This Watershed Toolkit Project provided an interactive knowledge transfer between community leaders, the scientific and academic communities and included: multiple community engagement sessions, capacity building, crowdsourcing input into a rural community resource toolkit, understanding accessibility needs of users, further resource and information needs of communities, and building relationships and strengthening peer-support networks between rural community water leaders and stewards.
Attendance at the in-person networking events totalled 69 participants with 20 community members from across 20 communities and several industry, academic, and organizations developing relationships and common understanding of water issues, resources, and initiatives specific to each of the regions we had targeted for this phase of the project.
The workshop content for 5 interactive seminars was developed based upon the input received through earlier engagement phases of the project and followed the following 3 themes:
- Municipal Water Policy & Water Management - this workshop was hosted in Lethbridge (Oct. 1, 2012) and in Edmonton (Nov. 15, 2012) with a focus on conservation, water reuse, and provincial policy initiatives to support municipalities in managing water.
- Traditional Ecological Knowledge & Watershed Management Planning - this workshop, hosted in Athabasca (Oct. 29, 2012) was developed in response to requests from northern communities and water leaders to focus on the role of TEK in resource management planning.
- Natural Gas Development & Water Management - this workshop received the most interaction between sessions on the Watershed toolkit Site and had a high demand from both the Calgary (Nov. 14, 2012) and Edmonton (Nov. 19, 2012) region so was hosted in both communities. This workshop focused on developing the understanding of community decision makers around the impacts of natural gas development on water resources and the role of science in decision making.
Support for this project was provided by The Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN).
Click here to view the Watershed toolkit online.