Okotoks Mayor Tanya Thorn is a member of Alberta's newly announced Water Advisory Committee.

The six-person committee will advise Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz on water conservation and management in case of severe drought conditions.

It's part of the province's efforts to prepare for this year's drought conditions, expected to be worsened by the combination of an El Niño, low reservoir levels, and below-average snowpack.

The full committee consists of:

  • Justin Wright, MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat
  • Paul McLauchlin, reeve of Ponoka County and president of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta
  • Ian Anderson, former CEO of Trans Mountain
  • Alex Ostrop, chair of the Alberta Irrigation Districts Association
  • Jack Royal, CEO of the Blackfoot Confederacy Tribal Council
  • Tanya Thorn, mayor of Okotoks and director, Towns South on the board of Alberta Municipalities

They'll meet regularly to discuss drought preparation and response, water conservation strategies, and to give feedback on the work underway to manage water.

Highwood MLA and Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, RJ Sigurdson was quoted in a provincial media release.

"Drought and water shortages are a deep concern for our irrigators and agricultural producers. That's why we have strong representation on the Water Advisory Committee, so our producers can be assured their interest is represented. The work of this committee will be essential to maximizing and finding efficiencies that will ensure as much water as possible is conserved to produce the food that feeds our families, both here and abroad."

The committee will operate for one year.