UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY

cowyardvioletManagement

Nov 6, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

460 views

UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY

Protection of Ecological Goods and Services Through Water Management Planning: A
Case Study of the Nose Creek Watershed, Alberta

b
y

Danielle Koleyak



A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN

FACULTY

OF ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN

CALGARY, ALBERTA

SEPTEMBER,
2012

©

Danielle Koleyak 2012


ii

Abstract

Integrated
water management planning

describes

a holistic
management
framework to develop
ing

plans that will maintain water quantity and quality for
environmental, economic, and socia
l goals.

The concept of e
cological goods and services
can

be utilized

to
ad
dress the
se

three
goals

simultaneously
. Utilizat
ion of this concept by
water

management planners can therefore assist

in achieving

planning

goals
.

This
research evaluates the extent to which
the protection of
ecological goods and services
is

provided

by integrated

water management planning in Alberta
. An evaluative framework

was developed
from
a

literature
synthesis

to identify elements critical to successful
integrated water management planning and subsequent EGS protection
. The framework
was then applied to
a

case study
of the Nose Creek Watershed in Alberta. Analysis of
the
results indicate that

while

there are positive movements
towards
protect
ing

ecological
go
ods and services by

integrated
water management

planning the level

is
currently
low
within the case

study

area
.


iii

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Michael Quinn, for all of his guidance,
feedback, and patience throughout this process.

Than
ks to my family and friends
for all your support.
To M for all of your help
and everything el
se.
Many thanks to my friends in EVDS


K, S, and T


I
would not
have finished without

you
.



iv

Table of Contents

Abstract

................................
................................
................................
..............................

ii
!
Acknowledgements

................................
................................
................................
..........

iii
!
Table of Contents

................................
................................
................................
.............

iv
!
List of Tables

................................
................................
................................
....................

ix
!
List of Figures

................................
................................
................................
....................

x
!
Chapter 1
Introduction

................................
................................
................................
....

1
!
1.1 Background

................................
................................
................................
...........................

1
!
1.2 Purpose of Research

................................
................................
................................
.............

2
!
1.3 Research Question and Objectives

................................
................................
.....................

3
!
1.4 Project Relevance

................................
................................
................................
.................

3
!
1.5 Conceptual Framework

................................
................................
................................
.......

4
!
1.6 Project Approach and Methods

................................
................................
..........................

5
!
1.7 Context Background


Alberta and Nose Creek Watershed

................................
.........

10
!
1.8 Summary

................................
................................
................................
.............................

15
!
Chapter 2.0
Literature Review

................................
................................
......................

16
!
2.1 Global Significance and History of Watershed Management

................................
........

16
!
2.2 Ecological Goods and Services

................................
................................
..........................

18
!
2.3 Integrated Water Resources Management, Watershed Management, and Community
Based Natural Resource Management Principles

................................
................................
.

19
!
2.4 Current Indirect Attempts at Integrating EGS Into Water Management Planning

...

24
!
2.5 Evaluation of Management Goals

................................
................................
.....................

25
!
2.6 Local Issues in Watershed Management Planning in Alberta

................................
.......

26
!
Chapter 3.0 Evaluative Criteria Framework

................................
...............................

28
!
3.1 Governing Principles

................................
................................
................................
..........

28
!
3.1.1 Regional Guidance

................................
................................
................................
........

29
!
3.1.2. Decentralization

................................
................................
................................
...........

30
!
3.1.3 Integration of Government Departments/Agencies/Jurisdictions

................................
.

31
!
3.1.4 Involvement of Publ
ic with Government

................................
................................
......

32
!

v

3.1.5 Integration of Private Sector Interests

................................
................................
...........

32
!
3.1.6 Stakeholder Engagement/Participation and Collaboration

................................
...........

32
!
3.1.7 Accountability

................................
................................
................................
...............

33
!
3.1.8 Implementation Plan

................................
................................
................................
.....

34
!
3.2 Adaptive Management

................................
................................
................................
.......

34
!
3.2.1 Integration of Science into Management

................................
................................
......

35
!
3.2.2 Precautionary Principle

................................
................................
................................
.

35
!
3.2.3
Soft Paths Approaches

................................
................................
................................
..

36
!
3.2.4 Risk Management/Uncertainty and Ambiguity Analysis/Recognition of Trade
-
Offs

.

37
!
3.2.5 Information and Data Sharing and Transparency

................................
.........................

38
!
3.2.6 Defini
ng Success

................................
................................
................................
...........

38
!
3.2.7 Monitoring

................................
................................
................................
....................

39
!
3.3 Enabling Environment

................................
................................
................................
.......

39
!
3.3.1 Legislative Basis

................................
................................
................................
...........

40
!
3.3.2 Policy Guidance

................................
................................
................................
............

40
!
3.3.3
Regulatory Frameworks

................................
................................
................................

41
!
3.3.4 Enforcement Mechanisms

................................
................................
.............................

41
!
3.3.5 Funding

................................
................................
................................
.........................

42
!
3.4 Managing Based On Ecosystems Goods and Services

................................
....................

42
!
3.4.1 Ecosystem
-
Based M
anagement

................................
................................
....................

42
!
3.4.2 Integration of Different Areas of the Environment

................................
.......................

43
!
3.4.3 Restoration

................................
................................
................................
....................

44
!
3.4.4 Spatial and Temporal Scales

................................
................................
.........................

44
!
3.4.5 Water Reserved f
or the Environment and the Environment Legitimized

.....................

45
!
3.4.6 Valuation of Ecological Goods and Services

................................
................................

46
!
Chapter 4.0 Results

................................
................................
................................
.........

47
!
4.1 Governing Principles

................................
................................
................................
..........

47
!
4.1.1 Regional Guidance

................................
................................
................................
........

48
!
4.1.2 Decentralization

................................
................................
................................
............

51
!
4.1.3 Integration of Government Departments, Agencies, Jurisdictions

...............................

52
!
4.1.4 Involvement of the Public with Government

................................
................................

53
!
4.1.5 Integration of Private Sector Interests

................................
................................
...........

54
!

vi

4.1.6 Stakeholder Engagement and Participation

................................
................................
..

54
!
4.1.7 Accountability

................................
................................
................................
...............

55
!
4.1.8 Implementation Plan

................................
................................
................................
.....

56
!
4.2 Adaptive Management

................................
................................
................................
.......

57
!
4.2.1 Adaptive Management Principles

................................
................................
.................

59
!
4.2.2 Integration of Science into Policy/Planning

................................
................................
.

60
!
4.2.3 Precautionary Principle

................................
................................
................................
.

6
1
!
4.2.4 Soft Paths Approaches

................................
................................
................................
..

61
!
4.2.5 Risk Management, Uncertainty and Ambiguity Analysis, and Recognition of Trade
-
Offs

................................
................................
................................
................................
........

62
!
4.2.6 Information Sharing/Transparency

................................
................................
...............

62
!
4.2.7 Definition of Success

................................
................................
................................
....

63
!
4.2.8 Monitoring Plan

................................
................................
................................
............

64
!
4.3 Enabling Environment

................................
................................
................................
.......

64
!
4.3.1 Legislative Basis

................................
................................
................................
...........

