Updated December 2020
Allocation data may be overestimated because allocations are calculated by summing maximum allowable allocation volumes at all diversion points. Some licences permit companies to use water from multiple diversion points or water sources (i.e., surface water, groundwater, or surface runoff) with a combined allocation that is greater than the maximum allowable diversion allocated by the licence. Companies can divert water from these different diversion points or water sources as needed, as long as the maximum allocation for each diversion point or water source is not exceeded, and the total volume of water withdrawn from all points or diversions does not exceed the total maximum allocation for the licence.
Allocations dictate where the water will be withdrawn from, but the water is often used in other areas. Therefore, the volume of water used within an area may exceed the volumes of water allocated if that water was sourced elsewhere. Additionally, annual volumes of water used may differ from that allocated due to water potentially being stored before it is used.
Groundwater availability is 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 and OFR 2020-05: First-Order Groundwater Availability Assessment for the Lower Athabasca Region (in preparation).
Where overlap occurred between the central and southern Alberta study areas, the results of OFR 2018-09 were used.