Drought Preparations

Alberta is facing a potentially severe drought in 2024. Municipalities have an important role to play in responsible water management as leaders in water conservation, efficiency and productivity. 

The Government of Alberta has been working with municipalities since fall 2023 to prepare. This webpage summarizes drought updates and helpful resources to help your community through these challenging conditions.


Provincial Updates

For up-to-date information on provincial drought preparations, please visit the Government of Alberta's drought website


Water-sharing Agreements for Southern Alberta

In February and March, the Government of Alberta facilitated discussions between the major water license holders in the Oldman, Bow, Red Deer, Southern Tributaries, and South Saskatchewan river basins: 

  • These discussions led to voluntary water-sharing agreements to help the province manage potential water shortages this summer. The full agreements can be found on the provincial drought webpage
  • The larger municipalities and water commissions who participated in these agreements have committed to reduce their 2024 consumption by 5-10%.  
  • Minister Rebecca Schulz has asked the remaining municipal water license holders in these basins to voluntarily commit to a 5-10% reduction in water consumption. This request is for municipalities in the Oldman, Bow, Red Deer and South Saskatchewan river basinsRead her full letter here.
  • Northern municipalities may consider similar water reductions not only in solidarity with southern Albertans, but in preparation—understanding that water shortages are likely to persist in the future.  
  • Regardless of region, Minister Schulz has asked all municipalities to take proactive steps to understand the condition of their water infrastructure and water licenses. Read her full letter here 


Implementation Process 

The Parties will collaboratively decide to activate or deactivate the Water Sharing MOUs at regularly scheduled sub-basin meetings. The Parties and GOA will endeavor to meet at a sub-basin level routinely starting in April 2024 to discuss basin conditions, with the meeting cadence changing as environmental and water management conditions evolve.   


Considerations for Activation/Deactivation of Water Sharing MOUs 

  • Reservoir storage  
  • Observed and forecasted river flows, water supply and demand 


Drought Preparations Webinars

ABmunis and RMA held joint webinars on March 7 and 8 to share information from the province and fellow municipalities about the preparation for and the impact of drought in urban and rural communities. 

On May 16 ABmunis held an additional webinar on drought preparations  'Drought Preparations: Understanding Alberta's Water Sharing Agreements'. You can find the recording here.


Water-shortage Plans and Bylaws

Without implementing proactive approaches to water management, the probability of experiencing water shortages rises. Municipalities should have water-shortage plans and bylaws in place to be prepared for these challenging conditions. 

Take a look at the examples provided by the City of Camrose, the Town of Peace River, and the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance:



If you have any questions please contact our Advocacy team at %20advocacy [at] abmunis.ca (advocacy[at]abmunis[dot]ca) or the province’s Drought Command Team at epa.drought [at] gov.ab.ca (epa[dot]drought[at]gov[dot]ab[dot]ca).


Wildfire risk is rising due to draught

Dry, windy, and hot weather have caused conditions favourable to the sparking and spreading of wildfires in Alberta. Wildfires can result in evacuations of homes and property, loss of property, and health issues for many residents across the province.

Take a look at our resources for those affected by wildfires here.