As Lethbridge continues to grow we need to make certain that we have enough clean, safe water for everyone in the community. The Oldman Watershed Council’s State of the Watershed report (2010) states that “the Oldman Watershed is one of Canada’s most highly used and most vulnerable watersheds. Water users and environmental interest groups are concerned about the impacts of drought on water supplies, water quality and the aquatic ecosystem. Climate change has the potential to exacerbate these concerns.” Water availability in the Oldman River has been dropping over time, with a 57% decrease in water flow over the past 100 years. While the factors that influence this trend are likely not within the purvue of the city of Lethbridge, attention must be paid to how this will impact demand within the city.
For the most part, water quality appears to be fair to good within the Oldman River. However, additional water quality monitoring, particularly related to City stormwater should be completed in order to assess the impact that stormwater is having on the system as a whole. Both water quality and quantity have impacts on biodiversity, human health and the economy. As we prepare for the impacts of climate change, water is a critical resource that requires ongoing monitoring and management. In order to continue to have a sustainable amount of water, municipal, provincial and federal governments must work together to create proper protections and limits while balancing a growing population and economy. Water is a critical resource that requires ongoing management and monitoring. In order to continue to have a sustainable amount of water, we must work together to create proper protections and limits while balancing a growing population and economy.
1. That Lethbridge residents and businesses be encouraged to conserve water and reduce overall water usage.
2. That regular water quality testing be conducted, particularly for stormwater.
3. That education programs about the impacts of stormwater on water quality be continued and expanded.