Watershed council drafts management plan

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A draft watershed management plan for Lesser Slave Lake was presented to Big Lakes County council March 28.

Climate change is a key issue, says executive director Meghan Payne, who outlined the plan.

Council plans to express its support after reviewing the document.

“We’ll have administration come back with a report and recommendations at an upcoming meeting,” Reeve Ken Matthews says.

Overall, the watershed council is seeking a motion of support from municipalities to use the Lesser Slave Integrated Watershed Management Plan as a guidance document and decision-support tool and work with the LSWC to implement strategies that will achieve the outcomes of the plan.

The outcomes include:

* Water quantity; that surface water and groundwater are managed to support communities, aquatic ecosystems, recreation, wildlife and economic opportunities.

* Water quality is maintained or improved to support above factors for future generations.

* Riparian areas and wetlands; that healthy riparian areas stabilize banks and shorelines, improve water quality, reduce sedimentation, provide habitat and promote biodiversity.

The hydrologic function of wetlands is kept intact to improve water storage capacity for flood and drought mitigation, water supplies, improved water quality and habitat connectivity.

* Biodiversity that sustainable land-use practices are applied in the watershed to maintain and support biodiversity.

The watershed council continues to work in partnership with municipalities and Indigenous communities to draft a plan in 2018, states a report to council.

The objective of the plan is to maintain healthy water bodies focusing on water quality preservation within the Lesser Slave Lake watershed.

 

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