February 26, 2024

The Alberta government has hired Calgary-based company WaterSMART Solutions to complete drought modelling for this year. A $350,000 contract has been awarded for the project, with the company having just 12 weeks to complete it. WaterSMART will use a team of 25 staff and existing tools to provide information for the province to make decisions. It will closely work with provincial officials to assess various river flow scenarios and support water management needs. WaterSMART is also updating the South Saskatchewan River Operational Model. CEO Kim Sturgess is optimistic about drought management solutions and suggests water users need to take responsibility for water conservation. The government is seeking advanced drought modelling and conservation strategies to be prepared for possible severe drought conditions. The province is also establishing a drought command team and developing emergency plans and committees to address potential drought impacts. The government has been engaged in meetings with different stakeholders to prepare for uncertain conditions. Overall, the work by WaterSMART aims to help the province conserve and manage water while being prepared for future drought conditions.

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