66
!
4.3.2 Policy Guidance

................................
................................
................................
............

68
!
4.3.4 Regulations

................................
................................
................................
...................

69
!
4.3.5 Enforcement Mechanisms

................................
................................
.............................

70
!
4.3.6 Available Funding

................................
................................
................................
.........

71
!
4.4 Ecosystem Goods and Services Approach

................................
................................
.......

71
!
4.4.1 Management Based on Ecosystem Goods and Services

................................
...............

72
!
4.4.2 Integration of Different Areas of the Environment

................................
.......................

73
!
4.4.3 Restoration

................................
................................
................................
....................

73
!
4.4.4 Spatial and Temporal Scales Consi
dered

................................
................................
......

74
!
4.4.5 Water Reserved for the Environment and the Environment Legitimized

.....................

75
!
4.4.6 Valuation of EGS

................................
................................
................................
..........

75
!
4.5 Summary

................................
................................
................................
.............................

76
!
Chapter 5.0 Analysi
s and Discussion

................................
................................
............

80
!
5.1 Governing Principles

................................
................................
................................
..........

80
!
5.1.1 Regional Guidance

................................
................................
................................
........

80
!
5.1.2 Decentralization

................................
................................
................................
............

82
!
5.1.3 Integration of Government Departm
ents, Jurisdictions, Agencies

...............................

84
!

vii

5.1.4 Involvement of Government and Public

................................
................................
.......

86
!
5.1.5 Integration of Private Sector Interests

................................
................................
...........

87
!
5.1.6 Stakeholder Engagement and Participation

................................
................................
..

89
!
5.1.7 Accountability

................................
................................
................................
...............

90
!
5.1.8 Implementation Plan

................................
................................
................................
.....

91
!
5.1.9 Overall Governing Factors

................................
................................
............................

92
!
5.2 Adaptive Management

................................
................................
................................
.......

92
!
5.2.1 Adaptive Management Principles

................................
................................
.................

92
!
5.2.2 Integration of Science into Policy/Planning

................................
................................
.

95
!
5.2.3 Precautionary Principle

................................
................................
................................
.

95
!
5.2.4 Soft Paths Approaches

................................
................................
................................
..

96
!
5.2.5 Risk Management, Uncertainty and Ambiguity Analysis, and Recognition of Trade
-
Offs

................................
................................
................................
................................
........

97
!
5.2.6 Information Sharing/Transparency

................................
................................
...............

99
!
5.2.7 Definition of Success

................................
................................
................................
..

100
!
5.2.8 Mo
nitoring Plan

................................
................................
................................
..........

101
!
5.2.9 Overall Adaptive Management

................................
................................
...................

102
!
5.3 Enabling Environment

................................
................................
................................
.....

102
!
5.3.1 Legislative Basis

................................
................................
................................
.........

103
!
5.3.2 Policy Guidance

................................
................................
................................
..........

107
!
5.3.3 Regulations

................................
................................
................................
.................

108
!
5.3.4 Enforcement Mechanisms

................................
................................
...........................

109
!
5.3.5 Available Funding

................................
................................
................................
.......

109
!
5.3.6 Overall Enabling Environment

................................
................................
...................

110
!
5.4 Management B
ased on Ecological Goods and Services Principles

..............................

110
!
5.4.1 Ecosystem Based Management Principles

................................
................................
..

110
!
5.4.2 Integration of Elements of the Natural Environment

................................
..................

111
!
5.4.3 Restoration

................................
................................
................................
..................

112
!
5.4.4 Spatial and Temporal Scales Considered

................................
................................
....

113
!
5.4.5 Water Reserved for the Environment and the Environment Legitimized

...................

114
!
5.4.6 Valuation of EGS

................................
................................
................................
........

114
!
5.4.7 Overall Management Based on Ecosystem Goods and Services

................................

116
!
5.5 Synthesis


How the Elements Relate to Each Other and Implications

......................

116
!

viii

5.6 Summary

................................
................................
................................
...........................

126
!
Chapter 6.0 Conclusion,

Recommendations, and Implications for Future Research
................................
................................
................................
................................
.........

128
!
Literature Cited

................................
................................
................................
............

134
!
Appendix I. Documents Analyzed and Key Informant Interviews

..........................

154
!
Appendix 2. Interview Guide

................................
................................
.......................

157
!
Appendix 3. Data Analysis Documents

................................
................................
.......

159
!
Document Analysis Spreadsheet

................................
................................
...........................

159
!
Interview Themes

................................
................................
................................
...................

184
!
Document and Interview Theme Synthesis

................................
................................
..........

192
!


ix

List of Tables

Table 1.
Governing Principles Evaluated Results …………………………………
..
47
-
48

Table 2. Adaptive Management Evaluated Results
……………………
……………
.
58
-
59

Table 3. Enabling Environment Evaluated Results
…………………………………..65

Table 4. Management Based On Ecosystem
Goods And Services Evaluated Results
.71
-
72

Tab
le 5. Overall Results Summary
…………………………………………………...77
-
78



x

List of Figures

Figure 1. Conceptual Framework
……………………………………………….5

Figure 2. Research Method Process
…………………………………………….10

Figure 3. Map of Watershed Boun
daries of Alberta
……………………………11

Figure 4. Nose Creek Watershed Basin Map
…………………………………...14

Figure 5. Chart of Overall Evaluation Results
………………………………….77

Figure 6. Chart of Overall Results Summary
…………………………………...79

Figure 7
. Evaluative Criteria Framework Ele
ments and Connections
………….125




1

Chapter 1
Introduction

1.1
Background

Due to the unce
rtainty, complexity, and potential negative impacts of

climate and
land
-
use change
on
ter
restrial and aquatic ecosystems
,

the state of global freshwater is of
extreme importance for environmental managers, planners, policy
-

and decision
-
makers,
and the public at large.
Freshwater ecosystem degradation is occurring at a greater rate
than for any other type of ecosystem. More
over, the rate of degradation greatly exceeds
the rate of restoration efforts

of damaged ecological functions and processes (Falkenmark
2004)
, putting freshwater ecosystems at risk
.
Provision and protection of high

quality

freshwater is a
significant

globa
l environmental management and planning issue
,
typically addresse
d through water management planning efforts
.
Freshwater is required
for all living en
tities to survive and procreate
,

and thus provision and protection of the
appropriate quality and quantity

of freshwater needs to be ensured globally.
This issue
will only be exacerbated with continued economic growt
h and human consumption,
coupled

with approaching or exceeding

ecosystem

carrying capacity thresholds.

Freshwater provision and protection is
typi
cally addressed

through w
ater
management

plans

to provide and protect freshwater
for environmental, social, and
economic reasons
.
Water management refers to the efforts made by humans to ensure the
appropriate quality and quantity of freshwater is availab
l
e for the various uses, as

determined by
regulators and
stakeh
olders. Water management is conducted

through
developing and implementing water management plans. Because w
ater manageme
nt
largely reflects
the
normative place
-
based
goals

of stakeholders
,

empirical
scientific
research

alone

is not enough to
solve water management planning issues.
Qualitative
r
esearch holds high value in the water management field.
Water management
is
management of a

wicked problem
due to

the
complexity, uncertainty, and con
stant
change (Lockwood et al
.

