Overview

The Headwaters Action Plan 2013-14 is the community’s plan to maintain and protect the integrity of the Oldman headwaters and source waters.

In 2012-13 the OWC began work on the second action plan of the Oldman Integrated Watershed Management Plan process addressing IWMP planning Goal 3: Manage and protect the integrity of headwaters and source waters.

The three key objectives of Goal 3 provide guidance for the action plan:

  1. Identify and understand the hydrologically significant areas in the headwaters.
  2. Identify, mitigate and prevent threats to headwaters and source waters.
  3. Define the kinds and intensity of land use activities as they relate to source water and headwater significant areas.

The aim of the Headwaters Action Plan is to initiate collaborative stewardship work that will address key issues to headwaters health - over time, and within the capacity of participating stakeholders and the watershed community.

The Headwaters of the Oldman River watershed run east from the Rocky Mountains of southwest Alberta to join the South Saskatchewan River and eventually, Hudson Bay. The Headwaters receives the greatest accumulation of snow and rain in the Oldman watershed allowing it to provide 90% of the water that feeds our streams, lakes and groundwater! Although the Headwaters region is approximately 25km wide and makes up only 24% of the Oldman watershed, the health of the headwaters is essential to the health of the entire watershed.

An important water tower for southern Alberta, the Oldman watershed is also home to many species of fish and wildlife, including species at risk, such as bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout and grizzly bear.

Indigenous people have hunted and gathered in the Headwaters region for millennia, and it continues to be a source of great spiritual meaning in their culture.

The Headwaters region also provides recreational opportunities in beautiful landscapes as well as economic benefits through agriculture (ranching), tourism, recreation, forestry, and mining. With these recreational activities comes certain pressures and cumulative effects.