Ground Water Canada

News Contamination Water Issues
Interbasin drinking water transfers proposed for two Alberta communities


November 9, 2020
By Ground Water Canada

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Alberta – Bill 42 has been proposed to approve the interbasin transfer required to supply about 500 residents in Entwistle and Nakamun Park, Alta., with drinking water treated by Epcor Utilities in Edmonton via a connection to the West Inter Lakes District regional waterline in Parkland County.

Entwistle currently uses groundwater as the source of its drinking water, while residents of Nakamun Park use personal wells or truck in potable water.

Construction of the regional waterline connection is expected to create about 135 temporary jobs in the region.

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Both Entwistle and Nakamun Park are located in the Athabasca River basin. Under the Water Act, transferring water from one river basin to another requires a special act of the legislature. Bill 42 was introduced in the legislature on Nov. 2.

After considering other options, such as sourcing drinking water from lakes or groundwater, or trucking in water, local authorities decided to pursue a connection to the regional waterline, with strong support from local residents and the business community.

If passed, Bill 42 would authorize the inter-basin transfer of about 175,000 cubic metres of treated municipal drinking water per year from the North Saskatchewan River. This small volume of water would serve about 500 people with minimal environmental impact.