Who owns the water in Alberta?
In Alberta, the property in and the right to the diversion and use of all water in the Province is vested in Her Majesty in right of Alberta except as otherwise provided for in the regulations.

How does one obtain the right to property, diversion or use?
Approval is required before any person (including any corporation, municipality or other entity) may divert or use water other than as permitted in the Act or regulations.

What is a water right?
A water right is the right to water acquired by statute in Alberta.

What is “First in time, first in right”?
The term refers to the general principles of water law adopted by the Provincial Government. It means first come, first served. The first person to obtain a water right on any given source will be the last person to be shut off in times of shortage. The “senior” water right holder is entitled to take all the water needed and allowed under his/her water right before the next “junior” water right holder is served.

What’s new?
Under the new Act, the Provincial Government of Alberta has created the opportunity for transferability under certain circumstances.

Related Links

Alberta Environment Climate Change Central Water for Life