LSWC is committed to facilitating the development of a truly integrated watershed management plan and will build on and draw from the excellent work already completed in other Alberta Watersheds. 

All activities and land uses impact the watershed in some way.


Watershed Planning in Alberta.

Watershed Management

In their report the Alberta Water Council provides twelve recommendations to improve watershed management in Alberta by developing a framework to integrate shared governance and a watershed approach into the existing policy and legislation.

A framework supporting Water for Life that describes how landowners, communities, organizations, industry, and governments can get involved in timely and effective actions for the sustainable management of Alberta’s watersheds.

A reference guide outlining the process for water management planning and the components required for water management plans in Alberta. The framework provides general guidance for a consistent approach to water management planning.

An easy-to-follow glossary of common terms directly associated with water and watershed management in Alberta. The glossary serves as a tool and reference for Water for Life partnerships and working groups.

State of the Watershed Reporting

An overview of the process elements for compiling and evaluating existing and available information for the purpose of completing a broad-scale screening of the physical features, resources and conditions of a watershed. This handbook introduces users to the concept of watershed-scale assessments via watershed health indicators and includes an extensive listing of data and information sources from across the province.

Completing another key action of the Water for Life Action Plan, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development recently released the above noted guide as a reference for groups reporting on conditions within their watershed. The guide sets out criteria and direction for consistent reporting on a subset of watershed health indicators commonly found in state of the watershed reports. The main audience for this document includes Alberta’s Watershed Stewardship Groups and Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils.

The Guide to Reporting on Common Indicators Used in State of the Watershed Reports is a companion document to the Handbook for State of the Watershed Reporting released by Alberta Environment in 2008.

Assessing Environmental Performance

An introduction to generic condition and pressure indicators for land, water quantity, water quality, and aquatic and riparian ecosystems. This report explores the relationship between land and water, and explains how select indicators are linked to environmental outcomes.

This summary document is meant to provide guidance to Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils and Watershed Stewardship Groups in terms of identifying environmental indicators to monitor the environmental state of watersheds and assess progress towards achieving environmental outcomes.