New Acre Project: Wetland & Riparian Enhancement
The Modeste subwatershed encompasses 482,746 hectares and lies within the foothills and boreal forested areas of, Brazeau, Clearwater, Leduc, Parkland and Wetaskiwin Counties of Alberta, Canada. It is a tributary watershed to the North Saskatchewan River that flows across the southern half of the province. The Government of Alberta has identified the Modeste watershed as a priority for flood and drought mitigation, as well as an important area affecting water quality in the province.
To help address this issue ALUS works with rural municipalities to engage farmers and ranchers to build nature-based solutions on their land to help improve water quality for the benefit of local communities and nature. One important technique is to enhance or restore wetlands on their property that can capture runoff from working lands. Wetlands provide a variety of “ecosystem services”. They can improve water quality by functioning as filters that promote the removal of sediment and nutrients before water enters lakes and rivers, they help to store water to reduce the risk of flooding further downstream, and they enhance groundwater replenishment. Wetlands also support a diversity of bird, insect, plant, and wildlife species that depend on them for areas to feed, nest, and find cover. Through the New Acre Project, ALUS engages at the community level to support identification, prioritization, and implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) on private lands designed to enhance the ecosystem services listed above.
* Project supports agricultural water use efficiency to reduce the amount of water withdrawn from surface or groundwater sources.