Water resources in Canada face a number of serious challenges. The balance between demand for water versus supply of water is worsening. Income and population growth and rising international demands for Canada's natural resources lead to growing demand for water while climate change and pollution levels reduce the sustainable supply. Many of the regulations and institutions governing water do not provide incentives for conservation and innovation, do not fully recognize nonmarket values of water and are not structured to deal with water use conflicts. Unfortunately, the very real costs of water mismanagement often fall on society's most vulnerable. The complexity of the challenges requires partnerships among researchers, managers, policy makers and community groups.
The Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network (WEPGN) brings together researchers and partners to share ideas, identify challenges, and develop new knowledge to improve the management of water resources in Canada and abroad.
WEPGN was established with the generous support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through a Partnership Grant. The network is also supported through the generous contributions of an extensive community of partners.
By applying research insights to decision-making about water resources, communities, governments, and other water managers will use water resources more sustainably for the benefit of the economy, society, and the environment.
WEPGN partners come from all levels of Canadian government and agencies with front-line responsibilities for water management. WEPGN partners play many roles: defining research questions, engaging with research teams, providing cash and in-kind support, administering the network, and carrying out knowledge mobilization. WEPGN yields several concrete benefits to participating researchers and students. Partner organizations benefit by participating in research attuned to their concerns. In the long run, aquatic ecosystems, Canadians and the Canadian economy will all benefit.