In Alberta, water from the South Saskatchewan River and its tributaries is used for household purposes, industry and commercial uses, power generation, and agriculture. As demand for water continues to increase due to economic and population growth, Alberta recognizes that future water use must be considered in light of a limited water supply. Water allocation limits have already been reached or exceeded in the Bow, Oldman and South Saskatchewan River Sub-basins.
Concerns about heightened competition for water, current and future water supply and demands, and constraints on water use led to the commissioning of the science-based report, the South Saskatchewan River Basin in Alberta: Water Supply Study. The steering committee for the study included representation from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Alberta Environment, and the basin’s watershed planning and advisory councils. The main report was prepared by AMEC Earth & Environmental, Calgary, Alberta.
The objectives of the study were to:
- Conduct a detailed assessment of current and projected water demand in the basin
- Conduct an assessment of historical, current and future water supply, including the possible impacts of climate change
- Conduct simulation modelling of current and future water supply and demand to determine magnitude, frequency, and locations of water supply deficits for both in-stream and consumptive uses
- Identify and evaluate structural and non-structural measures to improve water supply security
This project was made possible with funding support from the Irrigation Rehabilitation Program of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and the Canada Alberta Water Supply Expansion Program (CAWSEP) of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada.