The Competition for Water: Striking a Balance Among Social, Environmental, and Economic Needs
28 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2010
Date Written: April 1, 2010
With many water resources overcommitted and suffering environmental degradation, it is becoming urgent to find ways to reallocate increasingly scarce water supplies to meet rising demand and growing environmental concerns. In Canada, this challenge is nowhere better illustrated than in Alberta. The province is home to 60 percent of all irrigation in Canada and has a fast-growing population and economy. These pressures helped prompt the province to halt the issuance of new licenses for taking water from the Bow, Oldman and South Saskatchewan River sub basins in 2006, bringing into focus the need to fulfill rising demand for industrial, urban, and environmental water use. Without a reliable mechanism for transferring water access rights from prior holders to new users, Alberta’s continued economic development and its ecosystems could be threatened.
Keywords: Governance and Public Institutions, Alberta, South Saskatchewan River basin, water resources management
JEL Classification: Q25, Q15, R11, R14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation