Resolution 5-19 asks for a multistakeholder committee to work on reducing the use of fresh water by the oil and gas industry. While it is recognized that the Oil and Gas sector has improved considerably since the 1970s, it is safe to say that the issue of fresh water use is not going away. The intent of this resolution is to use a collective and collaborative approach to push for continuous improvement in how we use water ensuring that there is enough safe and quality fresh water for food production, rural residential use and the industries we rely on.
In 2020 when the ASBPC met with then Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon, he was reluctant to sanction yet another committee to work on water concerns when there was already a working group that worked on the Water Conservation Policy for Upstream Oil and Gas Operations (released December 2020) and with the considerable improvements in the oil and gas sectors water use, he was not convinced that a new committee was necessary.
After consulting with Brazeau County who sponsored the resolution it was decided to continue to advocate for this approach as a way of encouraging further innovations by the sector and perhaps streamlining the processes how water is allocated year to year. Brazeau ASB committed to taking the matter up with RMA and AUMA, and the ASBPC committed to continuing to bring up the resolution and look for ways to move it forward.
After some research the ASBPC committee research found a couple of potential avenues to advance Resolution 5-22.
The Water Council is comprised of 24 Members organized into four sector groups including Industry, Non-Government Organizations, Government, and the Government of Alberta and Provincial Authorities. They provide leadership, expertise and sector knowledge to engage and empower industry, non-governmental organizations, and governments to work collaboratively to achieve the outcomes of the Water for Life strategy.
When the ASBPC met with ADM John Conrad in March of 2022, they suggested that the Water Council might be the right place to advance Resolution 5-19, and the ADM agreed to keep the resolution in mind as they updated the Water For Life Strategy, and see what headway he could make.
AEPA is a multi-stakeholder partnership of the agriculture industry, government, and environmental non-government organizations, working proactively to address agri-environmental issues from a policy perspective. The Partnership grew out of a need identified by many agricultural organizations for a transparent partnership between government and the agricultural industry, and for a collaborative approach to resolving agri-environmental issues. A full list of the AEPA advisory committee can be found on their website, and our own Kathy Rooyakkers (alternate for Central ASBPC) is there representing RMA.
The Partnership has two Strategic Goals that align well with Resolution 5-22:
- Provide timely policy input on innovations and emerging opportunities that will help the agriculture industry achieve environmental sustainability in areas such land-use, water, and climate
- Engage and build knowledge and understanding with partner organizations to enable the agriculture industry to be a credible stakeholder in agri-environmental policy development processes
Currently the ASBPC is looking for one or more ASB members who are interested in advancing Resolution 5-22 that they could nominate to represent ASBs and look for ways to advance the intended outcomes through AEPA’s process.