2010)

politically, economically, and environmentally
. Wicked
problems require interdisciplinary approaches that integrate knowledge and information
from traditional disciplines
and
stakeholders
(Corkal

et al
.

2011, Smith and P
orter 2010)
,

2

therefore
interdisciplinary
research is

also

highly valuable
.
Addressing w
icked problems
require
s

creative and innovative solutions
that

are typically only possible with i
nput from
a variety of subject

areas. In addition to being a wicked prob
lem, water management
requires thinking on a socio
-
ecohydr
ologic system level (Khan 2004) that

again
requires
a variety of

interdisciplinary

research approaches.

Due to the wicked
-
problem
, socio
-
ecohydrological
nature of water management,
Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) has been cited by many as
the most
appropriate management

regime that water managers should be utilizing

(Butterworth et
al
.

2002, Falkenmark 2004, Medema et al
.

2008, Voinov et al
.

2008, Saravanan et al
.

200
9, S
tefano et al
.

2010). IWRM
focuses on resource management
,
often
implying that
the main goal is

managing water fo
r human needs

(Garcia 2008
, Gearey et al
. 2006,
Grigg 2008) and

not necessarily to ensure protection of ecosystem process
es

and
functions.
In order to continue the provision of an appropriate quality and quantity of
freshwater for
all

uses
,

it is imperative that
water management efforts also address
protection of

the

freshwater ecosystems.
In this

thesis

I

integrate concepts of IWRM,
watershe
d management, and water management, into what will be referred to as


integrated
water management planning” in order
to identify what elements are crucial
for environmental protection. To bridge the ecological aspect of
integrated
water
management plannin
g with
the social and economic aspects

I
explore
the concept of
Ecological Goods and Services (EGS)
as it relates to water manag
e
ment
.
Falkenmark
(2004) suggests that t
here is a need to better integrate EGS into water management
in
order to

provide a manag
ement framework that

adequately

considers environmental,
social, and economic
goals

simultaneously
.

By protecting EGS through integrated wa
ter
management planning efforts

conservation of freshwater may be achieved.

1.2
Purpose of Research

The purpose of

th
is research is to develop a framework

that

articulates the critical

elements
required to incorporate EGS into effective

integrated water management
planning, and then to
evaluate the extent to which EGS
are

protecte
d via water

3

management planning

in Alberta

by applying the framework to a case study of

the Nose
Creek Watershed.

1.3
Research Question and Objectives

The main research question that guides this project is:
To what extent does water
mana
gement planning in Alberta

protect ecological good
s and services?”
This research
project is guided by 4 research objectives:

1)

To determine

and define what elements are to

be included in water
management planning so that EGS is integrated into the

management
and

planning process

by developing an evaluative
criteria framework
;

2)

To identify what elements are (or are not) incorporated into Alberta’s
current water management planning regime

and

assess

the
current
level
of implementation of these elements
;

3)

To identify barriers and opportunities for integrating and

protecting
EGS through water management planning

and
identify
corresponding
implementation gaps
; and

4)

To develop recommendations to improve water management planning,
in the context of protecting EGS.

Identifying
specific
m
echanisms for
implementing recomm
endations is beyond the scope of this research
project, and would require further research.

1.4
Project Relevance

Schindler and Donahue (2006) discuss the strong possibility of a
n

impending

water crisis in the
w
estern
P
rairie
p
rovinces of Canada

partially due to climate change
impacts, but also significantly due to anthropogenic land
-
use change
s (Falkenmark 2004).
It is necessary

to integrate all three components of the system


social, economic, and
environmental



when attempting to manage for
the
uncertain conditions that climate
change and land
-
use changes bring
.

The need to manage this uncertainty is also required
in light of current and future water concerns.

Bridging the concept of EGS with water
manag
ement provides the potential
to weave s
ocial, economic, and environmental aspects

4

into water management, which is
currently
missing from the discussion (Falkenmark
2004).

Ecological goods and services is a useful principle to analyze water management
as aquatic ecosystems are among the most deg
raded ecosystems globally, yet provide
some of the most important EGS for humans and wildlife. Examples of freshwater EGS
include
:

flood control, water quality, biodiversity, recreation, nutrient and sediment
cycling, and more (Baron et al
.

2002). In addit
ion, some EGS may not be replaceable
once they have been lost, and those that are replaceable are typically only replaced at a
large economic and resource cost (Wardrop et al
.

2011)

over a long time period
. Thus

there is a need to address
integrated
water
management planning in the context of
protecting EGS.


Alberta provides a useful location to assess EGS integration and protection by
water management planning. Alberta’s water policies and legislation indic
ate that there is
a commitment
by the government

to protect the aquatic habitat
;

however, certain goals
such as acceptable water quality levels, riparian habitat, and instream flow needs (IFN’s)
are not being met in several of the river basins in the Province, including basins that have
water management

plans in place. It is therefore useful to evaluate
integrated
water
management
planning in Alberta

based upon the extent that EGS
protection is occurring

in order
to identify how

integrated

water management

planning

could improve to further
protect EGS.

1
.5
Conceptual Framework

The following diagram represents the conceptual framework that guid
ed

this
research

(Fig. 1)
. A conceptual framework
, typically developed during the literature
review
,

identifies the main fact
ors and variables to be studied

and the potential
relationships between them (Miles and Huberman 1994).
In this thesis I

attempt to
evaluate the

protection of EGS based upon the

integration of ecological goods and
services within

integrated

water management planning in Alberta
.
Th
rough
a

literature
review
I
identified key elements that need to be in place prior to
integrated
water
management planning being effective at protecting EGS.
T
h
ese

elements
include:


5

adaptive management, governing principles, an enabling environment, and
manageme
nt
based on an ecosystem
approach
(see Chapter 3)
. The conceptual framework shows
integrated
water management pl
anning and EGS being integrated

and those four
categories of elements feeding into the integration.


Figure 1. Conceptual Framework

1.6
Project

Approach and Methods

My

research
embodies

a combination of descriptive, evaluative, and design
approaches
. The descriptive portion

of the research

entails discovering and describing
what is currently occurring in Alberta with respect to water management p
lanning and
ecological goods and services. The evaluative purpose is to assess, based upon the
descriptive portion, the extent to which water management planning is

successful in

integrating and protecting EGS. The evaluation is summative as the

water mana
gement

plan and planning process is being evaluated after the water management plan has been
developed and implemented (Preskill 2001). The design portion of the research purpose
is cr
itical for

developing recommendations to improve EGS
protection by integ
rated

water management planning, based on the prior descriptive and evaluative portions of the
research.

The overall research strategy is an evaluative case study. A case study approach
was chosen because it is a useful research strategy for evaluating a
real
-
world
phenomenon at a specific point in

time (Yin 2003, Creswell 2007)

and makes broad
research issues more manageable (Robson 1993). The defining characteristic of a case
Water!
Management!
Planning!and!
Ecological!Goods!
and!Services!
Protection!
Adaptive!
Management!
Governance!
Enabling!
Environment!
Ecosystem!
Based!
Management!

