Eight Priority Goals for the Plan
In December 2011, the Oldman Watershed Council released Priorities for the Oldman Watershed: Promoting action to maintain and improve our watershed after consultation with the IWMP Core Team, watershed residents at 4 community information sessions and an on-line questionnaire. The priorities were endorsed by the Oldman Watershed Council Board of Directors and will be the guide for what issues the IWMP will address.
The eight priority goals for the Oldman Integrated Watershed Management Plan are:
Goal 1: Improve the understanding and strengthen the commitment of residents to the health of the Oldman watershed.
Goal 2: Optimize the availability of water for the natural ecosystem while supporting the social and economic needs of the community.
Goal 3: Manage and protect the integrity of headwaters and source waters.
Goal 4: Identify and prioritize thresholds to manage threats and impacts on terrestrial and aquatic habitat.
Goal 5: Understand groundwater and how it interacts with surface water.
Goal 6: Identify water quality outcomes and assess factors impacting them for adaptive watershed management.
Goal 7: Prevent and control invasive species.
Goal 8: Understand the status and implications of emerging contaminants.
These are the goals that the IWMP will achieve over the next decade. Public and stakeholder engagement processes foster deeper understanding and commitment to the maintenance and improvement of watershed integrity, and determine concrete action strategies through the development of Action Plans. They go through an iterative cycle of adaptive management, with continual improvement over time to achieve desired outcomes for watershed health.
The Oldman Integrated Watershed Management Plan (IWMP) process sets watershed scale goals and outlines actions needed to achieve them.
It gives voice to the community vision for the Oldman watershed:
A healthy, resilient watershed where people, wildlife and habitat thrive.
Watershed management planning provides recommendations to decision-makers on how important watershed values should be managed. The environmental, social, cultural and economic needs of the community are all considered when making recommendations and taking action.
Integrated watershed management planning is a key outcome under Alberta’s Water For Life Strategy.
Water For Life includes three goals that form the basis for policy direction and reflect social, economic, and environmental influences.
- Safe secure drinking water
- Healthy aquatic ecosystems
- Reliable quality water supplies for a sustainable economy
As a designated Watershed Planning and Advisory Council under Alberta’s Water For Life Strategy, the Oldman Watershed Council is required to complete watershed health assessments (State of the Watershed reporting) and integrated watershed management planning.
Water and watershed health affects us all. In the Oldman watershed, Water For Life is put into action through encouraging and supporting public and stakeholder engagement to address all aspects of watershed management. Partnerships and research provide a solid foundation for sharing responsibility for water and watershed management.