Bow River News - Mar 20th, 2007

1. Piping Water Between River Basins: A Growing Controversy

Despite its location in the Bow River basin, a development already under construction is seeking water from the Red Deer River. Without a plan for water supply, developers for United Horseman of Alberta are already constructing a racetrack and entertainment centre near the Hamlet of Balzac, Alberta. Plans were publicly announced in January 2006 and development began soon after assuming water supply approvals would soon follow. The request for water from the Red Deer has since blossomed into a contentious issue that stretches beyond Balzac and the Municipal District of Rockyview to the Red Deer River watershed and to provincial policy makers. In fact, it spurred the new Environment Minister Rob Renner to convene a special committee as part of the Alberta Water Council to evaluate existing policy on intra-basin transfers.

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2. Act Now to Protect the Bow River and Protected Areas in the Bow Valley

Albertans who care about protecting the Bow River, its aquatic ecosystems, and Bow Valley natural areas still have the opportunity to weigh in on the proposed Horseshoe Lands development at the extended public hearing on April 12, 2007 at 7 pm at the Exshaw Community Hall. Or contact politicians now and oppose the development until water availability and wastewater removal options are fully evaluated. Water decisions need to come before land decisions.

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3. World Water Day is March 22

For roughly 20% of the world's population, lack of access to clean, safe drinking water is a daily reality. In 1992 the UN General Assembly designated March 22 as World Water Day and it is fast becoming an important community event to bring international and local awareness to water scarcity issues. This year's theme, "Coping with Water Scarcity", highlights the increasing significance of water scarcity worldwide and the need for increased integration and cooperation to ensure sustainable, efficient and equitable management of scarce water resources, both at international and local levels. Find out what your community is doing...

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4. Celebrate World Water Day with us on March 21 in Calgary

Sponsored by the Arusha Action Film Series, the National Film Board of Canada's CITIZENshift will be screening a series of short films focusing on a range of water-related topics such as impending water shortages, water as a human right to privatization of water supplies and water pollution and more. Bow Riverkeeper will be there to speak.

Wednesday, March 21. Arusha Action Film Series at the Plaza Theatre (1133 Kensington Road NW) at 7:00 pm. $10 at the Door, Calgary Dollars Accepted. Come participate in this interactive session featuring environmental, political, social and artistic short films from across the country highlighting the importance of water.

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5. Review of Water for Life Strategy: Room For Improvement

An international panel of water experts recently critiqued Alberta's Water for Life strategy and last month released its report. The former Alberta Minister of Environment invited the Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy, an international network of water experts out of the University of California, to evaluate Water for Life and recommend how it can be strengthened as a strategic document and in implementation. Secondly, the Minister asked the Forum to review existing governance and management arrangements for groundwater.

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