6

study is that the researcher uses a variety of types of data in order to synthe
size the same
information (Robson 1993). I gathered data from
a document analysis and key informant
interviews
. The case study
method

does not lend itself to linear and

prescribed steps,
instead
a flexible, adaptable,
and iterative

research

approach

is utilized in case study
research

(Yin 2003
). The Nose Creek Watershed was chosen as the case study for several
reasons. First, it is in the geographical and policy context of

my

interest. It is a sub
-
basin
of the larger Bow River Basin, and this smaller

scale makes the research more
manageable. Nose Creek has an active Watershed Stewardship Group (WSG), has had a
water management plan in place since 2008, the plan is currently being implemented, and
the Nose Creek Watershed Partnership (NCWP)
, the WSG fo
r this basin,

has several
readily
-
available documents for analysis on their website.

Prior to beginning
the evaluation

a set of evaluative criteria had to be developed.
This evaluative criteria framework is a central goal
of

this research, and the applica
tion of
this framework to the case study provides further verification of the criteria in the
framework as well as its applicability to the real world.
Th
e development of the
framework

was done
through

a literature review and synthesis from several differe
nt
disciplines including ecology, hydrology, hydrogeology, environmental management,
environmental planning, environmental science, environmental law, environmental
economics, environmental policy, and participatory and collaborative management.
When condu
cting this literature review, the following search terms were used: water
management, watershed management, water management planning, watershed
management planning, integrated water resource management, community
-
based natural
resource management, natural

resource management, environmental goods and services,
ecological goods and services, socio
-
ecohydrology, and ecohydrology. These terms were
searched on the databases Aqualine, Environment Complete, Web of Science, and
Google Scholar. The selection
criter
ia for including
articles in the synthesis were articles
that: discussed principles of water or watershed management planning, discussed
examples of water or watershed management planning, discussed issues of water or
watershed management planning, discuss
ed ecological goods and serv
ices, or any articles
integrating

those concepts.
A
ny discussion
s

of implementation
requirements were also

7

included

as the literature review identified the need to implement plans in order to have
su
ccessful ecological protectio
n. G
ray literature was also included in this synthesis. This
included government and non
-
governmental organizations


documents, including
documents from the World Water Council, the Global Water Partnership, The Economics
of Ecology and Biodiversity, and T
he Millennium Ecosystem Ass
essment
.
In addition
,

any exemplar
y

cas
es of water management planning

and potential ecological goods and
services
protection
that were identified during the literature review were also used in the
synthesis to develop the evalua
tive criteria framework.

Guidelines for systemic review as
outlined by Pullin and Stewart
(
2006
)

were utilized to guide the formulation of the
framework. As well, Robson
(
1993
)

provides a method for utilizing matrices in
qualitative research in order to so
rt and analyze qualitative data. This method was
employed in conjunction with the guidelines for a research synthesis (Pullin and Stewart
2006).

The data collection methods included document analysis and key informant
interviews (
Appendix
1
).

Key informant

interviews were conducted because the
descriptive portion o
f the research



triangulation of the evaluative criteria framework
and
synthesi
s

with the results of the
document analysis

to achieve final results



relied on
the information and experience of experts in the field. A combination of purposive and
snowball sampling was used to identify key informants (Creswell 2003). Purposive
sampling allows researchers, using their own discretion, to identify who may
have the
information required by the research (Creswell 2003, Gray 2004). Snowball sampling
enables other key informants to be identified (Creswell 2003, Gray 2004) by

people in
the field stating

who would have the information that the researcher is reques
ting.
Snowball sampling can result in only talking to people who have similar opinions
,

therefore the researcher must be careful to ensure that the wide range of potential
viewpoints
is attained
. Data saturation of key informant interviews occurred once ke
y
informants refe
r
r
ed

to the same people to be interv
iewed

and no new information was
revealed during interviews. This research included
12
key informants from WSG’s,
WPAC’s,
municipal government, provincial government, environmental lawyers,

watershed spe
cialists,

and environmental non
-
governmental organizations in order to

8

obtain the same type of information from a variety of viewpoints. All people
interviewed were professionally involved in water management planning and protection
of ecological goods and

services
, and people from the various organizations and expertise
that are involved in water management planning
, in the context of the Nose Creek
watershed,

were all captured
.

Three other people were contacted for interviews but did
not respond including

another Alberta Environment employee, an Alberta Sustainable
Resource Development employee, and another municipal planner.
The interviews were
semi
-
structured
.

This ensured consistency between interviews

while simultaneously
offering

the ability to probe
or pursue
unique

information
or opinions held by
the people
being interviewed

(Gray 2004).

The document analysis was conducted to gather inf
ormation about the water

management plan and process. These documents included background documents on the
Nose Cree
k Watershed Water Management Plan

(
NCWMP
), the planning documents
from the
NCWMP
, and any
related
monitoring documents
.
Government documents that
guide water management planning were also analyzed. These documents were identified
through a publication sear
ch on government websites for documents relating t
o water or
watershed management

or ecological goods and services,
or through interviewees
identifying what document
s were used as guidance
. All documents
were

publicly
available on
government or
NCWP

websites.

Data analysis methods included thematic and evaluative analysis. All interviews
were audiotaped and transcribed, in accordance
with the
University of Calgary Conjoint
Ethics Board Approval.
From the transcriptions

common trends and themes were
identified by making notes through re
-
reading the transcripts, grouping the notes into a

spreadsheet to identify any minor or major similarities or differences, and then
developing a coherent set of categories (Stufflebeam and Shinkfield 2007).
From the
co
mmon trends and themes an evaluative rating was given, in the same format as for the
document analysis as described below, in order to gain a richer sense of the extent each
evaluative element is incorporated into integrated water management planning in Al
berta.


9

The documents were evaluated for e
ach evaluative criteria element

by rating
each element
as

high, medium, low, or none. The
‘h
igh


rating indicated that the element
was mentioned, defined, and a clear implementation plan for including the element wa
s
present. The
‘m
edium


rating was given if the el
ement was mentioned and defined

but
there was no direction or guidance for implementation. The
‘l
ow


rating was giv
en if the
element was mentioned

but no definition or further elaboration was given.

None


indicated that the element was not mentioned. From
the evaluation of the documents

common trends were identified for each evaluative
criteri
on
, in the same way
in which
trends were identified in the interview analysis. The trends from the document analysis

and the interview analysis were then combined in order to determine
a final ranking
,

as
well as to provide triangulation to check the accuracy and validity of the results (Creswell
2003).

Following this trend synthesis

barriers and opportunities to prote
ct EGS through
integrated
water management planning were identified to facilitate a discussion on
recommendations. This design aspect is a direct approach with barriers, opportunities,
and recommendations being arrived at directly from the
data
analysis.

The following diagram illustrates

the research method process, which was not a
linear, but rather an iterative, approach.


