|Water forums being held|
|Local Content - Local News|
|Written by Trevor Busch|
|Wednesday, 13 February 2013 18:02|
Albertans from across the province are being invited to share their thoughts on water as part of a province-wide conversation.
Public sessions in communities across the province are scheduled to commence on Feb. 19.
“Moving forward, the point of this whole initiative is to both educate and compile feedback, so we can bring that feedback back to government, and then it will help us make better decisions in the future,” said Jessica Potter, spokesperson with Alberta Environment. “So it will give us input into how to guide policy or future water management decisions.”
Albertans who are unable to take part in the three-hour facilitated sessions can participate in the conversation in a variety of ways, including an online survey that will be available from Feb. 11 to March 29. The survey and other information related to the water conversation are available at www.waterconversation.alberta.ca.
The conversations will focus on four priority areas including healthy lakes, water use in hydraulic fracturing, drinking water and wastewater systems, and water management.
“There’s four broad categories, just to help us streamline the discussion. However, Albertans are open to talk about anything that they think is important in terms of water. But irrigation would be very appropriate to bring up under the water management banner,” said Potter.
In addition to the facilitated public sessions, government will hold several targeted stakeholder sessions in communities where Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils already exist. These meetings will engage stakeholders that have a significant interest and involvement in water management.
Government will be preparing a document once the water conversations have been completed.
“Once we’ve gathered the feedback from the discussions, or through the online workbook, or email — basically everything we get up to about March 29, that will eventually be compiled and reviewed, and we were hoping to be quite timely in preparing a document, similar to what we’ve been doing with property rights. Just something where we can gather the feedback, and show Albertans what we heard from them,” said Potter.
The closest public sessions for this area will be in Medicine Hat on Feb. 19 at the Medicine Hat Lodge, in Milk River at the Civic Centre on Feb. 20, and in Lethbridge at the Lethbridge Lodge on Feb. 28.
All sessions are open to the public, with facilitated conversations ongoing from 5-8 p.m.
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