Myth vs. Fact: Athabasca River Freshwater Supply will be Depleted and Polluted

MYTH: The Athabasca River freshwater supply will be depleted and polluted.

FACT: The quality and quantity of freshwater in the Athabasca River is protected by regulations to ensure that it is not adversely impacted by oil sands development.

Strict monitoring and regulation of water use is in place to ensure that fresh water resources are protected.  According Alberta’s Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP)[1], in 2010, total water usage from the Lower Athabasca River was 0.74 percent of the long-term average flow – well within the provincial limit of 3 percent.  In addition to overall industry limits, weekly monitoring of water use is in place so that water usage can be restricted in the event of unusually low river flow.

[1] Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program, Monitoring Database

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