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Expanded water markets could hurt First Nations

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Compiled by Shari Narine







A report by the Parkland Institute says if Alberta considers expanding water markets it will disadvantage First Nations communities. Jeremy Schmidt, author of Alternative Water Futures in Alberta, said expansion of water markets will also harm the environment and restrict the public’s access to water. Schmidt said the province needs a more flexible plan that can respond to future uncertainties. “Considering the flaws in Alberta’s existing water framework, and looking at the water problems the province is struggling with, it doesn’t make sense to look at it only as an economic issue,” said Schmidt, in a news release. “Alberta needs a broader, more comprehensive framework that can be flexible in responding to future uncertainties. The one-size-fits-all market approach the government is considering doesn’t fit the bill.” Among the recommendations in the report is that the provincial government support and recognize a self-designed and self-governed First Nations water council that is granted authority for water planning in First Nations’ territory and which coordinates with other governing bodies.