Updated November 2022
Allocation data may be overestimated because allocations are calculated by summing maximum allowable allocation volumes at all diversion points (i.e., water sources: surface water, groundwater, or surface runoff). Some licences permit companies to use water from multiple diversion points with a combined allocation greater than the maximum allowable diversion allocated by the licence. Companies can divert water from these different diversion points as needed but not more than the maximum allocation for each diversion point. The total volume of water withdrawn from all diversion points cannot exceed the total allocation for the licence.
Allocations dictate where water can be withdrawn, but water is often used in other areas. Consequently, water use within an area (e.g., hydraulic unit code [HUC] 8) could exceed the water allocation for that area if it were sourced from elsewhere. Additionally, annual volumes of water used can differ from the annual allocation because water could be stored before use.
Groundwater availability is assumed to be equivalent to regional groundwater recharge. The following open file reports (OFRs) describe how regional groundwater recharge was determined in four areas of the province. The approach varied with the different areas due to data availability and hydrogeological characteristics. Groundwater availability in this report is equivalent to
- the safe yield defined in OFR 2017-07: First-Order Groundwater Availability Assessment for Central Alberta,
- the mean of the high and low values for maximum sustained yield defined in OFR 2018-09: First-Order Groundwater Availability Assessment for Southern Alberta, and
- the maximum sustained yield defined in OFR 2019-10: First-Order Groundwater Availability Assessment for the Upper Peace Region, OFR 2020-05: First-Order Groundwater Availability Assessment for the Lower Athabasca Region (2021), and DIG 2021-0024: Groundwater yield continuum for the Cold Lake-Beaver River Basin, Version 2 (GIS data, polygon features).
Where overlap occurred between the central and southern Alberta study areas, the results of OFR 2018‑09 were used.