Alberta Environment halts water amendment

Alberta Environment is temporarily halting a southern Alberta farmer co-op’s plan to sell surplus water from its Bow River licence.

In August the Eastern Irrigation District (EID) applied for an amendment that would let it sell 24.6 million cubic metres of water to energy companies feedlots and others who can’t get a license from the government. Last August Alberta Environment put a moratorium on new water licences in the South Saskatchewan River Basin which includes the Bow. Water experts called the proposed EID amendment a “mistake” and a slippery slope towards an unregulated water market.

On October 26 Alberta Environment announced that it’s putting the EID application on hold while it reviews its policies on water licence amendments. “Water is a precious resource particularly in this basin” says Jim Law an Alberta Environment spokesperson. “We need to look at the policy and get this sorted out as quickly as we can.”