Water Stewardship is a growing awareness of the importance of water to all living species. Water Stewardship means making informed decisions and taking appropriate actions to protect and conserve water for all plants and animals who share our planet. It means leaving healthy, undiminished aquatic ecosystems for future generations.
Water stewardship depends on actions taken not only by direct stakeholders – those engaged in the extraction, treatment, delivery, consumption, finance, and regulation of water – but also by society more broadly.
A watershed is an area of land that collects and drains water from high points (hills) to low points (valleys). When rain falls in a watershed, the water travels over natural and manmade terrain features toward the lowest point.
No matter the size, watersheds are important because they supply us with water for drinking, recreation, industry, and agriculture. Lakes, rivers, and wetlands provide habitat for countless species of animals, insects, and plants. Changes to our terrain can affect watersheds and the resources they provide. You are part of a watershed, and everything you do on the surface affects the water in your creeks and rivers, in turn affecting the water you drink and the water for all living creatures within them.
The Government of Alberta defines the larger basin formed by the Bow, Oldman, Red Deer and the Alberta portion of the South Saskatchewan Rivers as the South Saskatchewan River Basin (SSRB). As part of the SSRB, the Alberta portion of the South Saskatchewan River is considered a sub-basin or sub-watershed: a smaller, regional drainage area that contributes to the broader basin.
Those who live in the SEAWA watershed typically consider their corner of South East Alberta (the area that drains towards the South Saskatchewan River) as the South Saskatchewan River Basin.
Canadians are involved in thousands of water resource stewardship activities across the country, many of them volunteer-based.