The provincial government will be investing in Alberta's watershed this year.
With $3.5 million in funding from the Alberta government, the Watershed Resilience and Restoration Program will be working on eight projects throughout Alberta this year.
These projects will help to restore and improve riverbanks, watersheds, and natural drainage, as well as help those communities that have been affected by floods and droughts recently.
"It has never been more important to improve the resiliency of Alberta's watersheds. By working with local communities and partners, we are helping mitigate the impact of future floods and droughts in communities across the province while creating healthier water bodies for future generations," explained the Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Rebecca Schulz in a media release on January 16.
The Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program (WRRP) came about as a response to the floods that Southern Alberta experienced in 2013, and their goal is to help watersheds mitigate the effects of both floods and droughts.
Municipalities and certain organizations are encouraged to apply to the Watershed Resilience and Restoration Program to help communities be able to weather floods and droughts.
This year's recipients of funding are ALUS Canada, Lac La Biche County, Lakeland Agricultural Research Association, Lord Stewardship Centre of Canada, Mistakis Institute for the Rockies Inc., N.A.I.T., Oldman Watershed Council, and the Town of Devon.
While most of these projects are community-specific, ALUS Canada received just shy of $2 million for their Watershed Resilience and Restoration Project, which is Alberta-wide.
Under that project, they will work with municipalities, farmers, and ranchers to create, maintain, and monitor natural ecosystem restoration and enhancement projects.
"ALUS is grateful to the Government of Alberta for their support through the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program. This generous funding breathes life into our project, Tributaries to Resiliency: Farm-level Action and Community Connection," the Senior Western Hub Manager Christine Campbell explained in the media release. "Through this project, agricultural producers are building ecological and economic resilience by adding natural infrastructure to the landscape and undertaking community engagement. With ALUS, Alberta’s farmers and ranchers are enhancing water quality, mitigating the effects of drought, flood and extreme heat and supporting biodiversity. Their efforts are contributing to a resilient and prosperous future for all Albertans."
Since 2014, the provincial government has allocated over $46.5 million to projects under the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program.
This funding has been used towards the restoration, enhancement, and conservation of 5,475 hectares (13,529 acres) of wetlands and riparian areas, as well as 320 kilometres of streambank.
To learn more about the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program, peruse the Alberta Government website.