Many of us take water for granted. Whether it’s showering, drinking or using it for recreation, water affects our daily lives.
Chestermere’s Watershed Committee would like residents and businesses to learn more about water on World Water Day: March 22. World Water Day brings attention to the importance of water and this year’s theme is 'Nature for Water' - exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century. The Watershed Committee challenges you to learn more at www.worldwaterday.org and commit to conserving one of our most precious resources!
As a lake City, water is literally at the heart of our community. Chestermere’s recently adopted 2018-2022 Strategic Plan includes strategies and tactics aimed at improving and protecting the lake. The Plan’s goal to ‘protect Chestermere Lake as a significant recreational asset’, outlines how the City will continue to manage the Lake with an eye on future sustainability. You can view the full Plan at www.chestermere.ca/stratplan.
One of the ways we are hoping to contribute to achieving that goal is through the Watershed Committee. This Committee is appointed by Council and made up of volunteers who are passionate about the protection of our watershed. The Committee represents the community and works with Council and Staff on issues relevant to lake quality and watershed viability.
The Watershed Committee is so named because our mandate encompasses Chestermere Lake as well as all of the surface water and ground water within Chestermere's boundaries. This includes our wetlands, streams, ponds, canals and stormwater.
The Committee is looking forward to a variety of initiatives for the summer including continuing to focus efforts on an increasingly real threat to our watershed: aquatic invasive species.
Watershed Committee re-established to protect Chestermere Lake for future generations
On a hot summer day, the cool waters of Chestermere Lake draw residents and visitors who are eager to enjoy some recreation and relaxation on one of Alberta’s limited bodies of water.
A group of local residents recognize that to keep the lake in good condition, it must be protected and preserved. One of the ways they hope to do that is through the recently revived Watershed Committee.
“To me, the lake is the jewel in Chestermere’s crown,” says committee chair Louise Cox. “The lake is an essential part of our community and so working to preserve the health of it, and all of our water bodies, is to the benefit of all.”
Originally active from 1996 to 2009, the Watershed Committee’s original mandate was to ‘work with the government and Western Irrigation District through education…in an effort to keep the lake clean and healthy’.
This newly revived committee, made up of dedicated volunteers, seeks to expand that vision to include the entire watershed (rivers, canals, underground aquafers, storm ponds, and wetlands) into their sphere of care.
The committee is looking at a variety of future initiatives but for this summer, they plan to focus initial efforts on an increasingly concerning threat to the watershed: aquatic invasive species.
“The threat of aquatic invasive species in our lake continues to grow. In partnership with City staff, we are going to be working to increase awareness around these threats and educate lake users about what they can do to help keep our lake healthy,” says Cox.
Committee members will be organizing various public awareness initiatives this summer including visiting with lakefront businesses and community groups, sharing information at Water Festival, connecting with lakefront owners, and sharing information on social media.
“Fresh water is one of our greatest natural resources,” says Councillor Heather Davies, “and with a combined effort we can ensure our grandchildren will be able to enjoy the lakes, rivers and streams that we are so fortunate to have today.”
Watershed committee members include Louise Cox, Cody Cuthill, Dev Pawaroo, Jason McKee, Brandy Tuchscherer, Councillor Jennifer Massig and Councillor Heather Davies.*
Councillor Cathy Burness and Councillor Yvette Wagner were appointed to this committee in October 2017.