Water Resources and Wetlands

Water resources are one of the most valuable features of the regional landscape, providing services such as drinking water, recreation opportunities, and habitat. These resources include the South Saskatchewan River and Opimihaw Creek that weave through the region, as well as other surface waters and groundwater. The prairie pothole landscape gives rise to wetlands that provide a place for water to settle after snowmelt and storm events, add to the beauty of the landscape, and support flora and fauna.

Objectives

6-1          Protect and enhance the South Saskatchewan River Valley, other watercourses and water bodies, and wetlands to support ecological and human health and the enjoyment of these resources

6-2          Protect groundwater resources from contamination and depletion to ensure a safe drinking water supply

6-3          Achieve responsible stewardship of wetland resources that balances the need for conservation with other considerations such as development, transportation, economic impacts, and quality of life

Policies

6.01         Source Water Protection and Development. Development shall not restrict the use of groundwater or surface water, or alter the flow of surface water in a way that detrimentally affects other property or the ecology of the drainage system.

6.02         Regional Wetlands Inventory. P4G shall explore the development of a regional inventory of wetlands. Wetlands located within the Green Network Study Area shall be a priority. Prior to the development of this inventory, the conceptual map of regional wetlands in the Appendix shall be used to inform and guide considerations in this section.

6.03         Regional Wetlands Policy. P4G should develop a Regional Wetlands Policy to guide the protection and restoration of wetlands identified in the Regional Wetlands Inventory.

6.04         Wetlands Protection and Development. Development in the Region should strive to:

a.   avoid impacts to wetlands where reasonably possible;

b.   address impacts to wetlands where avoidance cannot be fully achieved; and

c.   undertake compensatory mitigation for any negative impacts to significant wetlands from development.

6.05         Least Disturbance to Wetlands. P4G shall encourage development and subdivision designs that ensure the least possible disturbance and/or alteration of retained wetlands.

6.06         Designating Environmental Reserve. Where subdivision is proposed adjacent to a watercourse or wetland, the municipality shall explore the designation of the watercourse or wetland, an associated buffer, any adjacent floodplain, and significant natural habitat as Environmental Reserve to protect sensitive areas and preserve the potential for public access where appropriate.

6.07         Coordination of Regional Initiatives. P4G shall, in coordination with the Province, investigate initiatives to promote regional source water protection and wetlands conservation.