Once again, the weather was “virtually perfect” as the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance hosted our 2020-21 Annual General Meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, June 15th from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. Thank you to all our members, and to those new to the work of the RDRWA who attended – it was wonderful to see such great attendance online.
The Alliance was thrilled to welcome Dr. Monica Emelko (University of Waterloo) and Dr. Uldis Silins (University of Alberta) as our keynotes, who spoke on the effects of landscape disturbances such as wildfire on Alberta’s water supplies and strategies for source water protection. Dr. Silins is a professor of forest hydrology at the University of Alberta where his research focuses on natural disturbances such as wildfire, Mountain Pine beetle, and how these, along with forest management affect key water resources from forested landscapes including snowpacks, streamflow, water quality, and aquatic ecology. Dr. Emelko is a Professor of Environmental Engineering and the Canada Research Chair in Water Science, Technology & Policy at the University of Waterloo. Her research is focused on drinking water supply and treatment and risk analysis for public health protection. Drs. Silins and Emelko co-lead the Southern Rockies Watershed Project team, who were the first cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for identifying quality-associated threats from climate change-exacerbated wildfires to drinking water security.
Drs. Emelko and Silins presentation highlighted the broad range of effects of wildfire on water quality, flow and timing; and they stressed that impacts of wildfire vary widely among fires and regions, as well as the degree of forested watershed area and corresponding water treatment costs. Both keynotes did an incredible job of translating the complex science behind wildfires and impacts to water quality and providing relevant examples of tools to assist municipalities with source water protection mitigation and planning. In case you missed the keynote presentation or wish to watch it again, please click here .
RDRWA Annual General Meeting business was held after the keynote presentation. Thank you to all our members who voted in our AGM Board Elections. The RDRWA would like to extend a warm welcome to our newly elected Directors for 2021-2023:
- Mike Gallant – Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd
- Peggy Johnson – Mountain View County
- Daryl Swenson – Special Areas Board
- Jim Smith – Individual (Member at Large)
- Christine Moore – Red Deer County (re-elected)
We also want to thank the returning members of our Board of Directors:
- Tjarda Barratt – Alberta Wilderness Association
- Helge Nome – Alberta Freshwater Alliance Society
- Murray Welch – Medicine River Watershed Society
- JoAnne Volk – Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
- Kent Dyck – NOVA Chemicals
- Dianne Wyntjes – City of Red Deer
- Dan Karran – Olds College
- Robert (Bob) Mills – Individual
- Mike Iwanyshyn – Natural Resources Conservation Board
- Ashley Patterson – First Nations/Aboriginal Member
- Adam Minke – Individual
- Amanda Halawell – Alberta Environment and Parks (Ex-Officio)
- Brandon Leask – Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (Ex-Officio)
We look forward to the wealth of knowledge and expertise our new and current Board of Directors will all bring to the work of the RDRWA.
The Red Deer River Watershed Alliance is proud of the work we have done in 2020-2021 to build awareness and engage with local communities and citizens around water and land issues in central Alberta. For those of you that were unable to attend our AGM, you can view the highlights of our work in 2020-21 in our brand-new Annual Report on the RDRWA website.
As always, stay tuned for details of our next big forum, which will take place later this fall. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our E-newsletter The Source to stay connected.