Essential to health and to life, water is increasingly facing pressure in Alberta. As our province grows,
how we use, manage and protect our water will change. Connie Bryson looks at the possibilities
Clean water is a foundationof health. It’s no surprise thatwater treatment is a priority forcommunities worldwide. In Alberta,our drinking water is among thesafest in the world.
But a resource as precious aswater requires a watchful eye. Thepressure on water will increase asour population grows (it's forecast tohit 7. 5 million by 2050) and demandswells among people, industry andagriculture. Added to this is theuncertainty of how climate changemay affect our water supplyand quality.
Albertans aren’t waiting to findout. In 2003, the Alberta governmentlaunched its Water for Life strategyto help manage and protect theprovince’s water resources. Thestrategy, which was renewed in
2008, is making a difference. Forexample, all Alberta water utilitiesmust now develop drinking watersafety plans. These plans identifyall the risks to a water supply andways to manage and monitor them.
Alberta is the first place in North
America to do this, something
the World Health Organization
believes is the best way to protect
a drinking water supply.
The;University;of;Alberta;WaterInitiative is bringing together morethan 100 water researchers in a widerange of fields including economics,water treatment, biology, waterpolicy, health and nanotechnology.
Research director Dr. Greg Goss
says the Water Initiative is all about
“connecting biologists, physicists,
chemists, business people, social
scientists, Aboriginal groups,
industry and agriculture. We’re
getting people talking to find out
where the gaps are and then work to
close them.” A r t w