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.
Funding announced by Minister Phillips in Lethbridge
Located in the Rocky Mountain and foothills natural region of the Oldman River
Field crew hired and trained in riparian assessment procedures.
Riparian field assessments carried out at selected sites
WRRP grant awarded to include the South Saskatchewan River basin