RDRMUG - Municipal Water Quality Protection Action Plan



Municipal Water Quality Protection Action Plan

One of the key legacies this generation can leave to future generations is an abundant, sustainable supply of clean and safe water. To accomplish this, municipalities in the Red Deer River basin can work together through land use planning and management to more effectively protect water quality and ensure safe, secure drinking water, healthy aquatic ecosystems and reliable and quality water supplies for a sustainable economy.

This important and timely project will create an integrated Municipal Water Quality Protection Action Plan (MWQPAP) for the Red Deer River Municipal Users Group (RDRMUG) members and enable collective action for the organization to achieve its goals of addressing water quality and source water protection in the Red Deer River watershed. Recognizing longstanding efforts by the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance (RDRWA) to develop an Integrated Watershed Management Plan (IWMP) for our watershed, RDRMUG's desire is that the development of an MWQPAP will support and advance collaborative approaches to watershed management between organizations and communities. Together we will proactively address key goals and desired outcomes within municipal capacity to address issues and threats to water quality protection across the Red Deer River Basin.

Project Lead Coordinator - Rene Michalak

Taking on the role of Project Lead Coordinator, Rene Michalak is responsible for the preparation of the Municipal Water Quality Protection Action Plan for the Red Deer River Municipal Users Group. Rene brings a strong skill set in communications and project planning with proven leadership skills in the field of sustainable community development. He’s a Marketing graduate from the Haskayne School of Business (University of Calgary), a certified facilitator, permaculture designer and educator, rainwater harvesting professional, and avid urban farmer. Rene is passionate about sustainability and has worked with Alberta municipalities to bring resilient community planning to the forefront of public dialogue in Central Alberta. He’s currently studying biomimicry and resilience theory; exploring urban ecological systems to understand the foundations of community sustainability.

Rene came to be interested in water issues related to urban planning after learning about sustainability and resilience - pouring over hundreds of books and videos, attending conferences, workshops, and seminars. In 2009, he registered for the first Permaculture Design Certificate course in Alberta and came home overflowing with enthusiasm. Immediately, he got to work on a 2-year practicum; hosting a major regional conference on sustainability presented from a food, fuel and finance lens, and then set up an urban homestead complete with a rainwater harvesting system, hoophouse, annual garden, and perennial “food forest”. Leveraging this experience, Rene currently sits as the Education Chair of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) and is confident that rainwater management is one of the key practices for sustainable municipalities now and in the future. He has worked with the RDRWA since 2008, supporting the public consultations and Technical Team meetings for the Alliance’s IWMP Planning process and continues to provide IT and communications support for the organization. Rene is excited about the opportunity for the RDRMUG to collaborate with the Alliance in the implementation of their Integrated Watershed Management Plan and he will be participating in the “Project Blue Thumb” social innovation Lab this spring and summer - the first of its kind looking at water management issues in Alberta. He’s looking forward to working closely with the RDRMUG members through the project Steering Committee and Working Groups throughout the 2015 and 2016 season.

For more information please contact Rene at  r.michalak (at) rdrmug.ca  or call 403-505-4550.


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