Resolving Flooding Issues

  From the August 21, 2017 Issue of Agri-News
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 If you suspect a neighbour is doing something that is causing flooding on your land, you can either contact Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) or try and resolve the issue with the neighbour yourself.

All water in Alberta is owned by the Crown and a landowner must have authorization from AEP to make any changes or alterations to water flow, even on their private land. This includes any changes to drainage such as tile drainage, infilling, or the creation of dugouts, ditches, berms, and water crossings.

“Every spring, landowners call the Farmers’ Advocate Office (FAO) asking us to intervene in situations where they think a neighbour may be doing something that is causing flooding on the caller’s property,” says Jeana Schuurman, rural engagement and communications specialist with the FAO.

“We assess every call on a case-by-case basis, but since the Water Act is managed by AEP, we typically defer callers to the 24 Hour Complaint Line at 1-800-222-6514 if they are hoping for government involvement in the issue. The AEP has the legislated authority and expertise to investigate these types of complaints.”

Schuurman notes the compliance process will not necessarily render an immediate resolution to the issue, and that the FAO encourages landowners to be patient with the AEP investigation process, especially during the busier seasons. “If you have a good relationship with your neighbor, you may want to try and resolve the issue collaboratively before getting AEP involved.”

The FAO has also created a resource to help Alberta farmers and rural landowners better understand their water rights. The Water Act Essentials infographic is available on the FAO website at under Rural Disputes.

For more information, contact the FAO through the Ag Info Centre at 310-FARM (3276) or via e-mail to

Alberta Ag-Info Centre
310-FARM (3276)

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Ken Blackley.
This information published to the web on July 27, 2017.
Last Reviewed/Revised on August 10, 2017.