Research & Data

We believe that the Ghost Watershed can provide a variety of goods and services while ecological integrity is being maintained, such as recreational opportunities, providing clean drinking water, critical wildlife habitat and

a sustainable supply of timber to name a few.

In order to provide critical baseline data and scientific background to support proper planning

and management of this important watershed, GWAS has taken on the task to gather data

and initiate research projects.

2012/13: Cumulative Effects Study of the Ghost Watershed prepared by Dr. Brad Stelfox of the ALCES Group - Phase II: Beneficial Management Practices

This project was funded by Alberta Ecotrust Foundation, the Calgary Foundation and the City of Calgary as well as Y2Y and CPAWS.

Download the Executive Summary of the final report (815kB).

The complete report of the Ghost Cumulative Effects Study Phase II can be downloaded here (please note: file size is 7.5MB).

You may also watch a narrated version of the presentation of the modeling results of the

Phase II report by clicking here.

In April and May 2012 GWAS held 3 workshops and one open house on the theme

"The Future of the Ghost Watershed - Exploring Solutions" as part of the Ghost

Cumulative Effects Study. You may download a summary on the output of the sessions

prepared by the Facilitator and containing the unedited notes taken by participants by clicking here.

Please contact us by e-mail for any further information:


the Board of Directors

Ghost Watershed Alliance Society

P.O. Box 1461

Cochrane, AB  T4C 1B4


Ghost River State of the Watershed report:

After three years of hard work, the Ghost River State of the Watershed (SOW)

report was completed in 2018. The document contains what we know about this

watershed in one comprehensive report. GWAS is actively working on the

recommendations of the report, which includes closing data gaps.

The Ghost River State of the Watershed (SOW) Report will be a useful tool to:

-  Improve understanding of the current state of the Ghost River watershed;

-  Identify sensitive or at‐risk areas;

-  Improve understanding of how natural features and processes influence watershed conditions;

-  Provide insight into the linkages among watershed health and past and current land and water resource management;

-  Provide basis for future watershed planning; and

-  Provide direction to GWAS regarding future priorities and activities.

In 2022, we published the report in an online format with interactive maps. It will be updated on an on-going basis with new information on the watershed. Ghost River Online State of the Watershed Report

Download the full Ghost River SOW Report:

Ghost River SOW Report, on-screen resolution version with hyperlinks (11.5MB, pdf file)

Download a presentation on the Ghost River SOW report (12.9MB, pdf file).

To download the Terms of Reference for the Ghost River SOW project, please click here.

2010/11: Ecosystem-based Conservation Plan, Phase I:

Prepared by Herb Hammond of Silva Ecosystem Consultants

In 2009 GWAS hired Forester and Ecologist Herb Hammond from B.C. to undertake an ecosystem analysis of the Ghost Watershed. In 2010 Herb Hammond and his team completed a Phase I assessment of the Waiparous Creek sub-basin including a comprehensive map set describing the character of the region. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the composition, structure and function of the Ghost Watershed’s Ecosystem and to identify thresholds.

The project was undertaken in collaboration with the Alberta Wilderness Association and funded by the Calgary Foundation, RBC Blue Water and the Bow River Basin Council.

A progress report prepared in Spring 2010 can be downloaded here (pdf; File size is 3.3MB).

There are two versions of the Final Report presentation on Phase I - a short one and a detailed one.

Downloaded the short version here (File size is 5.5MB).

Downloaded the detailed version here (File size is 15.5MB).

2010-2012: Results of the Riparian Health Inventory of the Ghost Watershed undertaken

by Cows & Fish - Phase I & II:

In 2010 GWAS was able to engage Cows & Fish in a riparian and wetlands health assessment inventory due to the generous funding provided by the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA), the Land Stewardship Centre (LSC) and partner funding by Cows & Fish. The study was also supported by the City of Calgary.

Phase I: The first Phase of the project focussed on the Waiparous Creek sub-basin area of the Ghost Watershed.

You can download the full report of Phase I by clicking here:

Waiparous CR_GWAS_2010_FINAL.pdf  (Please note: File is very large with 9.5MB)

Phase II: The second Phase of the Riparian Health Inventory project focussed on the remaining part of the Ghost Watershed and its tributaries. Phase II was generously funded by Alberta Conservation Association and

Cows & Fish.

You can download the presentation on the project here: GWAS Wrap Up Presentation March 2012

Complete Phase II report (Please note: File is 6MB in is size).

2010/11: Cumulative Effects Study of the Ghost Watershed prepared by Cornel Yarmoloy and Dr. Brad Stelfox of the ALCES Group - Phase I:

Since the Ghost is under increasing pressure from cumulative effects, GWAS hired the ALCES Group to undertake a cumulative effects study in the Ghost Watershed in 2010.

The project was funded by Aberta Ecotrust Foundation, the City of Calgary and Y2Y.

Full Phase I report, released August 8th 2011:

You may download the full report here. (Please note: File is 6.5MB)

You may also watch a narrated version of the modeling results of the Phase I report by clicking here.

You may also view the press release by GWAS for the report.

Download the synopsis based on the findings of the Ghost River SOW report (3.6MB, pdf file):

The Ghost Watershed - An extraordinary landscape under pressure

Aquatic Biomonitoring in the Ghost Watershed

In 2019, GWAS initiated its Water Monitoring Program. Following the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Protocol (CABiN) developed by Environment and Climate Change Canada, GWAS has been sampling sites across the Ghost Watershed with the help of trained contractors and volunteers since 2020. Undertaking monitoring following the CABiN Protocol was a recommendation from the Ghost River SOW Report (2018).

You can download the reports for each sampling year following the links below:

2020 CABiN / STREAM Project Report

2021 CABiN / STREAM Project Report

2022 CABiN / STREAM Project Report

Photo: CABiN sampling team in 2020