Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program: East Slopes Riparian Assessment

The Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program (WRRP), funded by Alberta Environment and Parks, aims to protect communities from floods and drought by improving natural watershed functions. In 2015, the fRI Research Water Program joined the effort.

This project will collect data in the headwaters of the Bow River basin, and develop a tool to prioritize restoration in forested riparian areas for the WRRP.

About the WRRP

The Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program (WRRP) was started in response to the 2013 floods in southern Alberta. The goal is to promote the long-term ability of watersheds to mitigate the effects of floods and droughts. The program will do this by idenitfying priority areas for restoration, restoring and improving resiliency of priority areas, and increasing capacity for communities to maintain watershseds in the future.

A government overview of the WRRP can be found here.

About the East Slopes Riparian Assessment Project

As part of the WRRP, the fRI Research Water Program will conduct asessments on the watersheds of the Alberta eastslopes.

Riparian area assessments determine the area’s condition to identify watersheds that are priorities for restoration because they aren’t providing the full range of ecosystem services, such as flood and drought resiliency.

This project requires one year of fieldwork, led by Michael Wagner of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, in the Rocky Mountain and Uppder Foothills Natural Regions of the Red Deer, Bow, and Oldman River Basins.

The project will assess and prioritise for restoration those areas which have the highest chances of reducing sensitivity to flood and drought. The data will be available for future use in watershed management and cumulative effects assessments. The project will also increase public and stakeholder awareness of the condition of riparian areas in the headwaters of Alberta.

November 13 2015
Project Begins

Funding announced by Minister Phillips in Lethbridge

Sites Selected

Located in the Rocky Mountain and foothills natural region of the Oldman River

Staffing and Training

Field crew hired and trained in riparian assessment procedures.

Field Work Begins

Riparian field assessments carried out at selected sites

Project Expands

WRRP grant awarded to include the South Saskatchewan River basin

QuickNote: Update on the Water Program’s Progress on the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Project
QuickNotes | Summaries and Communications
2-page briefing note on the Water Program's 3-years of riparian assessments in the Oldman and Bow headwaters.
Three Years of Riparian Assessments
Blog post by Caitlin Tomaszewski for the Water Program.
East Slopes Riparian Assessment Project Funding Announced by Minister Phillips
The Water Program at fRI Research has received a grant from Alberta Environment and Parks’ Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program (WRRP). The grant was announced in Lethbridge on November 13 by Minister Phillips.
Michael Wagner
Forest Hydrologist
Axel Anderson
Axel Anderson