Using NetMap for Alberta’s Watersheds

By: fRI Research Water Program

Government and Watershed Councils have the complicated task of managing Alberta’s watersheds in a very busy landscape. The Water Program at fRI Research, through the work of Axel Anderson and Michael Wagner, has developed a tool to make the job easier. They have customized the GIS platform NetMap to work for Alberta’s watersheds, so it shows exactly where problems are in a watershed, and where mitigation efforts would be the most beneficial. NetMap finds and ranks “hotspots” on unpaved roads that are eroding sediment into nearby streams. These rankings can be used by the regulator, road owner, trail group, or community organization to plan remediation work. By looking at the big picture, rather than simply one problem area in isolation, they can help all watershed users do their part to improve water quality, fish habitat, and protect species at risk. Using excellent science and a cutting-edge GIS tool, they are providing practical, on-the-ground solutions to effectively reduce the cumulative footprint in our shared watersheds. NetMap empowers grassroots organizations to make a difference in the watershed they drink from.