For example, construction boomed in the 1970s, as oil production expanded rapidly, particularly in Edmonton and Calgary; however, the recessions of the mid-1980s and early 1990s stalled new building projects.However, tied to growth in petroleum production, construction increased rapidly again in the early 2000s. These special events draw thousands of visitors, millions of dollars in revenue, and have resulted in infrastructure such as the Calgary Olympic Park, which continues to draw tourists.There have been recurrent proposals to divert water southward from the Peace and Athabasca rivers.Lake Claire and Lesser Slave Lake are the two largest lakes entirely within Alberta.Yet the most important factors in determining both temperatures and precipitation are the height and width of the Rocky Mountains, and the direction of the prevailing winds.The mountain ranges intercept air moving in from the Pacific and drain it of moisture.Climate Alberta's northerly latitude, stretching between lat. 60°N, puts the province in the northern cool-temperate zone.
Precipitation is generally low, ranging from about 30 cm annually in the southeast to 40–45 cm in the north except for the foothills region, where accumulations reach 55–60 cm annually.
Legislative power is vested in an 87-member, single-chamber, elected legislative assembly as well as a lieutenant-governor, appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister and who acts as the Crown’s representative.
However, as in other provinces, the traditional powers of the lieutenant-governor have in practice lapsed and he or she now serves primarily a ceremonial function.
The parkland region predominates in central Alberta, forming a crescent to the west and north of the Prairie region and including most of the North Saskatchewan River drainage basin.
Low annual precipitation, high evaporation rates and fast runoff produce chronic water deficits in southern Alberta, varying from a moderate deficiency in the parkland region to a severe shortage in the short-grass prairie area.