First Come, First Served for Water in Alberta

Under Alberta's present water allocation system, new and rapidly growing communities are unable to purchase new water licenses, as priority goes to historical users, not those with the greatest need. A persistent drought may force a change.

As the Globe and Mail reports,

"Alberta currently has a first-in-time, first-in-right (FITFIR) system that puts the longest-tenured water users at the front of the line, regardless of whether they're a municipality or a factory, whether they need their full allotment, and what conservation efforts a user is making...In a drought, the system leaves new economic development and younger, growing municipalities in a bind. They are now scrambling to buy extra water rights.

The province needs to switch to a so-called share system that allocates water use based on need, says Joe Obad of the Water Matters advocacy group, which wants to see the province identify and protect minimum levels in each body of water, then split any surface water."

Full Story: Once-in-a-generation drought creates water crisis in Alberta

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