The overall objective of this project is to develop a framework for the economic analysis of alternative methods of protection of water quality that include consideration of ecosystem services such as upstream source water protection as an alternative to infrastructure investments.
Land use and changes in that use play a major role in determining the quality of rivers and lakes. Indeed the effectiveness of water quality management will always be compromised without a clear understanding of land use influences.
In Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation, there is increasing pressure on water resources by increased cottage development, sewage disposal to the river system, management of the Qu’Appelle and Gardiner Dams, impacting water flows and levels and increased flooding events.
Water is scarce in southern Alberta, and climate change predictions suggest that water might be even scarcer. There is increasing pressure to leave more water in rivers for environmental purposes, which will further increase water scarcity for extractive users.
This project is a collaborative effort between Credit Valley Conservation(CVC) and York University researchers to identify and communicate health and well-being benefits of watershed natural features and ecosystem processes.
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.
Water utility managers are increasingly turning to price tools (raising water rates) instead of traditional non-price tools (summer water restrictions) to encourage conservation. However, there is little information on the responsiveness of consumer demands to price changes. Establishing the efficacy of such a tool for curbing water use is one policy problem addressed by this research.
Forested watersheds are severely threatened by wildfire in western Canada. The eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Alberta produce the majority of surface water supplies supporting Alberta’s population, and recent increases in magnitude and severity of wildfires along with provincial water demand result in a pressing need to evaluate wildfire risk to downstream drinking water supply and treatment.
Three themes dominate environmental management: public participation, use of the best science, and cost effectiveness. While economic valuation has grown in prominence as an aid to achieving cost effectiveness, its methodology has been challenged as inappropriate for complex situations outside of respondents’ knowledge and experience.
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.
Restorative development involves renewing or reusing the health, beauty, quantity, and functionality of natural, built and socio-economic assets, to enhance their value without depleting or destroying other assets of long-lasting or irreplaceable quality. It is central to sustaining a revitalized Great Lakes basin ecosystem.
The Horn River Basin overlaps with the Fort Nelson First Nation (FNFN) traditional territory, and has been an active site of hydraulic fracturing development. This has increased the demand for water in the Basin. While it is well established that effective water governance requires collaboration from a wide array of actors, barriers to including Indigenous Nations in water governance remain as a legacy of Canada’s colonial history.
Uncertainty and complexity has prompted movement towards a complex adaptive systems viewpoint. Social-ecological resilience is conceptually concerned with the amount of change a system can withstand, the degree of self-organization possible, and the ability to learn and adapt. Understanding thresholds and regimes shifts are critical to adaptability and transformations.
This project is an integrated research program that advances the state of knowledge of the economic and social impacts of water pricing reforms and provides project partners with the analytic tools to support their rate setting.
The purpose of this research was to examine the cost effectiveness of farming systems to reduce nitrate leaching associated with agriculture in PEI. An integrated economic – hydrologic optimization model was used to estimate the cost of adopting non-traditional beneficial management practices (BMPs) and the resulting impact on nitrate leaching.
Water governance frameworks have been widely adopted, however, there is as of yet little guidance on how such arrangements should operate, be evaluated, or be improved. There is a lack of clarity in identifying the components of these arangements, which hinders a consistent understanding of water governance.
The linkage between climate change and the presence of water-borne pathogens and health risks may have significant economic, policy and governance implications for local communities. However, many communities in Canada do not have the capacity to study, assess and act upon these sources of risks to public health. The purpose of this research is to build on an existing set of field studies being undertaken by Mazumder in order to do three things.
The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of collaborative approaches to dealing with water scarcity and conflicting demands for water. The Province of Ontario provided the institutional setting for the study. We were particularly concerned with the extent to which collaboration provides an effective and appropriate basis for water sharing in cases where agriculture is a prominent user. This led us to a focus on the Ontario Low Water Response (LWR) program.
Watershed monitoring is an essential component of watershed management; however, widespread federal and provincial decentralization efforts have resulted in reduced government funding for such monitoring. In response, communities are mobilizing to address this deficit in Canada by undertaking a practice called community-based watershed monitoring (CBWM).
The project models the magnitude and likelihood of wildfire occurrences in source water regions in Alberta and combines fire/water transport and water utility cost models in order to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of existing and future management strategies for drinking water security.