Members of Alberta’s agri-food supply chain increasingly value concepts of sustainability and environmental stewardship but lack a coordinated and practical blueprint for implementing those values. The Agricultural Water Futures Project, begun in late 2017, seeks to address this gap. This project focused on primary production systems in the South Saskatchewan River Basin (SSRB) in southern Alberta, chosen as a broadly representative watershed. A four-step, replicable process was developed, including setting the watershed context, building a business case for investment, and developing and implementing a water stewardship plan. Water risk is a critical issue for Alberta’s crop-based agri-food supply chain, and the risks are likely to increase in the future. Proactive and holistic water stewardship can create a competitive advantage by reducing water-related risk, identifying opportunities, attracting investment, and building trust through improved transparency. This project created a structure for identifying and realizing tangible benefits that can be applied by any implementer in the agri-food sector.
Download: Ag Water Futures Report 2019