Alberta Wetland Classification System

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The Alberta Wetland Classification System (AWCS) incorporates and merges information from existing wetland classification systems to provide a holistic classification system for the province. The AWCS is tailored specifically for wetlands in Alberta, providing suites of key indicators that in conjunction will help to classify different wetlands, particularly in the field. Overall, the intent of the AWCS is to achieve a standardized provincial wetland classification system that:

  • Provides a consistent system for classifying wetlands across the entire province
  • Promotes a consistent understanding of wetlands
  • Applies classification keys that relate to provincial wetland characteristics associated with hydrologic, biogeochemical and biotic processes
  • Is compatible with existing wetland classification systems and inventories
  • Is aligned with legislation and policies that may affect wetlands, such as the Water Act, Public Lands Act and Alberta Wetland Policy
  • Can be applied to Canadian geographic information system (GIS) databases and inventories