• COLLABORATIVE DECISION-MAKING FOR DROUGHT MANAGEMENT: IMPROVING MULTI-ACTOR APPROACHES

      De Loe, Rob (Canadian Water Network, 2015)
      Drought management can be highly challenging; droughts can be experienced over a large geographic area, and the extent and severity of impacts can be exacerbated by local water uses.1 In Ontario, these uses might include agriculture, aggregate washing, and watering at golf courses. Oftentimes, droughts are part of normal ecological cycles, but the risk and hardship faced by water-based industries and the public make drought a particularly important policy challenge. Technical approaches to managing drought promote the use of monitoring standards, early warning systems, and planned management actions. Building social capital and strengthening relationships can also contribute to reducing vulnerability through building adaptive capacity and reducing exposure and sensitivity.2 Collaborative approaches, created by government to generate policy and program recommendations for drought management, can provide a local view on drought challenges and a balanced viewpoint that includes all voices affected by decisions. An example of this type of collaborative relationship is Ontario Low Water Response and Water Response Teams. Ontario Low Water Response convenes collaborative groups – known as Water Response Teams – to determine the severity of drought in local watersheds and provide recommendations to the provincial government, including recommendations to declare a drought ‘emergency’, which triggers water restrictions in affected areas. One key challenge of this process is that Water Response Teams have recommended declaring water restrictions during severe low water conditions. However, the province has never enforced restrictions. Governments not following the recommendations of collaborative groups they have created to comment on policy problems is a common finding in collaborative governance research. The key focus of this research is to understand the role of Water Response Teams in decision-making, and to explore how international experiences can inform the Ontario drought management process.
    • COLLABORATIVE DECISION-MAKING FOR DROUGHT MANAGEMENT: IMPROVING MULTI-ACTOR APPROACHES

      De Loe, Rob (Canadian Water Network, 2016)
      Drought management can be highly challenging and complex. To address this, Ontario uses a collaborative approach through Water Response Teams that are convened by the provincial government; teams provide policy and program recommendations. However, in some instances, the recommendations from teams are not included in final decisions. Uncertainties on the role and expectations of these collaborative groups can lead to challenges in implementing government programs and policies related to drought management. This project explores the role of Water Response Teams in low water decision-making, and draws lessons from international drought management processes.
    • Evaluating collaborative approaches to governance for water allocation in Canada: Lessons from Ontario

      De loe, Rob (2015)
      Collaborative approaches to environmental governance are becoming commonplace around the western world. In Canada, all jurisdictions are using various forms of collaboration to address water issues. With few exceptions, the collaborative processes address problems that exist in whole or in part in rural areas. Thus, the agriculture sector is a critical participant. This certainly is the case in Ontario, especially in the case of collaborative processes designed to address low water conditions and droughts. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of collaborative approaches to dealing with water scarcity and conflicting demands for water. The Province of Ontario provided the institutional setting for the study. We were particularly concerned with the extent to which collaboration provides an effective and appropriate basis for water sharing in cases where agriculture is a prominent user. This led us to a focus on the Ontario Low Water Response (LWR) program. Ontario's Low Water Response program is the primary vehicle through which water shortages and droughts are addressed in the province. The program's overall functioning and effectiveness have been studied previously, but little or no attention has been given to understanding the extent to which this collaborative has produced outcomes that have been protected by the provincial government. This is a particularly important concern because the Province of Ontario, through the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (and Climate Change) has ultimate authority for dealing with water shortages through its Permit to Take Water Program. Experiences from around the world demonstrate that a failure to respect the outcomes of collaborative processes undermines their effectiveness and leads to considerable dissatisfaction. At the same time, from the perspective of democratic legitimacy, the province remains accountable. All jurisdictions are struggling to resolve the tension between these two objectives.
    • Évaluation des approches collaboratives en matière de gouvernance de la répartition de l’eau au Canada : leçons provenant de l’Ontario

      De loe, Rob (2015)
      Les approches concertées en matière de gouvernance de l’environnement sont devenues monnaie courante dans le monde occidental. Au Canada, toutes les administrations ont recours à diverses formes de collaboration pour aborder les enjeux de l’eau. À quelques exceptions près, les processus collaboratifs permettent de régler, en totalité ou en partie, les problèmes existant dans les zones rurales. C’est pourquoi le secteur agricole est un participant essentiel. C’est certainement le cas en Ontario, en particulier dans les processus de collaboration conçus pour gérer les niveaux d’eau insuffisants et la sécheresse. Cette recherche a pour objectif d’évaluer l’efficacité et la pertinence des approches de collaboration visant à gérer les manques d’eau et les demandes d’eau concurrentes. La Province de l’Ontario a fourni le cadre institutionnel de l’étude. Nous étions particulièrement intéressés par la mesure dans laquelle la collaboration offre une base efficace et appropriée pour le partage de l’eau dans des situations où l’agriculture en est un utilisateur de premier plan. Cela nous a amenés à nous concentrer sur le Programme d’intervention en matière de ressources en eau de l’Ontario. C’est principalement par le biais de ce programme que la province traite les pénuries d’eau et les sécheresses. Le fonctionnement et l’efficacité du programme ont déjà été étudiés dans leur ensemble, mais on n’avait alors que peu ou pas cherché à comprendre la mesure dans laquelle la collaboration avait donné des résultats entérinés par le gouvernement provincial. Il s’agit d’un sujet de préoccupation particulièrement important parce que la Province de l’Ontario, par le biais du ministère de l’Environnement (et de l’Action en matière de changement climatique) de l’Ontario détient le pouvoir ultime de gérer les pénuries d’eau par le biais de son Programme de réglementation des prélèvements d’eau. Des expériences dans le monde entier ont prouvé que le non-respect des résultats des processus collaboratifs compromet leur efficacité et mène à un mécontentement considérable. En outre, la province demeure responsable sur le plan de la légitimité démocratique. Toutes les administrations essaient de résoudre les divergences entre ces deux objectifs.