The sensitive issue of water rights around Calgary have garnered the attention of a University of Lethbridge researcher.
Dr. Lorraine Nicol has received $25,000 from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, to look into the challenges facing municipalities including the MD of Foothills, Rocky View County and Okotoks.
Nicol says concerns have been raised over how possible constraints facing the industry because of water access.
“If housing developers are going out and looking for water through the market and buying water license applications, how easy is it to find them?” Nicol said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “What it costs, what those costs will be in the future passed onto homeowners and what effect that will have on housing development in the long run.”
In Okotoks, for example, they have a water-sharing agreement with the City of Calgary, but a major roadblock is the need for a $30-million pipeline.
She says help from the province would help, but we’ve seen a merry-go-round of municipal affairs ministers in recent years.
“One minister recently said they would mandate the region to work together under the Calgary Regional Partnership,” Nicol said. “A new minister has since come in and I don’t know what the position of that new minister is.”
“I think it’s incredibly difficult for municipalities to work under that kind of environment.”
Nicol is hoping to have her research done by September.