Water for Life: The Rosenberg Report (2007-02)

January 15, 2008

“The development and projected exploitation of oil sands and coal bed methane are likely to pose special threats to both groundwater quantity and quality. These threats will be exacerbated unless both public and private stakeholders remain fully accountable for any adverse environmental consequences that result from their activities (RIFWP 2007-02 ).”

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“The development and projected exploitation of oil sands and coal bed methane are likely to pose special threats to both groundwater quantity and quality. These threats will be exacerbated unless both public and private stakeholders remain fully accountable for any adverse environmental consequences that result from their activities. It will be essential to integrate water protection policies into broad resource development strategies and decisions. There is a compelling need for plans to manage unforeseen as well as foreseeable environmental impacts stemming from the development and expansion of the energy industry. The livestock industry and irrigated agriculture will also continue to pose threats to groundwater quality (RIFWP 2007 ).”

“Again, contamination of aquifers from the residues of agricultural chemicals is likely to be less expensive to avoid than to remediate. Although oil sands, coal and coal bed methane developments are very important to the future of Alberta and Canada, their very size and complexity pose potential threats to the groundwater resource. Some environmental impact analyses of these activities have been completed but they do not always address the entire range of impacts and especially cumulative effects. Moreover better information about the threats to groundwater quality and quantity is needed as there is significant risk and uncertainty which is incompletely understood by the public ((RIFWP 2007:13).”

Jurisdictional and Transboundary Issues: “The Province of Alberta has large upland watersheds from which water flows to Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the east, to the Northwest Territories to the north, and to the state of Montana to the south. The Water for Life strategy should fully acknowledge Alberta’s shared responsibilities with those jurisdictions and should indicate how those shared responsibilities will affect the achievement of the three long-term objectives of the strategy (RIFWP 2007:8).”

“The Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy is an activity of the University of California created through an endowment gift from the Bank of America in honor of Richard Rosenberg on the occasion of his retirement as Chairman of the Bank. The overarching theme of the Forum is: To reduce conflict in the management of water resources. The Forum pursues two objectives in an effort to address this theme. The first is to emphasize the role of science in water management and in the making of water policy. The second is to promote interaction between scientists and policy makers for the purpose of facilitating the use of science in the making and executing of water policy. These objectives are accomplished through the biennial meetings of the Rosenberg Forum where approximately 50 water scholars and senior water managers from around the globe have an opportunity for discourse on a variety of topics which are pertinent to contemporary global water problems (RIFWP 2007 ).”

Bibliography and Webliography

RIFWP. 2007. Report of The Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy to the Ministry of Environment, Province of Alberta. Calgary. February 2007. http://www.waterforlife.gov.ab.ca/docs/Rosenberg_Report.pdf

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