Environment | Conservation, Sustainability
Community Connections | Citizen Engagement

Bow River Basin Council Society (BRBC)

More than 1/3 of Alberta’s population relies on the Bow River basin for sustenance, yet the basin represents only four per cent of Alberta’s landmass and only three per cent of its water supply. As the population in and around Calgary grows, pressure on our water supply intensifies.

BRBC brings people together to conserve and protect the waters of the Bow. It is guided by the core value of fix the problem, not the blame!

Our Story

Why We Exist

Generations to come…

…will follow our footprints, skipping rocks, floating home-made boats, marveling at a beaver dam and splashing around in local streams and rivers.  This shared connection to our waterways ignores boundaries and transcends cultural differences.  The Bow River Basin Council (BRBC) works to preserve these experiences, along with the balanced economic vitality and critical life-sustaining and ecological functions of the basin, for the children of today and the generations to come.

The Bow River and its tributaries bring us together as a community that shares this precious resource. It supplies water to our cities and towns, irrigates farmlands, powers hydroelectric generators and creates endless opportunities for recreation. Population and economic demands have increased dramatically over the years stretching the river’s capacity to its limit. As a result, the Bow is no longer available for further water allocation in the future.

It underscores the need for cooperation and collaboration in a sustained response. With such competing demands on this resource, the Bow River needs a champion to flag this issue on all fronts and to bring all stakeholders together for collective action. The Bow River Basin Council is a multi-stakeholder, charitable organization dedicated to meeting this need.


The Bow River Basin Council was established in 1992 as an advisory body to the provincial Minister of Environmental Protection. It’s broad mandate is to promote awareness, improvement and protection of the Bow River water quality, foster cooperation among agencies with water quality responsibilities, and provide communication links among governments, interest groups and the general public. The BRBC includes representatives from urban and rural municipalities, irrigated and dryland agriculture, as well as recreational, industrial and other interests, and First Nations people within the Bow River Basin.

In 2004, the BRBC was designated by Alberta Environment as the Watershed Planning and Advisory Council for the Bow River basin in Alberta’s Water for Life strategy.

Our Impact

What We Do

We envision a future where…

the waters of the Bow River Basin are conserved and protected as a fragile and unique resource, and recognized as our lifeline.  Multiple uses are balanced, ensuring the needs of all stakeholders are met, while maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

The BRBC has a vision of the Bow Basin as one of the best-managed watersheds in the world. To meet that vision, the BRBC forges consensus, advocates focused attention, promotes partnership on creative solutions and fosters collaborative action.

The council has a broad membership base and prides itself on developing strategic alliances and partnerships with academic and research institutions, governments, businesses, individuals, First Nations, charitable and environmental organizations. It brings together experts, all stakeholders and collective community resources to formulate conservation plans and strategies. For example, it provides four Quarterly Educational and Networking Forums each year to identify, discuss and recommend priorities for issues and celebrate success of initiatives within the watershed in addition to weekly news bulletins and a quarterly newsletter.

The council supports diverse study groups, grassroots stewardship organizations and interest groups for a shared purpose of conducting research & monitoring and developing & implementing action plans


The Bow River Basin Council (BRBC) is a multi-stakeholder, charitable organization dedicated to conducting activities for the improvement and protection of the waters of the Bow River Basin, considering:

– Riparian zones

– Aquatic ecosystems

– Quality and quantity of water, and

– Effects of land use on surface and groundwater


In the Bow River Basin, the Bow River Basin Council will:

– Maintain a forum for all Council members to share perspectives and exchange information

– Prioritize water use management issues in the basin that may affect the quality and/or quantity of groundwater or surface water or riparian zones

– Participate in water use management and planning activities

– Develop and recommend improved water use management procedures and performance measures

– Encourage the implementation of cooperative water use management strategies

– Participate in activities that promote and demonstrate increased awareness of water use management issues to its members, the governments of Alberta and Canada, and the public

– Conduct and direct fundraising for the BRBC

– Obtain and use assets and funds entrusted to the BRBC for benevolent, cultural, ecological, educational, planning and/or recreational purposes for the improvement and protection of the Bow River Basin

– Review and decide upon requests for funds and/or resources from the Council and others on the basis of the merits of the requests, availability of funds, and sound financial and project management principles


Click this link for the BRBC Business Plan

Our Programs

How We Do It


A river begins as a trickle and becomes stronger with every added drop of water.

Nourished by volunteers, donors and staff members, our list of accomplishments continues to grow.  Membership in the BRBC steadily increases each year with more and more individuals, municipalities and corporations seeing value in the work we are doing.

Award winning accomplishments through collaboration

We undertake projects that will make a lasting contribution to improved water quality and watershed health and we have a proud record of fostering collaboration and finding creative solutions. We take pride in our collaborative, non-confrontational approach to issue identification and solutions. The BRBC is living proof that a wide variety of stakeholders with varying views and opinions can, and do, work together for a common good.

Just a few of the BRBC’s accomplishments:

– Provides four Quarterly Educational and Networking Forums each year to identify, discuss and recommend priorities for issues and celebrate success of initiatives within the watershed.

– Alberta Emerald Award Winner 2012

– Grassroots Environmental Stewardship Award from the Alberta Stewardship Network

– Calgary Award 2009 in recognition of the Bow Basin Watershed Management Plan

– Bow Basin Watershed Management Plan 2012 (BBWMP)

Interactive Environment Condition Report (ECR) (formerly state of basin report)

South Saskatchewan River Basin (SSRB) Water Management Plan 10 Year Review – This project produced a report with findings that allow for a comprehensive understanding of the success achieved from the SSRB water management plan implementation and the stakeholders involved in Alberta’s water management regime. This is crucial to build relationships and capacity for future initiatives.

Our Requests

What You Can Do

You can be an important part of the solution. Consider becoming a member or making a gift to the BRBC so we can continue our good work.

The expertise and time that you provide by becoming a member will add real value to the work we perform. Membership is free, but we do have the expectation that our members will voluntarily and willingly contribute time, money, or some combination of both to support us in the important work we perform. You can apply to become a member by filling out our online form.

It’s easy to donate! Simply write us a cheque, contact us at (403)268-6447 with your credit card information or donate online.

By supporting the Council, you will help protect our rivers…and our future.

Stay Connected


Mark Bennett || Mike Murray || Medini Prasai

Bow River Basin Council Society (BRBC)

403.268.4596 || 403.268.4597 || 403.268.6447

Charitable Number: 864321526RR0001

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