Alberta Environment and Parks

Alberta’s majestic mountains are not only a source of pride for Albertans, but a major water source.  Most of the province’s rivers originate from glaciers and high elevation snowpacks in the Rocky Mountains.

As mountain snowpack melts, the runoff feeds into our rivers and streams.  This means that the amount of water available in a river basin varies throughout the year.

At the same time, water demands also vary seasonally and from year to year.  

During growing season and the summer months, municipalities will typically require more water from rivers to meet residents’ needs, and agricultural producers will require more water for irrigation of crops.  These water demands can be more pronounced in years when there is less snow and rain.

Much of the water that originates in the Rockies works its way north and east to other parts of the country.  Trans-boundary agreements are used to help…

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