The Prairie Provinces Water Board's (PPWB) Charter was revised in February 2006. A brochure can be downloaded from the right side bar menu, and the text is below.
Effective interprovincial water management on the Prairies.
- To ensure that interprovincial waters are protected and equitably apportioned in accordance with the Master Agreement on Apportionment;
- To provide a forum for exchange of information in order to prevent and resolve conflicts; and,
- To promote cooperation in interprovincial water management.
Recognizing that water use within one province may impact another province and because federal and provincial governments have shared responsibility for water, the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and the federal government signed the Master Agreement on Apportionment (MAA) in October 1969. The purpose of this Agreement is to apportion water between the provinces and to protect interprovincial aquifers and water quality. The Master Agreement includes several components or schedules, such as bilateral apportionment agreements between Alberta and Saskatchewan, and Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and a water quality agreement.
Elements of the Agreement
The Master Agreement on Apportionment provides for an equitable sharing of available waters for all eastward flowing streams, including interprovincial lakes, crossing provincial boundaries. The Schedules to the Agreement describe the role of the Board and stipulate the amount and quality of water that shall pass from Alberta to Saskatchewan and from Saskatchewan to Manitoba. Under the MAA and its Schedules, the PPWB will:
- Foster and facilitate interprovincial surface water management and use that encourages the protection and restoration of the aquatic environment;
- Facilitate co-operative management and use of interprovincial aquifers to ensure their protection and sustainable use and consider groundwater matters that have transboundary implications; and,
- Promote and facilitate a cooperative and consensus-based approach to prevent, and where necessary, resolve concerns related to interprovincial water issues.
The Master Agreement on Apportionment and its Schedules were signed by Ministers representing the provinces and the federal government.
The PPWB is accountable for the administration of the Agreement and reporting achievement to the jurisdictions.
The jurisdictions are accountable for meeting the terms of the Agreement.
Responsibilities of Board Members
Board members are senior officials engaged in the administration of water resources in each province of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and senior officials from Environment Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-PFRA(AAFC-PFRA).
Within the framework of the Agreement, Board members will:
- Work cooperatively with one another to achieve the best management of the water resource in the Prairies while representing their own jurisdictional interests;
- Ensure that the Board is informed of any potential projects or policies that could impact other jurisdictions and, when requested, provide the Board with an analysis of those implications;
- Share with one another policies, programs and practices of mutual interest;
- Inform appropriate senior officials and, when necessary, Ministers, about significant issues being considered by the Board;
- Provide direction to the PPWB Executive Director and all Board committees;
- Transmit the PPWB annual report to the appropriate Ministers; and,
- Appoint, as required, representatives for Board committees.
The Board is supported by a Secretariat and three Standing Committees (Committee on Hydrology, Committee on Water Quality, and Committee on Groundwater).
The federal government is primarily responsible for conducting water quality and quantity monitoring required by the PPWB to fulfill obligations under the MAA.
Provincial governments perform the primary role of water management, including control and regulation of major water control infrastructure, flood forecasting, regulation of drinking water, management of water quality, enforcement of laws for the protection of source water, and licensing of water uses.
The provinces have the responsibility to ensure that apportionment and water quality requirements, as stipulated in the Agreement, are met at the interprovincial boundaries.
Each province provides one sixth (1/6) of the funding for the approved annual budget.
The Government of Canada has authority for protection of fish habitat and prevention of pollution detrimental to fish, regulation of toxic substances, navigation and shipping, shared Canada-U.S. waters, federal property, and First Nations and lands reserved for them, including responsibility, with First Nations governments, for provision of drinking water and wastewater services on Reserves.
The federal members of the PPWB represent Environment Canada and AAFC-PFRA.
The federal government provides one-half (1/2) of the funds for the approved annual budget.
Environment Canada is responsible for the full cost of providing water quantity and quality monitoring as defined by the Board, the management of historical data, and contributes to scientific evaluations required to fulfill the PPWB mission.
The PPWB Secretariat consists of an Executive Director who, while a federal employee, is accountable to the Board through its Chairman. Support staff are employees of Environment Canada and are accountable to the PPWB Executive Director. Environment Canada is responsible for overhead costs for office space.
The overarching deliverable for the PPWB is to report on the achievement of the terms of the Master Agreement on Apportionment. This is accomplished by ensuring that:
- Agreed interprovincial apportionment of water is achieved:
- Streamflows are monitored;
- Natural flows are calculated; and
- Apportionment is determined.
- Interprovincial groundwater aquifers are protected and used in a sustainable manner.
- Agreed interprovincial water quality objectives are achieved:
- Water quality parameters are monitored;
- Actual water quality conditions are compared to agreed objectives;
- When objectives are exceeded, causes and implications are identified and, if required, mitigation measures implemented;
- Agreed water quality objectives are reviewed and revised as required; and
- Water quality trends are monitored and reported.
- Jurisdictions are informed about emergency and unusual water
- Jurisdictions will notify one another, in accordance with the Spill Contingency Plan, of emergency water quality events.
- Conflicts and disagreements over interjurisdictional water
issues are avoided:
- Jurisdictions are informed of planned or actual actions which may affect interprovincial waters;
- Interprovincial water issues are investigated; and
- Recommendations, developed through Board consensus on interprovincial water issues, are provided to jurisdictions.
- Ministers, senior managers and appropriate staff of
jurisdictions are informed about PPWB activities:
- Annual reports, reports on issues, topic briefings, and compliance reports are provided to jurisdictions.
- Information, knowledge and research are shared among
- Science investigations and research activities of mutual interest are shared among jurisdictions.
The PPWB has a responsibility for making information available to interested parties. This responsibility includes:
- Providing timely reports to PPWB agencies about the status of apportionment and water quality requirements established under the Master Agreement;
- Providing an annual report to governments on the administration of the Agreement;
- Providing reports and, where necessary, recommendations to governments on matters related to interprovincial water issues;
- Communicating among Board members to prevent and resolve issues;
- Presenting information about the Master Agreement and the PPWB at governmental and non-governmental meetings; and
- Distributing, upon request, reports produced for and by the PPWB to interested parties.
Page last modified: 27 July 2010