10


Figure 2. Research Method

Process

1.7
Context Background


Alberta and Nose Creek Watershed

The management of water is an important
issue to the people of Alberta. In 20
03
the then
Ministry
of Alberta Environment (AENV
)

(now the current Ministry of
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development [ESRD]



it should be noted that at
the time of this research the Ministry was Alberta Env
ironment
, so for the purpose of this
research it is the acronym AENV that is used
)

issued the
Water for Life

policy, a
progressive policy with the 3 goals of:
1)
safe and abundant drinking water,
2)
healthy
aquatic ecosystems, and
3)
water for a growing ec
onomy (Alberta 2003). The policy was
renewed in 2008 to include knowledge and research, partnerships, and conservation as
key elements to achieving the policy goals (AWC 2008). The Government also identified
Watershed Planning Advisory Councils (WPAC’s) fo
r the seven major watersheds
identified

in the Province
, and Watershed Stewardship Groups (WSG’s) for the smaller
sub
-
basins. These groups were charged with developing plans

for their particular

11

watershed

as well as work
ing

with surrounding and connected w
atersheds. The
following figure depict
s

the major watershed boundaries
within

Alberta

and the
associated Watershed Planning Advisory Council for each watershed
.


Figure 3. Map of Watershed Boundaries of Alberta

Source: Alberta Environment

While the
Water
for Life

policy provides guidance for water management, the
Water Act

(2000)
provide
s

the legislative
authority

for water management planning. The
purpose of the
Water Act

is to “support and promote the conservation and management of
water, including the wise allocation and use of water” (Water Act 2000). The Act calls
for a provincial planning framework to outline how water management planning should

12

occur, which led to th
e
Framework for Water Management Planning

by the
Government of Alberta in 2001.
Included in th
is framework was a
Strategy for the
Protection of the Aquatic

Environmen
t
.
All

three documents, the
Water Act
,
Framework
for Water Management Planning
, and the
Wa
ter for Life

policy are closely aligned with
similar goals. However,
Water for Life

advocates that

water management should be
conducted

in a watershed management fashion, while the
Framework for Water
Management Planning

does not provide guid
ance on how to

do this. In 2008

the Alberta
Water Council (AWC) developed a
Framework for Watershed Management Planning

t
o
better define what that means

and provide guidance on how t
o conduct that type of
planning

for provincial and municipal planners, WPAC’s, WSG’s, an
d other stakeholders
who are attempting to
develop a
watershed management plan. While there are
partnerships

and stakeholder involvement
, the Government of Alberta still remains
accountable overall for water and watershed management planning (Berzins 2006)
.

The
Water Act

controls the alloc
ation and uses of water

and

guides the
approv
al
of

any

proposed

project that would have an impact on water

bodies. Alberta
operates with
a “first in time, first in right”

(
FTFR
)

principle of water allocation, meaning that

senior
water licenses receive their entire allocated amount of water prior to junior licenses.
The
authority for appr
oval of a Water Management Plan

resides within

the
Water

Act

and the
Lieutenant Governor in Council

or the Minister

has the authority to
approve a Water
Management Plan
.

If the Water Management Plan has been approved under the
Water
Act

it must be considered when the Director is approving projects that may impact that
waterbody.
U
nder the
Water Act

the Director

designated by the

Minister

al
so

has the
authority to set Water Conservation Objectives (WCO’s
)

which
are

water license
s

that
require a specific amount of water to remain in the basin to restore flows, improve
aquatic habitat, or for rec
reational purposes. D
uring a license transfer the

provincial

government has the ability to withhold up to 10% of the volume being transferred for
environmental purposes. These three legislative tools are the
primary
means

within the

legislation for protection of the environment

related to water managemen
t
.


13

The management of water involves multiple jurisdictions.
The
Environmental
Protection and Enhancement Act
(EPEA), also under AENV
, is the legislation that
regulates the release of substances into a waterbody.
Alberta Sustainable Resource
Development

is

responsible for land practices on
public lands,

which may have an impact
on waterbodies

(this department is now a part of ESRD)
. Municipal governments are
responsible for water treatment
,

and waste and stormwater management. The Federa
l
Government may als
o have
jurisdiction over water management. The Department of
Fisheries and Oceans (DFO
) is required to be involved in

any project that may impact a
fish
-
bearing stream,

Transport Canada is concerned with navigable waterbodies,

and
there are a variety of Fe
deral Departments that are respons
ible for water on Federal lands

such as military bases,

National Parks, and First Nations’ Reserves. As well, the
transboundary nature of flowing waterbodies has led to severa
l agreements of
apportionments that

outline wha
t percent of flow, and in what quality, is necessitated to
other jurisdictions that the water body flows into.

Alberta’s major players in water
management are agriculture in the form of irrigation, and industry, in particular the oil
and gas industry. Nose

Creek was chosen for this case study because it
only involves
Fisheries and Oceans Canada at the Federal level
,
it is not a transboundary basin,
it is not
in an irrigation district, and there is not a significant level of oil and gas development.
Hence

th
e complexity of the case is minimized and allows for a focus on the elements of
primary interest for this research
.
Responsibility for the management of Nose Creek lies
mainly
with the Provi
ncial and Municipal governments

and the Watershed Stewardship
Group.

The Nose Creek Watershed Partnership (NCWP) is the WSG for the Nose Creek
watershed basin in Southern Alberta. The Nose Creek is a tributary of

the Bow River
;

t
he
creek begins

in the Town of Crossfield
,

flows through A
irdrie, and meets

the Bow River
in Calgary near the Calgary Zoo (NCWP 2012) (see Figure 2). A gross area of 989 km
2

and an effective area of 743 km
2

are drained by this watershed (NCWP 2012). The Nose
Creek is a spring
-
fed
stream
, with the

highest volume o
f water from the
spring
arising in

McPherson Coulee. West Nose Creek is the main tributary to the Nose Creek,
accounting
for
approximately

33% of the watershed area,
joining the Nose Creek near Deerfoot Trail

14

directly west of the Calgary International Airp
ort. The main stem of Nose Creek is 65
km long (NCWP 2012).


Figure 4
.

Nose Creek Watershed Basin Map

Source: NCWP Website

The NCWP
initiated the development of

a Water Management Plan in 2005 with
the final draft being released in 2008.

Even though the
A
WC’s

Framework for Watershed
Management
Planning

was not released
at this time
the intent was to develop this plan in
a watershed fashion.
The

p
lanning process was initiated because of citizen concerns
with
the water quality in the basin.

The Nose Creek drains a diversity of land uses including:
rural, agriculture including cattle ranching and dryland agriculture, industrial, and various
forms of residential urban development. It flows through an Environmental Reserve and a
golf course in
the City of Airdrie. Municipal partners in the Nose Creek watershed
include the Town of Crossfield, the City of Airdrie, the City of Ca
lgary, and
the
M.D. of
Rocky View
.
The Airport Authority is also a partner.
The main cause of land use change
currently i
n the Nose Creek basin is urban residential development, most significantly in

15

the form of ex
-
urban and peri
-
urban deve
lopment in the M.D. of
Rocky View
, which
has caused an increase in stormwater runoff into the stream
. The main goals of the
NCWP are to i
mprove water quality and riparian health in the watershed.

1.8
Summary

This research problem is valid and important
with respect to current

issues in
integrated water management planning.
The evaluative case study research process has
been outlined in this

chapter, with rationale provi
ded for th
e research approach, methods
,

and case study selection.

T
his research is limited due to the nature of being a single case
study. Recommend
ations may not be generalizable

but

this approach does allow a deep
investigat
ion into a watershed in Alberta, and thus
some of the recommendations may

be
suitable for
other watersheds in the Alberta context
. The validity and reliability of the
research was ensured through triangulation and reflection during the entire research
proc
ess.


