Understanding Local Albertans’ Roles in Watershed Planning — Will the Real Blueprint Please Step Forward?
Canadian Institute of Resources Law
Alberta’s Water for Life Strategy has generally spurred expectations for the development of “watershed management plans” by provincially-sanctioned local community organizations known as “watershed protection and advisory councils” (WPACs). This paper analyses how WPACs’ roles have been defined in law and in various provincial policy documents and advisory reports. The analysis focuses particularly on provincial direction as to the extent and scope of WPACs’ decision-making authority and on the scope, content, and implementation of the WPACs’ watershed management plans. While having broad-based support, WPACs have little provincial direction as to what they must actually accomplish. In some sense, the new land use framework sidesteps these uncertainties by providing a legislative framework for regional planning and for integrating those plans with governmental decision-making across the land and resource management spectra. However, this newer provincial initiative raises even more uncertainty about WPACs’ roles.
Water for Life, watershed protection and advisory councils
Michael M. Wenig, Understanding Local Albertans’ Roles in Watershed Planning — Will the Real Blueprint Please Step Forward?, Occasional Paper #28 (Calgary: Canadian Institute of Resources Law, 2010)