Alumnus Miltenberger pushes water agenda

The Honourable J. Michael Miltenberger (BASc '75,) MLA Thebacha, Deputy Premier and Minister of Environment and Natural Resources for the Northwest Territories (NWT), is acutely aware of the increasing pressure for development activity in the NWT related to oil and gas, oil sands, mining, hydro and other industrial developments. These activities place great demands on water resources, land and wildlife – a concern for both Miltenberger and his constituents.

To ensure sound management of water resources in the NWT, the government of the Northwest Territories, in partnership with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, is developing the Northern Voices, Northern Waters, an NWT Water Resources Management Strategy. Three key areas of focus are: transboundary water management; the protection of community public water supply sources; and aquatic ecosystem integrity. The strategy will combine traditional Aboriginal knowledge of the environment with scientific knowledge to ensure future development is sustainable and compatible with protecting aquatic ecosystems.

As water is essential to all Canadians, Miltenberger challenges citizens to better understand water-related issues and lead by example.

"Encourage your community to continue improving knowledge and understanding of water and the environment through education and research," Miltenberger says. "Push your elected representatives to make the case with the federal government on the need for a national water strategy to ensure the protection, preservation and good management of our aquatic ecosystems from coast to coast."