WSP is working with Dr. Sarah Wolfe of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo in a nation-wide project that investigates residential builders' deep beliefs and values (tacit knowledge). The project, "Building Towards Water Efficiency: Innovation and Education in New and Existing Homes," examines how institutional, organizational and personal knowledge influence residential builders' decisions related to water efficiency innovations. The results will be used to contribute to effective policy for residential water efficiency.
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 POLIS Water Sustainability project is teaming up with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to deliver the National Water Conservation Workshop Roadshow. The workshops will help local government staff and community water planners develop conservation plans that are tailored to challenges in their particular community.
Friends of the Earth - Canada in partnership with POLIS, the Arthur Irving Institute at Acadia University, and the Environment and Resources Studies Department at the University of Waterloo have recently completed the first national test study of the water soft path principles and practices anywhere in world. This collaborative research effort produced a variety of outputs (see our Soft Path research theme) and resulted in the formation of the Soft Path Leadership Council -- a cross sector, pan national group of water experts and professionals with a mandate to move soft path concepts into action and develop pilot projects where theory becomes reality. POLIS is also working with Friends of the Earth-Canada on our National Water Conservation Workshop Roadshow Series.
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.
In partnership with Sierra Club Canada and RBC's Blue Water Project, WSP launched ActionH20 on March 22nd, 2010 (World Water Day). This initiative aims to "save litres by growing leaders" by cultivating leaders from local grassroots groups working on water issues across Canada through the development of pilot projects and water conservation campaigns.
The Living Water Policy Project is made up of a group of water policy analysts and professionals that monitor changes to federal, provincial, and territorial water policy in Canada. The initiative is driven by the belief that the fragmented nature of Canadian water policy inhibits the effective management of our water.
The project is guided by a growing community of partners that is unified by three objectives:
- To consolidate information on federal, provincial, and territorial water policy relating to water quantity and quality;
- To improve access to knowledge around Canadian water policy activities; and
- To improve civil society’s collective ability to participate in the public policy dialogue on water.
The LWPP is hosted by the WSP. POLIS supports the initiative by helping maintain the library of Canadian water policy information and providing a platform for rigorous analysis and strategic action on trends and developments in water policy.
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: