EDMONTON, AB – Alberta has established an Oil Sands Mine Water Steering Committee to assess options for safely managing the water in oil sands tailings ponds. The Committee’s advice and recommendations to the Government of Alberta will help inform an accelerated plan for addressing tailings ponds while protecting the health of downstream communities and the environment.

In Alberta and around the world, mining operations produce tailings and tailings ponds. Alberta’s oil sands tailings ponds now contain over 1.3 billion cubic metres of liquid. Oil sands operators manage these sites and are responsible for reclamation, but research and evidence is still emerging.

While the committee looks for long-term solutions, government will continue working with our partners to limit tailings growth and conduct extensive environmental monitoring in the oil sands region.

Committee mandate

The Oil Sands Mine Water Steering Committee will determine which potential oil sands mine water management and tailings pond reclamation options are feasible based on:

  • available technology
  • alignment with existing policies
  • economics
  • environmental and community impacts
  • infrastructure needs
  • liability implications
  • relevant research

More information will be shared in the coming months on how the public can submit technical information. All viable solutions to this challenging issue will be considered.

The Oil Sands Mine Water Steering Committee is expected to offer its advice throughout 2024 and, if needed, early 2025. Final recommendations will be made publicly available once reviewed.


Please enter your name here
Please enter your comment!