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Water Law in the South Saskatchewan River Basin
Hurlbert, M 2006 English

The South Saskatchewan River Basin (?SSRB?) travels from the foothills of the Rockies in Alberta through Saskatchewan and back into southern Alberta. As a result, the water law relating to water quality and water allocation amongst competing uses is a mixture of Alberta (within the Alberta boundaries) and Saskatchewan (within the Saskatchewan boundaries) and a smattering of federal law in respect of federal lands and issues. This paper will review some of the pertinent legal rules respecting water allocation and quality in respect of the South Saskatchewan River Basin and conclude with a discussion of the most salient issues raised by this review. Canada?s water law evolves from many different sources and influences. It commenced with the riparian water laws of Britain, where laws developed on a case by case basis in a land of relative water abundance. This law was adopted in Canada but then modified by statute in respect of western Canada by firstly the Canadian government and later the provincial governments after the formation of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and the Natural Resource Transfer Agreements of 1930. In the aftermath, Alberta and Saskatchewan water law and policy has diverged, yet in some federal lands in the provinces federal water law and policy remains in tact. Now a complex web of federal and provincial laws apply to the South Saskatchewan River Basin running through Alberta and Saskatchewan. Although the South Saskatchewan River is one continuous body of water, laws differ between Alberta and Saskatchewan. This is further complicated when laws relating both to quantity and also quality of water are examined. Although quantity and quality of water issues are interrelated ecologically and scientifically, the laws in relation to quantity and quality have very few connections

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