Following several consecutive dry years in the province, the Alberta government is preparing for drought by announcing a water advisory committee. 

This new advisory council will work directly with the province’s Minister of Environment and Protected Areas. It will meet regularly to discuss and debate ideas to manage water conservation across Alberta. 

With the weather phenomenon known as El Niño producing a warmer and drying winter across much of the Prairies, coupled with a winter snowpack well below the average and rivers running record low levels, Alberta is at risk of severe drought in many parts of the province. 

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Bassano Dam

The six-person advisory committee will act as an independent body to help the government support farmers, ranchers, and communities affected by the dry conditions and help with water sharing, conservation, and management during a potential drought. It will also suggest new ways to fairly and efficiently manage water while working to identify long-term solutions. 

In a statement, Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas, says on the issue of water, we’re all in this together.

“This committee will provide me with ideas and perspectives from leaders across the province. They’ll share what they are hearing and seeing, and help identify new or better ways to support families, farms, ranches and businesses if we face a severe drought this year.”

Along with the advisory committee, the government says it will continue to work closely with municipalities, farmers, First Nations, and others to prepare for a potentially severe drought this year.