Call for Delegates: Water Management Working Group (Tailings Management Framework for the Mineable Athabasca Oil Sands)

ENGO Sector Members (4)
Water Management Working Group, Tailings Management Framework for the Mineable Athabasca Oil Sands
Application Deadline: 
16 Dec 2015

The Water Management Working Group (WMWG) is a team of knowledgeable water professionals, representing various disciplines and perspectives, that advises the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Energy Regulator on implementing the water management direction outlined in the Lower Athabasca Region Tailings Management Framework for the Mineable Athabasca Oil Sands (TMF).

The recently released Tailings Management Framework for the Mineable Athabasca Oil Sands (TMF) acknowledges that as oil sands mines accelerate the treatment of fluid tailings, more water will be recovered from the tailings matrix. Over time, there will be increasing pressure to manage this water, in addition to the large inventories of oil sands process-affected water some mine operators are already managing. A new approach to water management is needed to assist oil sands mine operators in making good water management decisions as they move forward with their tailings and reclamation goals.

To change how water is currently managed on oil sands mine sites, water management activities will need to be assessed comprehensively over a longer timeframe, be better integrated, and more deliberate. Water recovered from the dewatering of fluid tailings will need to be managed within the context of all water stored or used on a mine site. Consequently, future water management activities will need to explore options that integrate all aspects of the industrial mine water cycle including water supply, water use and wastewater disposal. The full range of water management options will be available to mine operators including the treatment and release of water from tailings treatment and bitumen extraction, however, this option will only be considered after other preferred options have been fully considered. 


The WMWG will focus its work on providing feedback on- and input to- enhancing environmental management systems for oil sands mines in support the Integrated Water Management Approach for Oil Sands Mines – Draft Policy Intent (Appendix 1). The goal of the WMWG is to provide practical advice that is based on the best science and technical information available, to assist the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Energy Regulator in implementing the water management component of the TMF.


The functions of the WMWG are to: 

  • Provide a forum for information and knowledge sharing on oil sands water management practices, challenges, opportunities, policies and regulations. 
  • Identify the key linkages and dependencies between tailings management and water management. 
  • Assess the implications of tailings management plans on mine water management systems. 
  • Identify opportunities to better integrate water management activities (supply, use, disposal) on
    oil sands mine sites. 
  • Review technical aspects of proposed strategies and approaches (e.g., process, tools, guidance)
    to address emerging water management issues. 
  • Provide guidance on how to operationalize proposed strategies and approaches. 
  • Assist with prioritizing work and developing work plans. 
  • Identify research needs. 
  • Interface with the Stakeholder Interest Group and provide a link between other working groups
    under the TMF.
Time Commitment: 

The Working Group will be expected to convene on a monthly basis for the period of one year, with subsequent renewal, as necessary. The first meeting of the Water Management Working Group is tentatively planned for the week of January 18, 2016.

Expenses & Honoraria: 

Delegate engagement support is available as follows:

  • $125 for a half-day meeting (up to 4 hours);
  • $250 for a full-day meeting;
  • $106 for meeting preparation;
  • $106 for meeting followup.

If business travel is required in the performance of the services, the following expenses incurred by the member may be claimed:

  • Use of a private vehicle at a rate of $.505 per kilometre travelled;
  • Meals in the amount shown on the bill, excluding alcoholic beverages, plus a gratuity of up to 20 per cent; and
  • Accommodation in the amount shown on the bill if service delivery requires overnight stay.
Selection Criteria: 

Delegates should have the following attributes:

  • A robust background in—and working knowledge/understanding of—water science and/or water management, particularly in the context of oil sands mining and/or tailings management.
  • Familiar with the Tailings Management Framework for the Mineable Athabasca Oil Sands. 
  • Experience participating in multi-stakeholder decision making processes.
  • Proven ability to participate, work professionally, constructively and collaboratively with other stakeholders and with government representatives.
  • A designated representative of an environmental organization with a demonstrated history of participation in water management and oil sands issues.

Delegate Expectations

  • Make own travel and accommodation arrangements.
  • Review and analyze background documents provided.
  • Actively participate and provide input at the meetings.
  • Provide updates to and receive feedback from the ENGO sector by participating in AEN conference calls & meetings, and providing periodic written briefs.

The selected delegates are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the objects and values of the Alberta Environmental Network. The objects of the AEN include:

  1. to encourage and support networking, communication, and resource sharing amongst non-governmental environmental organizations…
  2. to facilitate common action and/or joint initiatives by some or all of its member groups

The values of the AEN:

  • Transparent
  • Accountable
  • Credible
  • Fair
  • Honest
  • Accurate
  • Compassionate
  • Collaborative
  • Inspiring
  • Supportive
  • Respecting diversity
Application Instructions: 

Please reply to [email protected] by Wednesday, December 16, 2015 providing:

  • Contact information of applicant (including address, email, and phone number);
  • The name of the environmental organization being represented by the applicant;
  • A brief description of the applicant’s background and abilities, particularly those relevant to the selection criteria 

NOTE: Delegates may include a resume as additional information but not in the place of the other information requested.