What will the Sylvan Lake watershed look like in the future?
Annual reports by the watershed municipalities to Municipal Affairs contain some important population, land use and financial data that can be scaled up to indicate the changes that will occur in the next few decades in the growth projections hold.
Baseline data for the reporting year 2009 are increased by the ratio of populations shown in the previous SLWSS News post.
Sooner or later a population equivalent to today’s City of Red Deer will have to be compressed within the boundary of the watershed.
The corresponding land use changes will inevitably place increased stress on the lake water quality and quantity, and on all the natural capital. Municipal budgets for watershed services will expand dramatically and provincial expenditures for health, education and infrastructure will increase several-fold.