Phase One: Water Quality

Blueprint Header

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 plan is best viewed by downloading to your desktop and opening with Adobe Acrobat - click <HERE> to download the plan.

The fundamental principle underlying the plan is that water quality must be maintained and improved in order to protect different water uses across the watershed. Goals are presented for both surface water and groundwater quality, which in turn are supported by targets. The plan also includes 11 recommendations that provide a foundation for moving forward with strategic action.

The product of extensive community engagement and research over several years, the plan is a decision-support tool and the recommendations should be taken as advice. There is no specific statutory framework yet in place to require the adoption and implementation of integrated watershed management plans (IWMPs) in Alberta. The RDRWA does, however, envision that Blueprint (Phase One) will be considered during the development of a regional plan for the Red Deer Region under the Government of Alberta’s Land-use Framework.

Bringing the plan to life

We all have a role to play in protecting watershed health and there is a compelling need to act now to protect water quality.

Blueprint (Phase One) is written for three audiences: individuals, groups/organizations, and governments. Implementing the recommendations in the plan will rely on the commitment and goodwill of a network of diverse partners working across sectors.

To accelerate the implementation of Blueprint while fostering creative solutions to water quality challenges, the Red Deer River Watershed Project Blue ThumbAlliance and Alberta Ecotrust have also partnered to launch Project Blue Thumb: Action on Water Quality Issues. Project Blue Thumb is Alberta’s first “social innovation lab” dedicated to addressing water issues, and brings together a diverse (and growing) team of people to design, test, and iterate solutions to water quality challenges. More information on Project Blue Thumb is available <HERE>.

Get involved

Want to plug into shared efforts to protect water quality? Whether you have an issue to discuss, a project in mind, or are filled with questions, there are many ways to get involved.

1. Become a member of the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance

  • Membership is free and is a simple way to stay up to date through our monthly e-newsletter - sign up <HERE>.

2. Consider taking action to advance Blueprint

  • The recommendations and actions in this plan require support and leadership from individuals, groups, and governments. Please contact the RDRWA if you see a good fit for you or your organization.

Facebook: Red Deer River Watershed Alliance
Twitter: @RDRWA
Phone: 403.340.7379
Email: info (at)

3. Use your voice to advance ongoing conversations

  • Participate in RDRWA events with partners across the watershed

4. Contact us to get involved in education and stewardship programs

  • From school presentations to citizen science programs - the RDRWA and our partners offer a range of programs to schools, stewardship groups, and any group looking to learn more. e-mail outreach (at)

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