Communities collaborating on water protection

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
April 11, 2018 - 5:00pm

Municipalities across central Alberta are working together to protect our region’s water quality.

The Red Deer River Municipal Users Group is comprised of 35 member communities.

Executive Director Keith Ryder says focusing on source water protection now is critical for the long-term health of our watershed.

“It’s important that it is useable and that municipalities don’t have to spend tons of extra money on additional purification and chemicals at the water treatment sites,” he says.

The group is currently forming a ‘Charter for Protecting Source Water Quality,’ something Ryder hopes all current members will sign at a ceremony this summer.

In the meantime, the users group is hosting a series of workshops for members over the coming weeks.

One participating municipality is Clearwater County, whose Director of Agriculture and Community Services agrees about the importance of protecting source water.

“Clearwater County is the headwater of the Red Deer River, just as we are for the North Saskatchewan watershed,” says Matt Martinson. “We believe we have a great importance when it comes to stewarding this resource and we take our responsibility in doing that very seriously.”

Martinson says on top of municipalities using the river for their operations, residents rely on it for clean drinking water.

The group says it plans to engage with another 40 communities.

It has been in existence since 2006.

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