Youth Water Council

on temporary diversion licences

Youth Water Council

The Youth Water Council, a group of 10 rural teen 4-H members from Alberta, took on the challenge of raising awareness of temporary water diversion licenses and their importance. The Council learned about temporary diversion licences or TDLs from experts and landowners, and then planned and created a video and infographics to raise awareness.

A temporary diversion licence is granted to allow short term (less than one-year) diversion (or withdrawal) of water from a natural body of water.

A name and contact information is needed so that regulators can get in touch if needed and to show anyone who asks that you have a TDL.

It is important to know where the water is going to be used, called point of use, in case the use of water may impact that location.

Waterbodies often have restrictions on when water is diverted because of the fish and wildlife that may use that location.

If the source of your diversion is on private land, you need the consent of the landowner to access their land.

Information on where you plan to take water is needed so regulators can figure out if there is enough water for the TDL and other conditions.

How the water is used will help regulators understand the need for the water and if any specific conditions are required on the TDL.

Regulators need to know how much water is required and how fast it will be withdrawn to see if the source can support the withdrawal.

Anyone can ask to see the TDL if you are diverting water, so be prepared to have it at the pumping location or in the truck.

Additional Resources

About the Youth Water Council Project

As a result of a Water Act infraction, the Provincial Court of Alberta directed that a creative sentencing project be undertaken to help improve awareness of the regulatory requirements companies must follow when using water for energy development. The Youth Water Council approach was selected for this project. Watch our project video for more on the Youth Water Council project background and approach.

Partnering with 4-H Alberta

The Youth Water Council project partnered with 4-H Alberta to pilot this youth-led approach, so the Council was made up of 10 senior 4-H members from central Alberta. The Youth Water Council Project would not have been successful without the interest and support from 4-H Alberta in everything from promoting awareness of the project to 4-H members, to leader training, to hosting the Youth Water Council’s in-person weekend at the 4-H Center at Battle Lake.

Key Facts about the Council

The Youth Water Council is made up of 10 senior 4-H members (age 15-19) who live in central Alberta. They met with experts to learn about water regulation, environmental science, and communications

Youth Water Council members decided to produce an awareness video and a supporting infographic to communicate on temporary diversion licences and why they are important.

The Youth Water Council worked through a mixture of virtual sessions and a weekend in-person gathering during the fall to learn and then develop their collaborative projects

The unique project approach and the perspectives of our Youth Water Council members is also an important story, so a short project overview video was developed.

Our Supporters

Scott Millar

The Youth Water Council project approach was put forward by Scott Millar and his company Collaboration Dynamics. His background in aquatic biology, strategic planning, regulatory design, and multi-stakeholder engagement allows him to design innovative ways to complex challenges. 

Jen Lough

Jen Lough co-facilitated the Youth Water Council. Jen is an accomplished facilitator with a passion for bringing order to the chaos. “This youth council approach is pretty cool, and I wanted to be part of something new”.

The Youth Water Council is also grateful for the expertise and support provided by: