January’s MLA Report

water drink
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Cameron Westhead MLA Banff-Cochrane
Cameron Westhead
MLA Banff-Cochrane

I’d like to take the opportunity to write this month about our most precious natural resource, which is water. Alberta is fortunate to have some of the most significant headwaters in western Canada, with many of them located within the Banff-Cochrane constituency.

In order to effectively respond to a changing climate, we must take water management seriously. Climate change mitigation is about carbon, but climate change adaptation is about water. Intact ecosystems slow and moderate the impacts of climate change by preserving the water cycle. Indeed, our glaciers act as a thermostat for North America. As the world experiences and prepares for a changing climate, it is critical for our prosperity that we ensure Alberta’s supply of fresh water can meet future demands.

Global water scarcity will not necessarily be defined by direct transfers of liquid water, but by how much is traded in the form of water embodied in food. This could greatly advantage Alberta’s agricultural sectors, but—and this is the crucial point—only if we are able to address issues relating to land-use practices as they relate to water quality and quantity.

Alberta’s water future is dependant on the ecological integrity of our eastern slopes and other public lands. Conservation of intact wild spaces like these is a deeply rooted Alberta value consistent with the goal of water security.

I am grateful for the work that is being done by individuals and organizations right here in the constituency and across the province who are valued partners in protecting Alberta’s wild spaces. Our natural environment is a legacy that we can be proud of, and we owe it to future generations to make decisions today that ensure our water future is secure. I remain committed to this important goal, and value the input of constituents on how we can achieve this together.

Cameron Westhead
MLA for Banff-Cochrane