RDRWA releases management recommendations for hydraulic fracturing in the basin

The Red Deer River Watershed Alliance (RDRWA) is pleased to release a set of recommendations regarding hydraulic fracturing activity and watershed management considerations in the Red Deer River watershed. The purpose of the document is to provide guidance and recommendations to decision-makers, industry groups, and community members.

The presence of important shale gas, tight gas, and tight oil reserves, coupled with readily available water supplies, has led to an intensification of hydraulic fracturing activity within parts of the Red Deer River watershed. In recent years, the RDRWA has increasingly been called upon by stakeholders and community members to provide information about hydraulic fracturing activity and potential implications for the Red Deer River watershed. 

As a multi-sector Watershed Planning and Advisory Council (WPAC), the RDRWA was in a unique position to consider hydraulic fracturing activity through the lens of watershed management. In late 2019 and early 2020, the RDRWA reviewed key literature, analyzed data related to water use, and engaged selected representatives from across sectors to learn more about key issues and opportunities in the basin. This process culminated in the development of nine high-level management recommendations, alongside a fact sheet about hydraulic fracturing trends in the basin.

The Red Deer River Watershed Alliance’s approach is science-based and grounded in multi-sector dialogue. We recognize that many land and water resource issues are complex; with multiple perspectives on issues, opportunities, and best practices. While the RDRWA does not have any formal decision-making authority, we aim to serve the people and landscapes of central Alberta by acting as a forum to bring diverse perspectives together in support of prudent watershed management. 

We hope the attached recommendations will inform our members and the broader community. 

The recommendations were approved, through consensus, by the multi-sector Board of Directors of the RDRWA. As policy and industry best practices around hydraulic fracturing continue to evolve, the RDRWA remains committed to staying up to date on the latest developments. We thank everyone who has participated in the process thus far and look forward to ongoing discussions as part of adaptive watershed management. 

For more information, please contact:

Josée Méthot, Executive Director

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance

P: 403-340-7379 or E-mail: josee.methot(at)rdrwa.ca