SouthGrow Studies

In 2008 and 2009, the members of the Economic Development and Innovation Committee spearheaded two projects:

1)    2008 Water for Economic Development Study – SouthGrow contracted the University of Lethbridge, Department of Economics to research the existing water situation, both societal and economic; the existing legislation pertaining to water; the situation surrounding water licenses in the region and the impact of existing water licenses as well as the other legislation.  Specifically, the following areas were investigated:

The research conducted not only provided SouthGrow Regional Initiative and its members a good understanding of the water situation in southern Alberta, but also brought to the forefront a recognition that water was valuable for economic development. 

2)     In 2009 SouthGrow consulted with various water stakeholders and agencies to identify their purposes, mandates and goals as well as the role SouthGrow should play in the water for economic development equation.  Stakeholders consulted included:

  1. Milk River Watershed Council Canada
  2. Oldman Watershed Council
  3. Alberta Environment
  4. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
  5. Alberta Irrigation Projects Association
  6. Alberta Water Council
  7. Water Transfer Alberta
  8. University of Alberta

These stakeholders reinforced their own mandates, roles and responsibilities and suggested that SouthGrow’s role was to promote a pro-active “open for business” attitude pertaining to the availability of water in the region.  All stakeholders noted that economic development, including promoting potential investment and expansion opportunities related to water availability, is an important role for SouthGrow.