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Integrated Watershed Management Plan

The work has begun.

An Integrated Watershed Management Plan for the Athabasca Watershed Council is in the works!

“AWC Goal: To develop and implement an integrated watershed management plan to ensure the Athabasca watershed remains healthy and resilient, within its range of natural variability, for current and future generations.”

What is integrated watershed management planning?

Integrated watershed management planning is a comprehensive planning process involving governments, non-government organizations, industry, Indigenous communities and the public. Participants identify social, economic and environmental watershed values, as well as the issues affecting them. An integrated watershed management plan (IWMP) is developed and implemented in order to resolve these issues and protect our shared values. Integrated watershed management plans provide advice to governments and agencies that have policy and regulatory decision-making authority for water, land and resource management.

What is the Athabasca River Watershed?

The Athabasca River Watershed includes all of the land draining to the Athabasca River as it starts in the Rocky Mountains and flows to the northeastern corner of Alberta. About 150,000 sq. km., this watershed is home to about 150,000 people living in Fort McMurray, 12 towns, several hamlets and villages and 15 First Nation and Métis communities. As well as its growing population, this watershed also supports recreation, agriculture, forestry, oil and gas, coal and gravel.

How is the integrated watershed management plan being developed?

Since it formed in 2009, the Athabasca Watershed Council has been working on filling information gaps about the Athabasca watershed. This work is guided by a Technical Committee. More recently, the Council has begun to look at how this new technical information informs water and watershed management, including policy and land use planning This work is guided by both the Committee and the AWC board, who are ultimately responsible for plan development and implementation. As they go forward, the Council is sharing its learnings and seeking advice from other levels of government, interested stakeholders, Indigenous communities and the public.

Issues affecting the Athabasca  Watershed include:

  • Water quality
  • River and tributary flows
  • Lake health
  • Fisheries health
  • Invasive species
  • Landscape change


IWMP Terms of Reference VIEW


If you want to be involved, contact the Council at admin@awc-wpac.ca