Cumulative effects management


Activities on the landscape will have both site and activity specific impacts on the environment contributing to a cumulative burden of impacts on a regional scale which may not be sustainable and may be harmful to the region's air, water, land and biodiversity.  Managing the cumulative environmental effects of our activities in the region is frought with difficulty. Legal processes have typically isolated activities in the approval process and considered mitigation actions in isolation of the cumulative impact on the environment.  Regional planning provides an opportunity to address cumulative environmental impacts by enabling regional environmental management frameworks.


Numerous organizations have also been set up to monitor and address cumulative effects, including:



Organizations such as the NSWA are focused more on water related management under the provincial Water for Life  Strategy.


Outlined below are some resources regarding cumulative impacts in the region as well as examples of environmental management frameworks from other regions.




Cumulative Effects Assessment of the North Saskatchewan River Watershed Using ALCES (ALCES)(pdf)


Determining Appropriate Nutrient and Sediment Loading Coefficients for Modelling Effects of Changes in Landuse and Landcover in Alberta Watersheds (B. Donahue, Water Matters)(pdf)



Recommendations to Improve Non-Point Source Pollution Management in Alberta (Alberta Water Council)





Environmental Management Frameworks from other regions


South Saskatchewan Region


Surface Water Quality Framework


Air Quality Management Framework (NO2, O3 and PM 2.5)


Lower Athabasca Region


Surface Water Quality Framework


Air Quality Management Framework for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)


Groundwater Management Framework





​Telephone : 780-424-5099



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The ELC would like to thank the Edmonton Community Foundation and EPCOR for their support.