Module 10 — Groundwater Management
Groundwater Management
Water is one of Alberta’s most important natural resources. It is one of the building
blocks for balanced economic development in the province.
Both groundwater and surface water are found in relative abundance in many areas
of Alberta. Only by careful use and protection of these resources can we count on a secure
supply of water for future generations. Two primary pieces of legislation provide a framework
for water management and protection.
The ownership of all groundwater and surface water is vested in the province. The
provides a system for licensing all water diversions and use. It also requires licensed
water well contractors to obtain an approval to drill and construct water wells.
Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act
provides control and prevention
of the release of substances that may cause an adverse effect on water resources. It also
requires proper reclamation or remediation of contaminated groundwater sites and
environmental impact assessments to determine the effects that any major development will
have on our water resources.
Groundwater supplies in Alberta are currently managed through:
Allocation and licensing
Protection and conservation.
In designing legislation and policies,
groundwater and surface water are
considered as two forms of the same
resource because they are often connected.
Although the interactions between them
are not always easy to see or measure, both
can be affected by human activities.