NOW there is a whole new website for the PLWMP go to www.plwmp.ca learn of the topics tackled to date and progress made to date.
The development of a Pigeon Lake Watershed Management Plan (PLWMP) is being sponsored by the Pigeon Lake Watershed Association (PLWA) with other volunteers from around the lake and staff support from many organizations, watershed municipalities and provincial governments, and funding primarily from the RBC Blue Water Project and Leduc County. Also appreciated is the work of the Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development whose staff, working with ALMS (Alberta Lake Management Society) and PLWA volunteers are conducting a very important, two year in-depth water assessment which will provide very important grounded information into the planning process.
Pigeon Lake is part of the greater Battle River Watershed, and we are ensuring that the PLWMP is compatible with the Battle River Watershed Management Plan, with the Battle River Watershed Alliance staff and the board president participating.
This is an action-driven engagement planning process. As we secure resources, the PLWMP engages, educates, and enables people and organizations around and involved in the lake, to take coordinated and prioritized actions for the health of our lake and watershed. Together, we are systematically identifying and tackling the impacts on the lake impacting water quality. These are the 'Topics'. We endeavour to equip stakeholders to do their part, based on collective agreement to implement the recommendations produced on each topic.
For each topic, the most up-to-date science is collected, research conducted and data gathered on what is needed and what works elsewhere. The subcommittees will evaluate the potential effectiveness of mitigation measures, then ask the watershed community to consider options and as possible, we will decide together on our recommendations for Pigeon Lake. Then we will advocate the implementation of the recommendations. This enables us, as we create collective agreements for each topic, to get on with implementing the recommendations and not wait for a final plan to act.
Throughout the PLWMP process, we work to:
Attract the resources and funds to tackle priority actions to improve watershed and lake health;
Set indicators and benchmarks;
Allow for the measurement the results of collective actions;
Maintain a public accountable record of our collective commitments;
Inform stakeholders and guide actions well into the future; and,
Recommend policy changes, where appropriate to the respective government agencies.
Recommend beneficial practices (good, better and best practices) as appropriate on each topic to the watershed community.
The outcomes of the PLWMP process help to move the community to work together for the health of the lake and watershed, all necessary for the greater community’s environment, social, and economic benefit.
How did this come about?
In 2007 the PLWA commissioned the completion of the State of the Watershed Report. That Report recommended undertaking a watershed management planning process. The development of a WMP is enabled by the province’s Water for Life policy.
Why should this be done?
The water quality of Pigeon Lake is a major concern, evident by the algae growth and outbreaks. A variety of factors are at play including increased nutrient loading, impacts of development (and redevelopment), lake levels, and other changing environmental factors. The decline in the lake water quality is in turn impacting the quality of life enjoyed by those living, working and recreating in the watershed.
What has been done so far?
The PLWMP Steering Committee enjoys a wide range of participants which ensure good representation for the PLWMP.
The Association of Pigeon Lake Municipalities were invited to work with the PLWA and they selected two representatives to join the Steering committee.
Some funding was secured and grants applications were submitted for 2013.
The PLWMP Terms of Reference has been vetted by the two Counties.
An Engagement strategy has been developed.
The first two topics committees were struck and worked through the winter: The Cosmetic Fertilizers and the Model Land Use Bylaw Committees.
Research has been done on the science and the best practices.
A logo for the PLWMP was created and work on a website to have all PLWMP information available is being developed.
Two Annual Leaders Advisory Sessions have been held to update, discuss and receive input from the watershed leaders and support organizations and governments.
2013 Public Sessions: July 6th - Lakedell (small hall); July 13th - Sandholm Hall; and August 24th - Lakedell. Please attend.
What about the planning that has been done by Leduc County and the County of Wetaskiwin? Aren’t we already doing what needs to be done?
Yes, some good things are happening, yet not all governments and regulators are working together. The public needs a voice in the plans. Some good work is happening. Some good planning has been done. Yet, we need a broader base of collective knowledge, we need a greater capacity to work together, we need collected, supported action. We need shared priorities, and common sustainable regulations and practices. We need a robust response to the state of the lake. The WMP process will result in actions and eventually produce an overarching plan to ensure the continued commitment by the communities and governments around the lake.
Won’t the WMP slow down other efforts?
No. PLWA and others will continue projects for the health of the lake that will simply be dovetailed into the WMP process when the WMP work tackles the related impacts. The lake cannot wait. The good work that is happening must continue to be worked on alongside the WMP process.
Who is involved?
There has been a small Steering Committee and a larger Advisory Committee. Participants on these committees include representatives from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Alberta Environment, Battle River Watershed Alliance, Leduc County, PLWA, and several Summer Villages.
What needs to happen next?
As resources become available the WMP will be implemented in phases over a period of years. With support, work in 2013/14 will include:
Finalize and secure the watershed communities endorsement of Terms of Reference.
On-going: Secure the required resources;
Get the PLWMP website on-line;
Engaging stakeholder groups and the public on the Terms of Reference and first two Topic Committee work;
Find ways to include more people from the economic and agriculture communities to add those perspectives into the discussions;
Finalize the recommendations of the first two topics;
Community Consultation to identify the next priority topic to tackle that is impacting water quality; and
Strike the next topic committee.
What can I do?
Participate. Donate. Speak up. Let your Summer Village or County Councilors know how important their involvement in the PLWMP is to you. Tell PLWA what you think. Send us your questions. Make sure you the PLWA has you in the database as either a member or subscriber. Fill in the surveys. Attend a Public Session. Thank-you for your interest and support.
The Pigeon Lake Watershed Management Plan is supported by: