Water: it is essential to life and to our way of life in southern Alberta. But where does our water come from? What is the story of its journey from the Rocky Mountains, through the foothills, prairies and downstream?
The Oldman watershed was shaped by glacial ice that melted between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago. It is the traditional home of the Blackfoot people, and supports diverse plants and wildlife that have adapted to the extremes of the mountains and semi-arid plains.
Since the late nineteenth century, the Oldman River and its tributaries have sustained the growth of industries, agriculture, recreation and thriving settlements. But all of these uses impact the ecosystem and our future water security.
Water in a Dry Land traces the history of intersecting water uses in the Oldman watershed and the central role of water in the development of local communities. It celebrates our relationship with water and strengthens our understanding of this precious resource in a region where water is sometimes taken for granted. With contributions from water experts in the community, the exhibit brings together stories, artifacts and archival materials from the Galt Museum & Archives collections and a variety of interactive components to encourage visitors to think about how we all play a part in the future of water in southwestern Alberta.