• Beyond Physical: Impacts of Water Regulations in First Nations Communities

      Bharadwaj, Lalita (2015)
      In Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation, there is increasing pressure on water resources by increased cottage development, sewage disposal to the river system, management of the Qu’Appelle and Gardiner Dams, impacting water flows and levels and increased flooding events. At the time this project was initiated, the community had serious concerns about the impacts of a proposal from a multinational potash mining company to withdraw water from Katepwa Lake for use in mining operations. The community was concerned with the impact on water quality, water level, and traditional and cultural activities pertaining to water. Initial meetings with Chief and Council also revealed that seasonal flooding threatens human safety, homes, and critical infrastructure, and the implementation of emergency measures puts considerable strain on the Band’s resources. Shortly after this research project began, the mining company withdrew their proposal to withdraw water. However, Standing Buffalo remained interested in exploring the significance of water to the community and the ways in which water (and the surrounding natural environment) is important and valuable to the community’s culture and traditions. Given the geographic location of the reserve, there are ongoing and potentially increasing impacts related to water that could arise from both anthropogenic and natural changes in the environment
    • Bien-être, services écosystémiques et gestion de l’aménagement des bassins versants dans la vallée de la rivière Credit : mécanismes et indicateurs diffusés par le Web aux fins de communication et de sensibilisation

      Bunch, Martin (2015)
      La santé et le bien-être humains dépendent fondamentalement des services fournis par les écosystèmes. Toutefois, l’importance des services écosystémiques pour le bien-être, et de la gestion des ressources de l’écosystème et du bassin versant pour maintenir ces services, n’est généralement pas comprise par le public ni suffisamment articulée par les organismes de gestion et de gouvernance de l’environnement. Les bénéficiaires de ces services n’ont souvent pas conscience de la nature de leur dépendance envers les écosystèmes de soutien. Cela est particulièrement vrai dans les bassins versants urbanisés. Les organismes de bassins versants sont conscients des avantages dont profitent leurs résidents, mais ils ne suivent et ne rapportent pas assez souvent les mesures du bien-être humain pour pouvoir démontrer l’efficacité de leur travail. Les relations entre les déterminants environnementaux de la santé et du bien-être sont multiples et diffuses, et elles interagissent d’une manière non linéaire, complexe et difficile à analyser et à isoler. Cela pose un défi à la science normale, qui tente de comprendre les problèmes en les réduisant en plus petites composantes. Sans moyen de démontrer et de communiquer ces relations, les services écosystémiques qui sous-tendent notre santé et notre bien-être continueront d’être ignorés et discrédités.
    • Bottled Water Use On the Land: Economic, Social and Policy Implications of Water Consumption Choices While Pursuing Livelihoods and Undertaking Recreational Activities

      Dupont, Diane; Adamowicz, Vic; Spetch, Marcia; Parlee, Brenda (2015)
      Defensive expenditures on bottled water for home use are related to: incomes, aesthetics (taste, convenience) and health risk perceptions (Dupont and Jahan, 2010; Lloyd-Smith et al., 2014). The previous literature is silent on two issues of relevance to WEPGN’s mandate of improving understanding of water’s role in Canadian society and economy. The first issue is identifying what are the determinants of water consumption choices on the land (particularly, water used in pursuit of livelihoods and/or recreational activities that require travel from home, including trapping, hunting and fishing practices). The second is an investigation of water choices and health risk perceptions of individuals in Canada’s Northern communities. Nickels et al., (2006) notes the use of bottled water by Aboriginal peoples as a substitute for streams/rivers due to perceptions of poor water quality. Project partners are interested in learning whether this is an increasing phenomenon in the Northwest Territories (NWT). This is of concern for two reasons: such expenditures may be wasteful for individuals and also result in potential pollution. The research team will design and implement a survey to elicit perceptions and relate them to defensive expenditures. Researchers will also examine methods for communicating and eliciting risk perceptions to provide the project partners with knowledge to improve communications about water quality. This research will inform decisions around programming, specifically, source water protection planning.
    • Bridging the Gap: Exploring the Potential for Community-based Watershed Monitoring to Enhance Ecosystem Health and Watershed Governance in Canada

      Castleden, Heather (2015)
      Watershed monitoring is an essential component of watershed management; however, widespread federal and provincial decentralization efforts have resulted in reduced government funding for such monitoring. In response, communities are mobilizing to address this deficit in Canada by undertaking a practice called community-based watershed monitoring (CBWM). Although CBWM is being employed to address this gap, monitoring data collected by CBWM organizations remains underutilized by decision-makers in watershed governance. Moreover, CBWM organizations face significant challenges with knowledge exchange due to a lack of rigorous scientific protocols and high organizational turnover. At the same time, decision-makers are experiencing minimal capacity to utilize CBWM data due to restricted mandates and resources. Nonetheless, research suggests that communities significantly benefit from CBWM, but less evidence exists to confirm effects of CBWM activities on ecosystem health and there is scant literature about successful CBWM data integration. Anecdotal evidence regarding ecosystem benefits provided by CBWM exists in grey literature and on websites; however, more peer-reviewed literature must be established to support these claims. Uncertainty still remains regarding how to track the success of CBWM and watershed restoration efforts.
    • Capacity Development for Integrated Land and Water Use Planning

      Xu, Wei (2015)
      Water governance frameworks have been widely adopted, however, there is as of yet little guidance on how such arrangements should operate, be evaluated, or be improved. There is a lack of clarity in identifying the components of these arangements, which hinders a consistent understanding of water governance. Furthermore, assorted water governance capacity elements are anaylzyed individually, but there is a lack of comprehensive framework upon which capacity of water governance can be assessed. Recent changes in Alberta’s water governance structure provide a window on water governance implementation and an opportunity to calrify important questions surrounding successful water governance.

      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.

      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.
    • Combler le fossé : examiner la possibilité d’effectuer une surveillance communautaire des bassins hydrographiques pour améliorer la santé de l’écosystème et la gouvernance des bassins versants au Canada

      Castleden, Heather (2015)
      La surveillance constitue une composante essentielle de la gestion des bassins hydrographiques. Toutefois, les efforts de décentralisation généralisés aux échelons fédéral et provincial ont entraîné une réduction du financement gouvernemental à cet égard. En réaction, des collectivités se mobilisent pour combler ce déficit par la mise en place d’une pratique appelée surveillance communautaire des bassins hydrographiques (community-based watershed monitoring ou CBWM). Bien qu’on ait recours à la CBWM pour combler ce manque, les décideurs en matière de gouvernance des bassins continuent de sous-utiliser les données de suivi recueillies par les organismes responsables. En outre, l’échange de connaissances représente un défi pour les organismes de CBWM en raison de l’absence de protocoles scientifiques rigoureux et d’un roulement élevé du personnel au sein des organismes. En même temps, les décideurs ont très peu de moyens leur permettant d’utiliser les données de CBWM en raison de leurs mandats et ressources limités. Les recherches indiquent néanmoins que les collectivités profitent considérablement de la CBWM, mais il existe moins de preuves confirmant l’incidence des activités de la CBWM sur la santé des écosystèmes, et les publications sur l’intégration réussie de données de CBWM sont rares. On retrouve des preuves anecdotiques des avantages de la CBWM sur l’écosystème dans la documentation parallèle et sur Internet, mais il serait nécessaire de produire davantage de publications avec comité de lecture pour étayer ces allégations. L’incertitude persiste quant à la façon de mesurer la réussite de la CBWM et les efforts de restauration des bassins hydrographiques.
    • Conflits liés à la fracturation hydraulique et promotion d’innovations : étude de cas sur la gouvernance de l’eau dans le nord-est de la C.-B.

      Moore, Michele-Lee (2015)
      Le bassin de la rivière Horn recouvre en partie le territoire traditionnel de la Première Nation de Fort Nelson (Fort Nelson First Nation, ou FNFN) et est un site actif de fracturation hydraulique industrielle. Cette dernière a accru la demande en eau dans le bassin. Alors qu’il est généralement admis qu’une gouvernance de l’eau efficace exige la collaboration d’un vaste éventail d’acteurs, les barrières à l’inclusion des nations autochtones dans la gouvernance de l’eau existent encore en tant que legs de l’histoire coloniale du Canada. L’approche de la province relativement à la participation des nations autochtones à la gouvernance de l’eau s’est limitée, en grande partie, à des consultations, à des accommodements et à de lentes négociations de gouvernement à gouvernement. Cette approche n'a pas encore débouché sur une collaboration significative. Le partenaire de recherche, le Fort Nelson First Nation Lands Department, est impliqué de manière officielle et officieuse dans des négociations de longue date avec le gouvernement et avec l’industrie concernant divers enjeux liés à la fracturation hydraulique et à l’utilisation d’eau afférente dans le bassin versant de la rivière Horn. La résolution de cette impasse exigeait de l’innovation en matière de gouvernance, et il était évident qu’un processus d'apprentissage social serait nécessaire à l’établissement, par l’industrie, le gouvernement et la FNFN, d’une vision commune concernant les mécanismes futurs de gouvernance de l’eau.

      Castleden, Heather (Canadian Water Network, 2015)
      Community-based water monitoring involves the engagement of community volunteers and non-government organization (NGO) staff in monitoring water quality and learning about their local watersheds. When government agencies and NGOs work together to develop these programs, it can increase resources available for monitoring, connect the scientific information to governmental management of watersheds, and promote community-led environmental stewardship. Done effectively, NGOs and government agencies will be better equipped to identify risks and other issues associated with watershed health and assess the success of their restoration activities.
    • Costing Climate Change: a case study of employing climate, land-use and water quality data to assess the economic impacts of climate change on local public health

      Renzetti, Steven (2015)
      One of the potential linkages between climate change and public health stems from the way climate change may increase the likelihood of human exposure to water-borne pathogens. Climate change may have this effect due to 1) increased survival of fecal pathogens on land mediated by temperature and precipitation, 2) transport of pathogens over land and loading to water sources, and 3) increased risks from failure of water treatment and disinfections arising from flooding, and storm-water and sewage/septic overflows.
    • Détermination des coûts du changement climatique : une étude de cas qui utilise des données sur le climat, sur l’utilisation des terres et sur la qualité de l’eau pour évaluer les impacts économiques du changement climatique sur la santé publique à l’échelle locale

      Renzetti, Steven (2015)
      Un des rapports possibles entre le changement climatique et la santé publique tient à la façon dont le changement climatique pourrait accroître la probabilité de l'exposition humaine à des pathogènes d’origine hydrique. Il se peut que le changement climatique ait cet effet à cause 1) de la survie accrue des agents pathogènes fécaux dans les sols attribuable aux températures et aux précipitations, 2) du transport de pathogènes par voie terrestre et de leur passage dans les sources d’eau, et 3) de l’accroissement des risques découlant de la défaillance des systèmes de traitement de l’eau et de désinfection provoquée par des inondations et des débordements des réseaux pluviaux, des réseaux d’égouts et des fosses septiques.
    • Economic Analysis of Source Water Protection

      Adamowicz, Vic; Boxall, Peter; Lloyd-Smith, Pat; Appiah, Alfred; Silins, Uldis (2016)
    • Economic Analysis of Source Water Protection

      Adamowicz, Vic (2016)
      There is considerable interest, worldwide, in the evaluation of ecosystem services arising from management strategies such as source water protection (ecosystem management) as an alternative to infrastructure investments (capital, operating costs). However, there are relatively few detailed investigations of such systems. This project develops a conceptual framework and begins to construct the empirical analysis of the economic benefits and costs of source water protection. Project partners are interested in the extent to which landscape management can reduce water treatment costs and/or the risks of water supply interruptions, as well as how ecosystem service management interacts with capital investment requirements for water treatment. This project helps inform this process by assessing the costs and benefits of ecosystem services associated with water quality and quantity.
    • Ecosystem services for human well-being in the Credit River Watershed: A comparison of monetary valuation, multi-criteria non-monetary valuation and multi-scale integrated analysis of societal and ecosystem metabolism

      Bunch, Martin; Dupont, Diane (2015)
      Human health and well-being is fundamentally dependent on services provided by ecosystems. However, the importance of ecosystem services (ES) to human well-being, and of managing ecosystem and watershed resources to maintain such services, is not commonly understood by the public, and not well-enough articulated by environmental management and governance organizations. Beneficiaries of such services are often unaware of the nature of their dependence upon supporting ecosystems. This is particularly true in urbanized watersheds. Watershed management organizations are aware of such benefits to watershed residents, but they very rarely track and report measures of human well-being to demonstrate the efficacy of their work. Relationships among environmental determinants of health and well-being are multiple, diffuse and interact in complex non-linear ways that are difficult to parse and isolate. This presents a problem for normal science, which reduces problems to smaller components in attempts to understand them. Without a way to demonstrate and communicate these relationships, the ES that underpin our health and well-being will continue to be ignored and undermined.
    • 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.
    • Extending Municipal Water Demand Forecasting Capacities

      Renzetti, Steven; Dupont, Diane; Price, James (Canadian Water Network, 2015)