Last month the Report of the Premier’s Council for Economic Strategy Shaping Alberta’s Future outlined five “big” ideas to further provincial economic diversification and growth. One of them is to create the Alberta Water Authority to “innovate in water stewardship, and realize the full benefit of our precious water assets”. As with any such entity, the devil is in the details. What else does the report say about the Authority?
The report characterizes the “first-in-time, first-in-right” (FITFIR) system as “out of sync with changing economic and demographic patterns” and as lacking in flexibility to “respond to changing demand”. (The FITFIR system operates to ensure that a senior (or historic) water user gets all their water pursuant to their licence prior to a junior or more recent licence holder; a significant problem in times of water shortage.)
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