16

Chapter
2.0 Literature Review

2.1 Global Significance and His
tory of Watershed Management

Freshwater ecosystems are finite, vulnerable (Solanes et al. 1999), and are being
degraded or destroyed at a faster rate than ever before in history and signific
antly faster
than they are being restored (Baron et al. 2002). Integrated water resource management
(IWRM) and watershed management are integrated approaches to land use and water
management planning. The focus is on waterbodies and associated ecosystems a
nd
involves discussions with scientists (both natural and social), policy
-

and decision
-
makers,
and other stakeholders (Falkenmark 2004). The management goals are to ensure a safe
and adequate water supply for human use and economic development without
com
promising the biophysical environment. Water is essential for human and ecosystem
health, socioeconomic development, energy, food and materials, distribution of silt and
solutes, and habitat (Falkenmark 2008). Global degradation of freshwater is of signifi
cant
concern for humans and our well being. Beyond use by humans, these ecosystems are
essential for biodiversity and ecological function. Climate change is altering and
degrading watersheds but other human impacts on watersheds, particularly land use
chan
ge from native ecosystems to human developments, possibly rivals the impacts of
climate change (Falkenmark 2008). This water stress is a complex and emerging issue
within natural resources management, wherein the cause is not simple to categorize as it
inc
ludes environmental, economic, and social factors (Gearey et al. 2006).

Water management and concern over water is a relatively recent topic in global
discussions, but throughout history has often been the pivotal point of conflict and
civilization degrad
ation. The first few global discussions regarding sustainable
development focused on land degradation and did not address water management
(Falkenmark 2008). The UN Conference on Water occurred in 1977 (Rahaman et al.
2005), after which water issues largel
y disappeared from global discussions until the
International Conference on Water and Environment in Dublin, 1992. Out of this
conference arose the Dublin Principles for water management which include:

fresh
water is a finite and vulnerable resource essen
tial to sustain life, development, and the

17

environment; water development and management should be based on a participatory
approach involving users, planners, and policy makers at all levels; women play a central
role in the provision, management, and saf
eguarding of all water; and water has an
economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognized as an economic good


(Huffman 2009). The Second World Water Forum and Ministerial Conference in 2000
was revolutionary because it included a range of

stakeholders, not just government
officials and formal experts (Rahaman et al. 2005). Five critical actions that were
identified from this conference for water management included: involving all
stakeholders in integrated management, moving to full
-
cost p
ricing of water, increased
public funding for research,
more cooperation for international basin management
, and
increasing investments in water (Pangare et al. 2006). The International Conference on
Freshwater in 2001 identified the large
gap between poli
cy
and implementation
(Rahaman et al. 2005). The World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg
in 2002 identified IWRM as one of the key components for achieving sustainable
development goals (Rahaman et al. 2005). These three decades of conferen
ces resulted in
many commitments to IWRM, most of which have not been implemented (Rahaman et al.
2005). Freshwater ecosystems are still being degraded and destroyed.

Watersheds provide many important ecosystem goods and services including
water filtratio
n

and storage
,

flood retention, nutrient

sequestration and cycling, food
production, biod
iversity, temperature and erosion regulation, energy,
recr
eation, and
cultural
values (Palmer et al. 2009)

among others
. Water management planning has
evolved to
planning based on the scale of a watershed because it is impossible to protect
the freshwater body without protecting the larger drainage basin. A watershed is defined
as the geographic area where the land base drains into the same river, wetland,
groundwa
ter recharge area, etc. Thus a watershed includes the terrestrial land

base,
aquatic bodies on the land base,
and the
connecting
groundwater
(Palmer et al. 2009)
.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005 found that the human population and
level of urba
nization is increasing globally, with ex
-
urban residential developments
occurring at the fastest rate of human developments (Wisdom et al. 2009) and watershed
function is being degraded due to

ecosystem

changes (Wisdom et al. 2009) that occur

18

with this inc
reased development, land use, and
land
cover change. When watershed
function deteriorates ecological g
oods and services are

at risk, impacting human and
wildlife populations. It is important to integrate the concept of ecological goods and
services into in
tegrated water management planning to subsequently achieve protection
of ecological goods and services through water management plan implementation.

2.2 Ecological Goods and Services

The concept of “ecological goods and services” (EGS) can be used to
facilitate a
dialogue between economists and ecologists (Brismar 2009). Ecological goods and
services is a relatively new concept, with the first initial valuation study conducted via
the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005. A theory behind EGS is that

by being
able to place the products that ecosystems provide in economic terms it is possible to
make an economic argument for protection of the ecosystem components that provide
those products (Wardrop et al. 2011). Conservation and development are both i
ssues of
economics and thus an economic case for conservation in addition to development needs
to be made (Folke 2006) even if the conservation value is not as easily defined as the
developmental value. This valuation is not easily defined and there are no

consistent
methods to valuation (Nilsson 2008), however economists have devised several methods
to apply to valuation efforts. There is a danger that focusing on EGS

which is a concept
defined by the usefulness of ecosystem processes and functions to hum
ans


may

result in
further degradation
(Bateman et al. 2011). Therefore valuation methods of EGS need to
at least provide a quantifiable proxy of direct use values, indirect use values, non
-
use
values, option values, and existence values (Leach and Pelkey

2001) which is not a
simple empirical matter. Valuation of EGS does not have utility in and of itself but it
becomes a useful tool to guide management decisions (Winkler 2006). Therefore,
valuation numbers should not be considered to be exact economic too
ls but rather a
decision
-
making tool.

Ecological goods and services are a result of ecosystem functions and processes
(de Groot et al. 2002). Ecosystem functions are the physical, chemical, and biological
processes that occur in ecosystems (Dobbs et al. 20
11). These ecosystem functions

19

include regulating functions, habitat functions, production functions, and information
functions (de Groot et al. 2002
). Regulating functions are
biogeochemical
processes
that
enable services such as clean air, water, and soi
l (de Groot et al. 2002). Habitat functions
are the ability of
ecosystems to provide

habitat to species, which contributes to
biodiversity. Production, or provisioning, functions include processes tha
t produce food,
energy
, and materials. Information funct
ions of ecosystems refer to such attributes as
providing reference sites for restoration of disturbed sites, places for spirituality and
recreation, and aesthetic values (de Groot et al. 2002).

Ecosystem services are the end products of various e
cosystem
functions (Dobbs et
al.

2011) and ecosystem goods are material products resulting from ecosystem processes
(Dobbs et al. 2011). Humans define ecosystem goods and services and their subsequent
valuation, making EGS a normative concept. Ecological goods and
services are not
typically represented in policy or legislation, which is postulated to be contributing to the
degradation of ecosystems (Lovett and Noel 2008) because there is no requirement or
guidance for protection. While the concept of EGS has its cha
llenges, in particular the
methods of valuation (Nilsson 2008), focusing on protecting EGS has the potential to be
simpler and more quantifiable than attempting to protect ecosystem processes and
functions themselves (Burger 2008), making it more useful fo
r managers and planners. In
addition it maintains the benefit of managing on an ecosystem scale as opposed to a
single species scale (Euliss 2011), and an ecosystem scale is the most appropriate way to
manage watersheds (Baron 2002, Falkenmark 2004). Placi
ng the focus of integrated
water management planning on the protection of EGS provides an opportunity to improve
our management, implementation, and monitoring tools in order to succeed in better
protection of natural ecosystems.

