Watershed Management and Support

WaterSMART has a unique and unmatched skill set in watershed management projects. Our depth of experience enables us to understand the interconnections and complexities of the watersheds where we work, from water sourcing, to use, reuse, and disposal. This knowledge translates into better results for our clients, including optimal water management and a healthier watershed.

Our unique skill set includes:

  • A thorough understanding of water regulations and legislation
  • Experience in watershed science
  • Watershed modelling proficiency
  • Climate science expertise
  • Facilitation, engagement and communications expertise
On projects, we use these skills to ensure that decisions about the watershed are based on balancing all of the necessary economic, political, social and regulatory inputs. We also ensure that the decisions made lead to economic growth, sound environmental management, stakeholder understanding and agreement, and a healthy watershed.

Featured Watershed Management and Support Projects


South Saskatchewan River Basin

Water is fundamental to community sustainability and growth, and the way water is managed in the South Saskatchewan River Basin (SSRB) will be critical in the face of changing weather patterns. The SSRB Adaption to Climate Variability Project harnessed the energy and creativity of southern Albertans to explore practical options for adapting to climate variability and change.

Using a suite of decision support tools and working groups within each basin, WaterSMART collaborated with a group of stakeholders to explore climate variability scenarios, identify the impacts and risks to the river system and its users, and identified and modelled adaptation strategies for the Bow and Oldman River basins. By identifying and communicating key drivers and context for climate change adaptation in the SSRB, this project succeeded in leaving a legacy of data, information and tools to inform similar future work throughout the rest of the SSRB.

Bow River Water Management 

Due to the boundary-crossing nature of watersheds, the Bow River Basin requires a coordinated and integrated approach to flood and drought management which draws from the knowledge of water users, water managers, and stakeholders across the basin. The Bow River Water Management project was a collaborative project created to:

  • Develop scenarios of potential operational and infrastructure flood mitigation opportunities in the Bow River Basin.
  • Identify schemes to offset increased water management risk in the basin.
  • Develop scenarios of drought mitigation opportunities with improved (or at minimum, not reduced) ecosystem health.
WaterSMART provided facilitation, live modelling tools and support for The Bow River Water Management project. This project involved facilitating the ~40 member Bow River Working Group as it assessed and refined recommendations for flood and drought mitigation options using the best available data and knowledge of the basin. As a result, recommendations aimed at balancing the complex Bow River Basin system were developed collaboratively and presented to the Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks.

Who else do we work with?