RDRWA launches plan to keep regional waters clean on World Water Day (Mar 22)

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Blueprint IWMP

Red Deer - The Red Deer River Watershed Alliance (RDRWA) is pleased to announce the release of a new plan to protect water quality in the Red Deer River watershed.

Several years in the making, Blueprint: An Integrated Watershed Management Plan for the Red Deer River Watershed (Phase One: Water Quality) is a decision-support tool for people to use as they work together to protect water quality. The plan presents goals, targets, and recommendations to maintain and improve surface water and groundwater quality. The Red Deer River watershed is home to around 300,000 people across an area of over 49,000 km2.

The plan's launch day is also World Water Day, an international event held annually on March 22nd to draw attention to the importance of freshwater. This year’s theme is “Water and Jobs”, recognizing that almost half of the world’s workers - 1.5 billion people - work in water related sectors. In Alberta, water is one of the key drivers of the economy. Many Albertan jobs - from farming and oil and gas to forestry and tourism - rely directly on clean and abundant water.

Blueprint is the product of extensive community engagement and research over several years. The plan addresses various water bodies - the Red Deer River, its tributaries, local lakes, and even groundwater. 11 recommendations that span subjects including lake management, groundwater monitoring and mapping, and water literacy (among others) are also presented. Phase Two of the plan will address additional subjects (e.g., land use, biodiversity).

Implementation of the plan will require commitment from a range of groups. “We all have a role to play in watershed management”, says Jeff Hanger, Executive Director of the RDRWA. He continues, “It’s really about bringing together various players to identify gaps and work on shared solutions.” The plan is meant to inform the actions of individuals, groups across sectors, and governments, as well as the development of a forthcoming Red Deer Regional Plan under the Government of Alberta’s Land-use Framework.

People who would like to become more involved in watershed management and Blueprint’s implementation are asked to contact the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance. In parallel to the launch of Blueprint, the RDRWA is also leading Alberta’s first “social innovation lab” looking at water challenges. The lab - Project Blue Thumb - brings together a diverse team to prototype solutions to water quality challenges and has been running since early 2015.

The Red Deer River Watershed Alliance (RDRWA) Society is a multi-sector organization that promotes the good use and proper management of water in the Red Deer River Watershed. The Alliance was created in 2005 and is one of eleven Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils, which are part of Alberta’s Water for Life Strategy.

Blueprint is now accessible online through the RDRWA’s website. Paper copies are available upon request.

Contact:

Josée Méthot and / or Jeff Hanger
Red Deer River Watershed Alliance
Tel: 403-340-7379 / www.rdrwa.ca

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