2.3 Integrated Water Reso
urces Management, Watershed Management, and
Community Based Natural Resource Management Principles

The Global Water Partnership in 2000 defined IWRM as “a process that promotes
the coordinated development and management of water, land, and their related r
esources,
maximizing economic and social welfare without compromising the sustainability of vital

20

ecosystems” (de Stefano 2010). Guiding principles of IWRM include
: managing water
on a watershed scale involving

all sectors, treating water as an economic, e
nvironmental,
and social good
, relying on stakeholder engagement and participation
, and developing
integrated policies, regulatory, and

institutional frameworks with

participatory
management and new governance structures

(Pangare et al. 2006). While these
principles
and definitions are very vague and not defined in a meaningful way, they serve well as
high
-
level guidance principles for the community of watershed managers. However there
is very little research in the literature on whether these principles ac
tually work to achieve
the goals set out by IWRM or if these principles are even implemented in practice. That
being said, integrated water management planning is an extremely important
management and planning regime as it combines land
-
use planning with t
he goal of
waterbody protection. The following discussion attempts to distill some of these vague
and large principles into entities that can be more meaningfully discussed and analyzed.

One of the largest and most recurring themes in watershed management
academic
literature is stakeholder engagement and participation. Watershed management planning
is postulated to only be effective if stakeholders are engaged throughout all stages of the
planning process, from inception through to monitoring (Achet and Fle
ming 2006). For
stakeholder involvement to be achieved meaningfully natural resource management
principles indicate that the plan should be developed through a collaborative decision
-
making process, with goals and objectives defined by the stakeholders (Bo
nnell and
Koontz 2002) and with clear mechanisms and pathways for stakeholders' needs and
interests to be integrated into the discussion (Butterworth et al. 2002). Because watershed
management planning should be place
-
based the values and needs of the peop
le living in
a particular watershed need to be integrated into the plan (Allan et al. 2008). A flexible
social infrastructure is required that allows integration of diverse knowledge and interests
to work toward watershed protection (Flitcroft et al. 2008,

Genskow et al. 2009, Hardy et
al. 2008) and sometimes deliberate outreach is needed to include the most skeptical and
inaccessible stakeholders (Flitcroft et al. 2008). One goal in this type of engagement is
social learning, whereby the discussion amongst

a variety of stakeholders can result in
new ideas and issues being brought forward and opposing parties better understand
ing


21

each other (Gruber 2010). Barriers to collaboration include: institutions, power elites,
parties not having a l
egitimate claim to
participate,

ideological differences, constitutional
or legal issues at stake, or negative historical legacies (Selin and Chavez 1995). Issue
setting is a crucial component to developing a watershed management plan and issues
need to be defined and measura
ble (Selin and Chavez 1995). The main issues involving
stakeholder engagement from the literature indicate that stakeholders must be involved in
the plan from inception through to monitoring and implementation, that they should be
involved in a meaningful
way where their suggestions are taken into legitimate
consideration, that the proper stakeholders are identified, and that the process be
facilitated so as to achieve a level of social learning and collaboration.

Integration is another fundamental princip
le of watershed management.
Integration, for the purpose of this research study, is defined as ensuring the inclusion of
all components that are described as needing "integration". Integration of all levels and
sectors affecting watershed management, and b
eing affected by watershed management,
is an important step towards protecting ecological goods and services of watersheds
(Alahuhta et al. 2006) as it enables all sectors that impact water to have a discussion
about management plans (Lenders and de Groot
2006). The c
urrent policy environment
results in

many independent planning and decision
-
making
efforts to address the issue,
often with minimal

coordination (Deason et al. 2008). Integration needs to occur between
the different components of the resource (
ex. groundwater and surface water), between
various sectors and stakeholders, including interagency coordination across multiple
levels of government (Genskow 2009), amongst people involved in the watershed, and
across different administrative and j
urisdic
tional
boundaries (Butterworth et al. 2007).

Water management planning also relies on overcoming the challenge of balancing
the need for decentralization of local government management and planning with a strong
regional leadership body that has the resou
rces to
develop and

implement plans (Berg and
BenDor 2008). Management needs to be site
-
specific to the basin in order to incorporate
the specific needs and issues of the basin and basin stakeholders (Butterworth et al. 2007).
This requires a meaningful tr
ansfer of powers, resources, and tools to the local

22

government. Historically decentralization has been minimal with lack of empowerment
for communities to manage ecological processes (Coombes 2007). Clear regional
-
level
goals and objectives for natural res
ources management are needed to guide the local
governments conducting site
-
specific management (Genskow 2009), and the appropriate
powers and tools need to be deferred to the local governments.

An enabling environment for integrated water management plan
ning is also
required. This might require a change in current water and land management policy and
legislation (Lenders 2006). This enabling environment requires the political will to
support and guide water management planning by creating policies, legisl
ation, and
regulations that will support integrated water management planning (Pangare et al. 2006,
van der Keur 2008). This requires public pressure and support. The role of government in
this type of policy environment is to mobilize financial and human
resources, develop
legislation, standards and regulations, monitor and assess the use of water and land
resources, and create opportunities for public participation (Pangare et al. 2006).
Successful implementation of integrated water management planning po
licies requires an
empowering legislative/policy environment that guides and enables the integrated water
management planning process to occur (Medema et al. 2008).

Different management and government tools need to be in place in the enabling
environment
(de Stefano et al. 2010, Saravanan et al. 2009) and if tools are in the form of
legislation and regulations they need to be enforceable, which is often not the case in the
environmental sector (de Stefano et al. 2010). Integrated water management plans sho
uld
be legislated in order to have statutory backing (Quevauviller 2010). This is where a
regional body becomes important, as they typically have the resources and authority to
regulate (Berg and BenDor 2007). There are two major problems with respect to
l
egislation and regulation: lack of coordination
and incomplete enforcement
(Song et al.
2010). In addition, the use of water for the purpose of the environment needs to be
legitimized, with water reserved specifically for strictly environmental purposes (H
ukka
et al. 2010).


23

IWRM is not without its criticisms. The basin approach is not always
administratively possible (Butterworth et al. 2008) and because ecological boundaries
span administrative and political jurisdictional lines there is an issue of scale

(Genskow et
al. 2009), including both spatial and temporal scales. The concepts of IWRM do not have
universal definitions, and therefore mean many things to

different people (Garcia 2009)
that

disables

the development of

standard methods and tools to cond
uct water
management planning. Therefore, these definitions need to be clearly established. There
is a large gap between the theory and practical implementation of IWRM (Gearey et al.
2006) and it cannot be assumed that by applying the theory implementatio
n of plans will
necessarily occur. There is a lack of understanding including a lack of adequate skills,
expertise, awareness, adequate and reliable data, and gaps in knowledge and technology
(Gearey et al. 2006) around socio
-
ecoyhdrologic systems. The nee
d to integrate so many
sectors and people adds to the already complex system (Grigg 2008, Medema et al. 2008).
In addition there are huge funding issues, social and institutional issues, fragmented
authority, and
logistical
issues (Lurie and Hibbard 2006,
Medema et al. 2008). There is
also a problem of translating generic, science
-
based management concepts and
frameworks into practice (Arthington 2006). However, the broad principles of IWRM
and watershed management planning, as well as some of the fundament
al requirements to
conducting IWRM, can be utilized to guide water management planning towards the goal
of protecting EGS. EGS has also been criticized for similar reasons as IWRM, and it has
been suggested that these two concepts are essentially the same,

just utilizing different
approaches (Cook and Spray 2012). While these criticisms are valid, this research project
is not purporting that these concepts are perfect.

