Prairie Creek Water Diversion

December 2021


A friend called and told me of a water diversion underway at the bridge a mile from his home on Prairie Creek SW of Rocky Mountain House. So, my wife and I went for a drive.

Prairie Creek is located close and I’ve fished the stream many times in the fifty plus years we’ve lived in Rocky Mountain House. It was the first stream where I  did any onstream work.

In about 1972, I planted several thousand willow shoots along the bank in an attempt to stabilize the erosion. This project was several hundred yards downstream of the big spring

which is located 2 kilometres downstream of the December 2021 Diversion.

Prairie Creek has never been exposed to a diversion of this size before and it is hoped that the public will see that it should not happen again.

Streams such as Prairie Creek are common all along the eastern Slopes, from the Little Red, James, Fallen Timber, Baptitest, Nordegg, Elk, Dismal north to the Yukon Border.

These streams cover most of the shale gas plays in Alberta and all could be subjected to the same abuse.

If you are concerned, please spend the time to write to one or more of the people in the letters below. Please CC any correspondence to your MLA.  

Back to the Diversion:

Driving west from Qually’s Corner on RR #380 we saw the Frac Water tanks filled and iced over

and about a kilometer west was the location where the diversion occurred.

About 2 kilometers west of there on RR #380 an active Frac was taking place utilizing a fresh water source located 40 kilometres west on the Ram River

just upstream of the N. Saskatchewan River confluence.

This tour was described in a letter written January 13, 2022 to Jason Nixon, Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks. There is a link to the letter below,

As a result of further info gathering another letter was written January 28, 2022 to Minister Nixon. and other link below

The information gathered included:

1] The Alberta Government Document “Surface Water Allocation Directive” issued February 2019

2] Graph covering April 1 > November 1. 2020 from the Alberta Environment and Parks – Alberta River Basins for the Prairie Creek Meter Station  05DB002 showing water flows.

3] The letter written to Jason Nixon in January 28, 2022  which described the failures in the process of calculating the maximum water withdrawals, the concerns of using footlhills

streams for water diversions and a request to stop water diversions in small/midsized streams.

4] Telephone conversations were held with Alberta Water Resources Hydrologist and the area Hydrologist for Alberta Energy Regulator in a vain attempt to figure out why

the Divewrsion location was rated a Class 5/6 stream.

In addition to letters of concern  to  the Alberta Government, emails and letters were sent to:

1] Alberta Energy Regulators - email

2] Dept of Fisheries and Oceans – Edmonton  [ email] and Sarnia District office for Ontarion & Prairie Region [email and letter]

3] Sonya Savage, Energy Minister – email

4] Dept of Fisheries and Oceans – Letter to the Minister February 6, 2022 Prairie%20Creek%20Support/Fisheries1.html

Copies  below of:

1] The letters written:

a] Minister Nixon January 13, 2022 Prairie%20Creek%20Support/Nixon%20letter%201.html

b] Minister Nixon  January 28, 2022 Prairie%20Creek%20Support/Nixon%20Letter2.html

2] Copy of the Permit Prairie%20Creek%20Support/Permita.htm

3] Information on Company acquiring the Diversion Permit



Don Andersen