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Watershed News
November 2014

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Patty Rooks !
Praxis has been the link between the scientific and educational communities in southeastern Alberta for more than two decades. Patty, the Senior Scientific Consultant at Praxis, shares that the group wants to provide positive science experiences and support to area residents, especially youth, through facilitating or providing access to science and technology resources. Praxis continues to develop strong innovative programs by keeping valuable connections and partnerships with their volunteers, the education, business, technology and science communities and by engaging the general public in the excitement of the STEM subjects; science, technology, engineering and mathematics.    Programs and partnerships include:
  • hands-on learning kits for educators, 
  • Scientists & Engineers in the classroom program, 
  • Operation Minerva and THOTH Conference, 
  • weekly Science Smarts column in the Medicine Hat NEWS, 
  • summer science camps at Medicine Hat College, 
  • teacher training and workshops, 
  • Family Science Olympics, 
  • Regional Science Fair, 
  • Science Experience 101 Program  
At Praxis, Patty expresses how  fortunate they are to have partnerships and fundraising support in order to offer these programs at NO CHARGE to participants.  
If Praxis can help you out in any way or would like to volunteer for one of their programs, please call Patty or Tracy at (403) 527-5365 or email:

What is a

Land Use Inventory?

A variety of maps and statistics can be created from a land use inventory (LUI).   
A Geographic Information System (GIS) user can then query and map the land use inventory information. SEAWA is beginning work on an LUI of the southern region in our watershed, and hoping to discover some factors that affect water quality. This project is a component of the SEAWA Integrated Watershed Management Plan.
As in any planning effort, information is key.  A 
GIS applied to the landscape can effectively capture, store, analyze and display information that is geographically based. 
For an example, check out the Oldman Watershed Basin's reports, by clicking here.

Before it all goes stale, turn excess Halloween candy into seriously decadent desserts.
For recipes click

An Unexpected Water Crisis - Robert Sandford
Canada's changing climate means more droughts, floods and storms-along with less ability to predict them.
Wherever I travel in this country, the first question I am invariably asked is if Canada really faces a water crisis. To many, I will have to admit, the very notion is ludicrous. "How, in a land in which there is so much water," they ask, "could such a thing even be possible?" Canada is blessed with more fresh water than any other country on the planet, and if we compute it on a per capita basis, with our sparse population, our water wealth reaches stratospheric proportions.
For the full article, click here.

Robert Sandford is the EPCOR Chair of the Canadian Partnership Initiative in support of the United Nations Water for Life Decade. In addition to playing other roles related to water policy nationally and internationally, he is also on the Advisory Committee for Living Lakes Canada.
Website Trouble Shooter
The SEAWA website has been updated and is now live. However, we need your help to seek any broken links or system 'bugs.' 
Nancy Martin has received her gift - she found several document links that were not in working order. You, too, can win a prize for bringing problems to our attention.
Email or if you find any problems and we will get them fixed!
Wintery evenings are upon us. Here are a few things to help you stay cozy!
Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories.
Connect, Strengthen 
and Expand
SEAWA is gaining momentum with partners and collaborative activities. If you know of a group, business or individual who has a common interest with us, please forward this newsletter on to them!
Contact us through the website
 or visit the office at 
1014 Allowance Avenue SE in Medicine Hat.

Lions Park Berm -  A Community Topic

SEAWA was set up as a planning and advisory council under Alberta's Water for Life Strategy and has a mandate to provide recommendations and advice about watershed management to the province. The Alberta Water Council was set up at the same time to deal with provincial policy, and Watershed Stewardship Groups were recognized as the grassroots organizations who were more inclined to get their hands dirty and their boots muddy...


As an advisory council we have stakeholders at the table who represent all aspects of local environmental, economic and social activities. SEAWA, therefore, does not speak to any issue without a full discussion by all Board members. While we advocate for the sustainable use of watershed resources, we are not an advocacy group; a subtle but critical difference. If at some point the Board decides to speak to an issue we have clear bylaws which indicate which representative from the organization can speak to it. The Executive Director does not make public statements or meet with official representatives without Board direction.


We have now had the river berming brought to our attention by a few SEAWA members, and members of the public, so it will be discussed at our next Board meeting, on November 13th. At that point, the Board may wish to send a representative to the City to get more detailed information.