The evaluative criteria framework
developed in this research integrates these two theorie
s, and identifies how the concept of
EGS can be integrated into IWRM in a meaningful way.

Through the evaluation
presented in this research what is working


and what is not working


with regard to
protecting ecosystems through integrated water management

planning will be analyzed.
Even if the specifics of these concepts are not perfect, the high level principles can
provide guidance to people attempting to protect the environment via integrated water
management planning.


24

While there is a diverse breadth o
f literature regarding what it means to conduct
integrated water management planning, with key principles discussed above, very little
literature addresses the integration of ecological goods and services into watershed
management planning (Falkenmark 2008
). Ecological goods and services can provide a
useful framework for monitoring and evaluating success of watershed management
because in protecting ecological goods and services protection of the triple bottom line of
environment, economic, and social goal
s can be achieved. The question then arises: how
can water management planning be utilized in a way that can help to conserve ecological
goods and services of watersheds, and what elements are needed to aid this protection?

2.4 Current Indirect Attempts
at Integrating EGS Into Water Management
Planning

One way scientists and managers agree would help protect ecological goods and
services in freshwater ecosystems is by managing rivers in a way that mimics natural
flow patterns (Arthington et al. 2006) inst
ead of managing flows based purely on
achieving an adequate water supply for human needs. Flow patterns are naturally
dynamic and variable,

and this enables the maintenance

of
ecological processes
, and
ultimately biodiversity

(Arthington et al. 2010). Instream flow needs (IFN's) are the
amount of water required to maintain the aquatic environm
ent (Arthington et al. 2010),
and thus

IFN's should be determined and protected for waterbodies in integrated water
management plans. On
e thing to aid the implementation of policies is to identify
measurable planning objectives and targets (Deason et al. 2008) and instream flow needs
provide a measurable unit. This could also help to legitimize water for the use of the
environment and may
enable a measurable target of the quantity of water that needs to be
allocated for environmental purposes. In addition, managing watercourses based on their
natural variability builds more resilience capacity back into the system than is present
when manag
ement of the river is based solely on human demand.

Another component that could protect water for ecological use is establishing and
implementing limits on freshwater extraction, authorizing the environment as a legitimate
use
r of water
, and creating tran
sfer mechanisms to reallocate water
purely for

25

environment
al purposes

(Garrick et al. 2009). Once degraded, ecosystem services
recover slowly or not at all, and

this

slow recovery and

potential

irreversibility can equal
a

loss of ecosystem services and goo
ds (Carpenter et al. 2009). This has a negative
impact environmentally, socially, and economically. Innovative policy and legislation is
required to enable the environment to be recognized as legitimate thus enabling
protection.

Economic tools are also an

option for protection of EGS especially to make an
economic case for conservation. Environmental goods and services are public goods
characterized by being non
-
rival, non
-
excludable, and therefore result in market failures
(Ezebilo 2009). An economic tool

that could be used within water management planning
is incentive
-
based approaches, which tend to result in lower costs than command and
contro
l approaches (Ezebilo 2009). I
ncentive
-
based approaches include

things such as
:
taxes, fees, charges, subsidies,
and tax
-
subsidy combinations (Ezebilo 2009). A
mechanism to allocate use rights through these incentive
-
based transfer processes can
help to establish a limit on the use of the resource (Garrick et al. 2009).

2.5 Evaluation of Management Goals

It

is not e
nough to have integrated water

management planning principles and
practices in place; monitoring and evaluation of success is a very important aspect to
identify if goals are being met. Due to the variability and unknowns that climate and land
use change b
ring adaptive management regimes are needed to manage those variances
(Arthington 2006, Pittock and Lankford 2010, Sadoff and Muller 2008). Thus, if
monitoring and measurement of success is occurring, it creates the ability to learn from
previous attempts
at management in order to improve future management outcomes.

Prior to evaluation an agreed upon definition of success needs to be determined
which means creating definable and measurable targets and outcomes (Deason 2010,
Gleason 2011) for all goals, both

normative and descriptive. Monitoring based on
ecological goods and services inadvertently monitors ecosystem processes and functions
(Burger 2008). Historically most monitoring has been conducted by measuring chemical
parameters of water bodies, in part
because these are definable and measurable

26

components, however they do not necessarily give an indication of the natural resource
condition (Malos 2008). Monitoring the quantity and quality of specific EGS pre
-

and
post
-
management interventions (Alexander
and Allan 2007) can provide a stronger
picture of the state of the ecosystem than that obtained exclusively through measuring
chemical parameters. Defining what EGS to monitor will come from stakeholders, but
monitoring plans need to consider type, duratio
n, quality, and reporting (Kondolf 2007)

components
. It is important to commit to monitoring even if the outcomes take a long
time to materialize and are difficult to measure (Chene 2009) as this is how managers and
decision
-
makers can learn from managemen
t plans and implementations, both of which
contribute to building a real adaptive management regime (Butterworth 2010).

2.6 Local Issues in Watershed Management Planning in Alberta

Integrated water management planning

is extremely important to the P
rairie

provinces, including Alberta, particularly in light of predicted effects that climate change
will have on prairie regions (Schindler 1997), with issues related to water scarcity and
governance/management rated most important (Hurlbert 2009). There are thr
ee
institutional models for water management: government agency management, user
-
based
management, and market
-
based management (Hurlbert 2009). Government agency
management is associated with water regarded as public property and the government
defers auth
ority for management of
water to an agency that determines water rights and
allocations
(Hurlbert 2009). User
-
based management is water regarded as common
property with users
conducting management

(Hurlbert 2009). Market
-
based management
is water owned as

private property and
wat
er is allocated
through private transactions
(Hurlbert 2009). Alberta mainly operates on a government agency based management
system
however
seems to be slowly adopting a market
-
based regime (Hurlbert 2009).
This does not readily en
able the decentralization and collaborative planning that the
government has stated a commitment to (Hurlbert 2009). That being said, market
-
based
management may create transfer mechanisms so water could be shifted from a previously
allocated use to an env
ironmental use (Gearey 2006). Alberta is attempting
decentralization efforts with the development of Watershed Planning and Advisory
Councils (WPAC’s) and Watershed Stewardship Groups (WSG’s) who develop water

27

and watershed management plans, however, it is

unclear if these plans will be
implemented (Hurlbert 2009) or contribute to successful EGS protection.

Another issue with integrated water management planning in Alberta is that the
Minister who is responsible for the environment is not responsible for s
ignificant
developme
nts having ramifications on
watershed
s

(Hurlbert 2009). Alberta water licenses
operate on the principle of prior appropriation and while this provides a simple and