The Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT) at Simon Fraser University brings leading experts from around the world together with industry, community, and government decision makers to explore the risks posed by top-of-mind climate change issues and identify opportunities for sustainable adaptation.
POLIS and ACT have worked together to organize and facilitate multiple events focused on water sustainability and governance.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates.
In 2012, the WSP launched a joint research initiative with the CCPA—BC Office that focuses on emerging challenges and opportunities for the water-energy nexus within the British Columbia context.
The WSP is an active member of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association's National Water Efficiency Committee, which works to promote water conservation and efficiency, share best practices, and develop cutting-edge approaches to water management in Canada. In the fall of 2008, the CWWA and POLIS supported the planning of the CWWA's second annual National Water Conservation Conference.
The Canadian Water Network develops opportunities related to the provision of safe, clean water. In collaboration with universities, government, and industry, CWN has developed a variety of scientific projects and initiatives that address key water-related issues facing Canadians while embracing strong multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral partnerships. CWN is a key sponsor of the WSP's Creating a Blue Dialogue webinar series, and the WSP is a core academic partner on three separate initiatives of CWN that are expected to run through 2012:
- A Canadian Water Security Index, led by Karen Bakker (University of British Columbia)
- More Value from the Same Water: Maximizing Water's Sustainable Contribution to the Canadian Economy, led by Diane Dupont & Steven Renzetti (Brock University)
Governance for Source Water Protection in Canada, led by Rob de Loë (University of Waterloo)
- Source Water Protection Governance Project Summary
- An Introduction to Source Water Protection Governance by Rob de Loё & Georgia Simms
- Challenges for Water Governance in Canada: A Discussion Paper by Rob de Loё & Georgia Simms
- Exploring the Role of Policy Transfer in Water Governance: A Discussion Paper by Rebecca Swainson & Rob de Loё
POLIS is a core member of the Leadership Team for Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI)—a regional pilot program that is being implemented under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. CAVI represents a growing network that includes the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the provincial Ministries of Environment and Community Services, and the Green Infrastructure Partnership. CAVI emphasizes water-centric planning and a design-with-nature approach to water sustainability on Vancouver Island. The group provides leadership on water sustainability, education and integration across groups and sectors.
The Cowichan Lake & River Stewardship Society is a volunteer group of lake and river residents dedicated to the monitoring, protection, and rehabilitation of the Cowichan watershed. POLIS supports the shoreline stewardship work of the CLRSS through research and briefings regarding governance and legal issues related to shoreline rehabilitation, as well as strategic policy advice. In 2013, the WSP team participated in a Cowichan Lakeshore Habitat Management Workshop co-hosted by CLRSS.
In January 2012, the Province of Ontario awarded Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) and its project partners a $1 million grant through its Showcasing Water Innovation (SWI) program. SWI is aimed at implementing innovative and cost-effective green technologies to protect water resources. The funding is supporting nine leading-edge green infrastructure projects and how-to retrofit guides for municipalities and public and private landowners, detailing a step-by-step process for adopting green technologies within existing urban areas.
As a project partner, POLIS provides peer review and is supporting the development of the new integrated water management guides.
The Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) at Brock University pursues innovative and interdisciplinary research concerning the environment, sustainability, and social-ecological resilience. It addresses a variety of environmental issues including water resources innovation and resilience; environmental governance and social-ecological systems; and social justice and First Nations adaptation. ESRC also acts as a hub to connect government agencies, non-governmental organizations, other academic institutions, and research institutes.
In November 2011, the WSP's Oliver M. Brandes was appointed an affiliate member of ESRC. In this role, the WSP and ESRC work together to engage diverse networks and inspire action. Together, they support and develop research on water and watershed governance and resilience, and work to mobilize knowledge and raise awareness around these issues.
The Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) is an independent group of water experts from across Canada that encourages government action to protect our critical freshwater resources. Its members believe that all levels of government must work together as part of a pan-Canadian strategy that effectively addresses current and emerging threats to freshwater security. Oliver M. Brandes, POLIS Co-Director and Water Sustainability Project Leader; David Boyd, POLIS research associate; and former POLIS researcher Tony Maas all helped found the organization and remain active members of FLOW.
FLOW and its predecessor, the Gordon Water Group, have released two major reports: Changing the Flow: A Blueprint for Federal Action on Freshwater and Clean Water, Green Jobs: A Stimulus Package for Sustainable Water Investments.
The WSP has partnered with Great Lakes United as part of a collaborative project that includes Environmental Defence, McMaster University’s Centre for Engineering and Public Policy, and the Alliance for Water Efficiency. The project aims to advance water conservation in Ontario. Started in 2010, the three-year project will support three communities in making a long-term commitment to water conservation. POLIS will use this opportunity to document barriers to the adoption of a soft path approach. POLIS will also conduct research to determine the best available actions for moving conservation beyond conventional practice and towards innovation. This includes high levels of efficiency in new homes and the use of rainwater and greywater for indoor purposes. As part of the project, a social marketing toolkit will be developed and conservation workshops will be hosted by other partner organizations with an aim to raise water consciousness across the Great Lakes Basin.
Living Lakes Network Canada aims to facilitate monitoring, protection, rehabilitation, and policy development for the long-term protection of Canada’s water bodies. A sub-network of the International Living Lakes Network, LLNC is an initiative of Global Nature Fund, Wildsight, and the Lake Winnipeg Foundation.
The WSP's Oliver M. Brandes is a member of the LLNC advisory board.
The WSP's Oliver M. Brandes serves, by appointment, on the Regional District of Naniamo's Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Technical Advisory Committee, where he promotes application of the water soft path, source protection, and watershed-based governance.
The Water Policy and Governance Group is a multi-university research collaborative based at the University of Waterloo. It focuses on water governance and water policy, emphasizing Canadian experiences. Major themes in its research program include water security, source water protection, water allocation, and adaptation to climate change. The WPGG carries out practical and policy-relevant research that offers solutions to these water challenges.
The WSP’s Oliver M. Brandes works in collaboration with the WPGG as a core member of the Governance for Source Water Protection in Canada research team, an initiative of the Canadian Water Network. As an adjunct professor in the University of Waterloo’s Department of Environment & Resource Studies, Oliver also supervises graduate students conducting research through the WPGG.
Click here to download WPGG publications.
Waterlution—A Water Learning Experience emphasizes water-based education and leadership development to engage individuals, organizations, and communities in exploring issues facing local and global water supply.
In October 2010, the WSP team helped facilitate Waterlution's Canadian Water Innovation Lab. In 2008 and 2009, the WSP partnered with Waterlution to develop and host the Future of Water workshop series. Three three-day workshops were held across British Columbia: