Case for Support

The BRBC – Strong through our people

The Bow River Basin Council (BRBC) is a multi-stakeholder, charitable organization dedicated to the conservation and sustainable use of the ecological goods and services provided by the Bow River, its tributaries and the landmass considered its watershed. We first came into existence in 1991 when the then Environment Minister Ralph Klein established the council on the recommendation of a task force. The council evolved through different shapes and forms until it took on its current incarnation in the year 2000. The council has six categories of stakeholders – Individual/Public; Commercial/Industrial; Licensee; Municipal Government; Non Profit/Academia & Regulators and Administrators/First Nations.

Effective through our vision and approach

The BRBC has a vision of the Bow Basin as one of the best-managed watersheds in the world. It recognizes the Bow River as our lifeline, a powerful icon of our prosperity and natural heritage. It endeavors to protect and conserve this fragile and unique resource, maintain its vibrant ecosystems, balance multiple uses and meet the needs of all stakeholders. The BRBC forges consensus, advocates focused attention, promotes partnership on creative solutions and fosters collaborative action.

 The council has a broad and growing membership base and prides itself on developing strategic alliances and partnerships with academic and research institutions, governments, businesses, individuals, First Nations, charitable and environmental organizations. It brings together experts, all stakeholders and collective community resources to formulate conservation plans and strategies. The council supports diverse study groups, grassroots stewardship organizations and interest groups for a shared purpose of conducting research & monitoring and developing & implementing action plans.

Champion for a Watershed Vital to Alberta

The Bow River supports more than one third of Alberta's population on just 4% of the province's landmass with access to just 3% of its water supply. The Bow gives us a high quality of life and, if we preserve its integrity, the lives of future southern Albertans will also thrive in the Bow basin ecosystem. Today over 1.2 million people - and growing – rely on the water supplied by the Bow River watershed.

 The Bow River and its tributaries bring us together as a community that shares this precious resource. It supplies water to our cities and towns, irrigates farmlands, powers hydroelectric generators and creates endless opportunities for recreation. Population and economic demands have increased dramatically over the years stretching the river's capacity to its limit. As a result, the Bow is no longer available for further water allocation in the future.

It underscores the need for cooperation and collaboration in a sustained response. With such competing demands on this resource, the Bow River needs a champion to flag this issue on all fronts and to bring all the stakeholders together for collective action to meet multifaceted challenges facing our basin. 

Award Winning Accomplishments through Collaboration

The BRBC has a proud record of fostering collaboration and partnership and finding creative solutions. It is highly regarded for its collaborative, non-confrontational approach to issue identification and solutions. The BRBC is living proof that a wide variety of stakeholders with varying views and opinions can, and do, work together for a common good. Here are some of the BRBC's key accomplishments.

  • Provides four Quarterly Educational and Networking Forums each year to identify, discuss and recommend priorities for issues and celebrate success of initiatives within the watershed.
  • Research and publish State of the Watershed Reports - the most recent, fourth in a series of such reports, is a web-based report on a GIS platform published in 2010. To complete this project, highly skilled, BRBC volunteer professionals and experts such as engineers, biologists, and planners volunteered more than 700 hours of works.
  • The council completed first phase of Bow Watershed Management Plan with a focus on water quality objectives in 2008. In completing this project, the council mobilized more than 8,400 hours of volunteer resources. The estimated $ value of the volunteer contribution exceeded one million dollars. Alberta Emerald Awards recognized the Council in 2010 for its success in the implementation of this plan.
  • The council conducts education and awareness programs. Works in partnership with watershed stewardship groups within the basin. Provided more than half a million dollars in support of stewardship organizations and their activities.
  • The North American Lake Management Society recognized the BRBC with a Technical Excellence Award in 2008 for its conservation efforts and accomplishments.
  • In 2010, the BRBC received the Grassroots Environmental Stewardship Award from the Alberta Stewardship Network.

These achievements were made possible by the expertise, selfless dedication and commitment of the volunteers. The council is thankful to its members and volunteers.