Dave McGee, B.Sc

Dave McGee joined WaterSMART as a Special Advisor in summer 2014. Throughout his impressive career, Dave has managed risk in water shortages, worked with communities to survive drought, negotiated water allocations for First Nations and represented Alberta on a Task Force convened by the International Joint Commission to report on boundary water issues between Alberta and Montana.

After completing a Bachelor of Science at the University of Alberta, Dave joined Agriculture Canada’s hydrology research program in Lethbridge before moving on to Alberta Environment in 1982. As District Approvals Manager for Alberta Environment in Lethbridge, Dave was responsible for decisions under the Alberta Water Act and the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act which included water allocations, and environmental approvals for municipal water systems, industrial emissions, landfills, contaminated sites, and groundwater in the Lethbridge District. He directed the implementation of the first water rights transfer system in Alberta/Canada including the decisions on the first 23 water licence transfers in the watersheds of the Oldman, and South Saskatchewan Rivers.

Dave created the statutory concept and administrative procedures that enabled the 2001 Southern Alberta Water Sharing Agreement, the recipient of the 2003 National Water and Energy Conservation Award awarded by the American Irrigation Association. This agreement shared 660,000 acre feet of water among over 200 water rights holders at a time when there was a 40% shortage in water supply.

From 2007 until his retirement in 2014, Dave managed the implementation of the South Saskatchewan River Basin Water Management Plan, developed the Milk River Water Metering Pilot Project, published in the Canadian Water Resources Journal, joined the Canadian Council of Academies as a committee member, and managed a flood recovery program for the High River area in 2013.

Dave has a varied speaking career ranging from industrial, municipal, legal, irrigation and ENGO association conferences across the prairies, federal policy conferences in Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Calgary, as well as speaking engagements at universities of Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Guelph, Royal Roads and Texas. Dave has also appeared before the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board and joint Canada/Alberta environmental panels.