SEAWA representatives were invited and did attend the Parks and Recreation/Municipal Works  information session for organizations that have a vested interest in the development of the Lions Park berm on November 6th.The General Managers from Parks and Recreation and Municipal Works provided an in-depth overview of the berm that is soon to be constructed. 


Articles of interest and related to this topic:

The City of Medicine Hat - Flood Mitigation Strategy

The City of Medicine Hat - Municipal Development Plan

Alberta Habitat Management  - SSR Riparian Heath Report


Fellow Water Educators,


This school year, the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) is holding a Youth Wavemakers program. They would like to engage youth across Alberta in taking action on global or local water and sanitation issues.  


We hope that some of you can use these classroom resources to get your students learning about the issues and get involved in taking action.


Wavemakers Action Project

Find everything you need to engage your students in global water and sanitation issues and give them the tools to plan and implement an action project.  Wavemakers supports teams across Canada, throughout the process, with resources and mentor-ship, and provides grants for up to $500 for teams who apply for a seed grant by November 15th.


The Wavemakers program has reached over 95,000 Canadians through action projects such as:

  • Protecting rivers with storm drain awareness
  • Hosting a regional conference on global water and sanitation issues
  • Installing low-flush toilets
  • Fundraising for global access to safe drinking water
  • Consulting to local businesses to improve water conservation
  • Installing rain barrels, and much more!

Please email for more information, or visit the CAWST website.








The RBC-Evergreen Watershed Champions Award recognizes classes that demonstrate learning about their local watershed and who take action to care for it. For the 2014-2015 school year, nine awards are available:

  • 1 Grand Prize Award (Grades K-12) - $3,500
  • 4 Elementary Awards (Grades K-6) - $2,500
  • 4 Intermediate/Secondary Awards (Grades 7-12) - $2,500

Applications can be submitted starting in September 2014. For more on the details of the program, click here.


Generate 2015 is an exciting opportunity for students and teachers to learn together and advance energy education in Alberta. You will gain exposure to multiple perspectives and the confidence to think critically and step forward as a leader of our energy future. Inside Education invites Alberta high school teachers to apply today for this weekend of learning, fun and personal discovery!

Why you should come:
  • Grow your network of experts and like-minded educators
  • Add depth to your lessons with first-hand knowledge and experience
  • Enhance student learning and engagement
  • Advance energy education & stewardship in your school and community
Getting your team together:

Whether your students have come to you, you have a group of exceptional learners in mind or you want to get an application together and select students later, you can apply for Generate 2015 now. Teams are comprised of 2 teachers and 4 students.


Visit the website.


Family Science Olympics

The 23rd Annual Praxis Science Olympics were held at Medicine Hat High School on Saturday afternoon on October 18  as part of National Science and Technology Week. Ten different experiments were set up for people to take part in. SEAWA was there with the Wetland Model. The day was a way to show families that science is used in everyday life.

Senior Science Consultant with Praxis, Patty Rooks says although science isn't everyone's favorite subject, the event offers people a basic understanding of how it works.

"I don't think everyone loves science, but we have to understand it and know how it plays a role in our everyday lives, and embrace that."

For photo albums of the Family Science Olympics 2014 and the Egg Drop Challenge, click here.

Medicine Hat News article.

The Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE) is an incorporated Alberta Society with federal charitable status. Their mission is to work in an inclusive manner with all stakeholders to support, promote, facilitate, and enhance the quality, scope, and effectiveness of environmental education in Alberta.


SEAWA (and other stakeholders province-wide) participated in the Alberta Tomorrow webinar on October 15th. Some of you may be interested in viewing the webinar summary and it can be found on the following web pages:

The annual Water Education Community of Practice event will be held on November 13th, in Red Deer - 9:30 to 4:00 pm. For more details follow this link: Registration Information.

Stay Tuned! Upcoming Events and Activities
Board of Director Meeting, November 13th, Environmental Utilities
Cub Scout Watershed Model demonstration, November 24
Finance Committee Meeting, November 25th, SEAWA Office
Open House Come & Go in December - To Be Announced! We'll send a member invitation.
Sunshine Home and Garden Trade Show, Feb 27 - March 1, 2015
Join the Conversation
Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions you have about SEAWA, about land and water issues in the region, or about your personal connection to the watershed.
Get in Touch
Shanna Mohns
Communication Manager, SEAWA