SAGE is a leading voice for a healthy and environmentally sustainable community.

Oki.  We respectfully acknowledge that SAGE meets on the traditional lands of Piikani, Kainai & Siksika, members of Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) and the homelands of Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.  We are grateful for their keeping of these lands and waters - past, present & future.

 The Latest:

August 10, 2022

Wasted Potential of Dog Poop - A Summary

(Based on the original article/research by Marissa Crosswhite, Bryanne Wandler, & Maddy Welte)

Lethbridge has between 9-to-12 thousand dogs who poop between 3-to-4 thousand kilograms per day. Where does all this poop go, and are there alternative destinations?

Our community is littered with dog poop, whether at dog parks or in residential neighbourhoods. Poop is a natural part of the life cycle and is an organic material. Poop from other animals is used as fertilizer, so what is the harm in leaving dog poop behind?

Dogs consume high protein diets, which means their excretions are highly acidic and can cause damage to plants rather than fertilize them. Also, one gram of dog poop can house up to 23 million fecal coliform bacteria; when dog poop is left out in the open, there is risk of transmitting bacterial, viral, parasitic, and fungal diseases.

For more information click ... here.

To read the full report, click ... here.

June 16, 2022

Eco-Friendly West published an article featuring SAGE

SAGE: A Leading Voice for a Healthy and Environmentally Sustainable Community.

July 4, 2022

Minister's Response to request for Environmental Impact Assessment regarding Chin Reservoir expansion: (here)

Reasons for Decision: https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations/document/144264

IAAC Analysis Report: https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/documents/p83562/144265E.pdf

June 3, 2022

Irrigation Expansion Project

Request for Action

The Alberta government has announced a $1 Billion irrigation expansion project – the largest irrigation expansion in our history.

However, this appears to be proceeding without consideration for environmental impacts.

 SAGE is one of several concerned parties working to have an Environmental Impact Assessment conducted.

The three reservoirs so far proposed as part of the program raise concerning questions about how the health of Southern Alberta’s rivers will be impacted, especially as reaches below major dams and diversions are already depleted by high levels of water diversion for irrigation agriculture.

Potential impacts of irrigation expansion on native grasslandsspecies-at-risksoils, and greenhouse gas emissions are also of concern.

For more information click ... here

Are Prairie Rivers at Risk?
Irrigation and the Future of Southern Alberta’s Rivers.
AWA Spring 2022.  (PDF)
Lorne Fitch.

Shall We Gather at the River?  
April 2022. (Video)
Lorne Fitch.

February 26, 2022

To: Economic Standing Policy Committee, City of Lethbridge

Re: Curbside Organics Collection

Lethbridge fully implemented its curbside program for recyclable materials two years ago. At that time, the average citizen was responsible for 325 kg of residential waste going to the landfill each year. Two years later, this number has dropped to roughly 250 kg of waste per person, a 25% reduction with an average of 75 kg of recyclable materials being diverted from the landfill. With only about 10% of residential waste stream still comprised of recyclable materials, this program has made a significant contribution towards meeting our residential waste diversion targets, much to the credit of the City of Lethbridge Waste & Recycling Utility. [...]

Of the current residential waste stream in Lethbridge, roughly 57% is organic. That is, food or yard waste that can be composted amounting to roughly 10,000 tonnes of organic waste each year from our homes. [...]

For cleaner air, cleaner water and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, implementing curbside pickup of organics is a cost-effective, a socially beneficial, and an environmentally necessary approach to our municipal waste management. It is an essential component of Council’s Waste Diversion Policy. SAGE supports this important initiative.

For more information click ... here

How much water is needed to keep a river healthy? Understanding Instream Flow Needs

In naturally dry regions such as southern Alberta, rivers provide a critical supply of water. Ever increasing human demands on this precious resource have natural consequences and limits. It is urgent that we understand what flows are needed to keep rivers healthy and functioning. Instream Flow Needs (IFN) are streamflows required to be left flowing in the channel to preserve river function. [...]

Unfortunately, when these fully protective IFN are compared to what is actually allowed to flow in lower reaches of our basin, the conclusion is that our river health is in a state of long term decline due to over allocation. Extensive scientific assessments of aquatic and riparian condition confirm this.

For more information click ... here.

Letter to Minister Wilkinson
28 January 2022

Re: Montem Resources: Application to the Federal Clean Fuels Fund

The Southern Alberta Group for the Environment (SAGE) is concerned about Montem Resources’ application for a grant of up to $5 million from the Clean Fuels Fund to help finance feasibility studies into the concept of building a 320 MW pumped hydro energy storage with the potential for hydrogen production. Our concern is based on three main principles: 1) that ‘clean fuels’ research and development should be explored by corporations committed to fossil fuel reduction; 2) that government support for feasibility studies of this sort should be evaluated with a systems approach and under the purview of the provincial electricity system operators (that is, the project results in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for the system); 3) that the proposal should pass some cursory feasibility evaluation before funding of this magnitude.

For more information, click ... here

Response from Minister Wilkinson ... here

For more from SAGE, see 'In the past year ...