As it is Blog Action Day regarding water…What is the “water lottery”? It’s a phrase I will use to describe the current system in which senior water licence holders are enriched by transferring a part or all of their water licence allocation to other water users in the South Saskatchewan River Basin. The process of winning the water lottery depends on having a ticket, i.e., a water licence in southern Alberta, and on the discretion of Alberta Environment to allow a transfer of that licence.
Where the transfer is allowed, it is often accompanied by payment of substantial sums of money. How much money? The information on transfers to date is limited and the amount of money changing hands is often viewed as a private contractual matter. For large amounts of water with senior licence priority it likely means millions in the pockets of the licence holder. The biggest lottery winners are those who can sell unused portions of their licenced water allocation and continue business as usual.
Read “Water markets and winning the lottery” on the ELC blog.
The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been seeking strong and effective environmental laws since it was founded in 1982. The ELC is dedicated to providing credible, comprehensive and objective legal information regarding natural resources, energy and environmental law, policy and regulation in Alberta. The ELC’s mission is to educate and champion for strong laws and rights so all Albertans can enjoy clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. Our vision is a society where laws secure an environment that sustains current and future generations.
As a charity, the Environmental Law Centre depends on your financial support. Help us to continue to educate and champion for strong environmental laws, through tools such as our blog and all of our other resources, so that all Albertans can enjoy a healthy environment. Your support makes a difference.
Donate online today