Key Issues in Canadian Water Policy

Municipal water management should be improved to protect populations against water scarcity


The goal of this project was to produce a substantive body of literature on the state of Canadian water use and policy in order to inform and guide policy makers in creating effective, long term water management strategies. Canada West Foundation recognized that while water is abundant in Canada, it is also a finite resource that is used for a variety of purposes including agriculture, industry, recreation and to sustain life. CWF assessed the state of Canadian water policy at all levels, municipal, provincial and federal, in order to determine what policies existed, what their impacts were and how accountability was measured. This project was the first in a three part series on water use and impacts in urban centres.

Grant Outputs

On Tap: Water Issues in Canada –

This study examines how water is often taken for granted, undervalued, and overused. As a result, water mangers face an array of issues and growing concerns. The report argues that Canadians should be concerned with water policy because municipal management of water in urban centres will impact water availability more generally. It concludes that while Canada has generally good access to safe drinking water compared with other nations, water quality does vary across the country. Consequently, there are areas where Canadians can improve water policy, including protecting drinking water sources, implementing changes to regulatory standards and technology, and resolving ambiguity over jurisdictional accountability.

Grant Details

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