• Water Governance and Watershed Planning in British Columbia First Nations Communities

      Harris, Leila (2016)
      First Nations governance processes are particularly complex, with a suite of legislation and federal institutions, as well as the broader context of self-governance important for these communities. This research will contribute to a more complete understanding of the interactions between First Nations and the current water governance framework in British Columbia and the complex interactions First Nations have had within this framework. Further, it will highlight First Nations perspectives on barriers and priorities for enhanced water governance in British Columbia, at a provincial scale and with particular focus on watershed-level governance. Considering these dimensions will inform the types of responses that are required to make meaningful progress on these issues.
    • Water Policy and Extreme Climate Events

      Horbulyk, Ted; Naima, Farah (2015-09-03)
    • Water Policy and Extreme Climate Events

      Horbulyk, Ted (2015)
      Canadians are at increasing risk from water‐related events such as multiyear droughts, flooding and/or significant changes in historical precipitation patterns. Extreme hydrological events can also hinder our ability to protect and manage groundwater resources. The sets of specific precautionary measures and responses that are available to private versus public water users and stakeholders are not well understood, nor are they necessarily enabled or encouraged by existing water policies. For example, there may be beneficial roles for selective infrastructure investments, revised water management protocols, or legal and regulatory changes, where these approaches can be considerably more effective, if undertaken in a coordinated manner. Some effects of increased flooding or drought can be more readily accommodated by some water using sectors than others, yet mechanisms to coordinate beneficial actions across sectors may be lacking. Although the returns to specific investment alternatives will be highly location and context‐specific, some types of prior investments or actions might have relatively higher returns than would come from remedial or adaptive measures alone.
    • Whose input counts? Public consultation and the BC Water Sustainability Act

      Jollymore, Ashlee; Mcfarlane, Kiely; Harris, Leila (2016)
      Public consultation has become an increasingly important feature of policy-making, intended to enhance democratic engagement by enabling citizens to influence plans and policies that affect them (Patten, 2001; Kaehne & Taylor, 2016). Consultation processes provide broad public input, with the intention of improving the outcomes (in terms of equity, sustainability, and so forth), as well as the legitimacy of government decisions (Shipley & Utz, 2012). However, consultation’s poor alignment with decisionmaking processes, lack of transparency, and limited influence on policy and planning have at times earned it a reputation as tokenistic (Carr, 2012; Carvalho et al., 2016; Cheeseman & Smith, 2001). Thus, a key question for policy-makers and the public is whether public consultation is delivering more democratic policy outcomes. Here we investigate precisely whether, and the degree to which, public input influences policy outcomes. Specifically, this study provides a detailed analysis of the large-scale consultation process undertaken for British Columbia’s Water Act Modernization (WAM), which received significant public attention and government investment. During this process, the provincial government held three rounds of public consultation from 2008-2013, resulting in over 4000 submissions that were used to refine BC’s new Water Sustainability Act (WSA, 2014). We critically examined the influence of different submitter groups on policy outcomes, and thus the role of consultation in the broader policy-making process. To do this, we developed a novel quantitative approach to systematically analyze participants’ submissions on policy proposals, and compare those responses with resultant policies.