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New monitoring program aims to protect North Saskatchewan River for Future Generations

October 03, 2019

​Alberta Environment and Parks, EPCOR, the City of Edmonton and the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance have partnered to launch an enhanced water monitoring program that aims to better understand and protect the North Saskatchewan River—the source of drinking water for over 1 million people in the region.

The WaterSHED (Water: Saskatchewan Headwaters, Edmonton and Downstream) Monitoring Program consists of a network of 19 monitoring stations along the North Saskatchewan River, from its headwaters in the Columbia Icefields to the Saskatchewan border.

As Alberta's most extensive water quality monitoring and sampling program, it will improve understanding of how the river functions, how it is being impacted by land-use decisions and actions, and how it may change in the future.

The program is funded until 2021 by a $1 million annual investment through EPCOR water rates and with science and operational in-kind support from Alberta Environment and Parks.

Water quality samples will be collected from the river and its tributaries and analyzed for parameters such as turbidity, colour, nutrients, E. coli, and metals. The program will also study algae and insects to provide insight into the health of the aquatic ecosystem. This information will help generate a comprehensive assessment of the North Saskatchewan River to ensure it remains protected and preserved for Alberta communities well into the future.


Alberta Environment and parks and EPCOR have announced a new collaboration to better understand and protect the North Saskatchewan River.

"Programs like WaterSHED allow us to work together to ensure we are applying the best science possible and continue Alberta's long legacy of environmental stewardship."

- Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

"The North Saskatchewan River is the source of drinking water for a growing Edmonton Metro Region. It is a critical part of our local ecosystem and an exciting place to enjoy the outdoors. This program will improve the collection of data both upstream and downstream of Edmonton and allow us to make more informed decisions when it comes to protecting the river."

- Stuart Lee, EPCOR President & CEO

"The WaterSHED program is both scientifically rigorous and responsive to the information needs of Albertans, stakeholders and responsible authorities for managing our watersheds. This collaborative effort is allowing us to collect and share improved information about the state and condition of the river and watershed and is a model we can adapt for other monitoring efforts across the province."

- Dr. Fred Wrona, Chief Scientist, Alberta Environment and Parks

For more information please contact:

Jess Sinclair
Press Secretary, Environment and Parks
(587) 873-5564

Kelly Struski
Media Relations
(780) 721-9001

About EPCOR Utilities Inc. (EPCOR)

EPCOR, through its subsidiaries, builds, owns and operates electrical, natural gas and water transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment facilities, sanitary and stormwater systems, and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. The company also provides electricity, natural gas and water products and services to residential and commercial customers. EPCOR, headquartered in Edmonton, is an Alberta Top 70 employer.
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