From Fracking Conflicts to Innovation Generation: a Case Study of Water Governance in Northeastern B.C.

Principal Investigator - Dr. Michele-Lee Moore, University of Victoria, 2013-2015


This research has been disseminated through several presentations:

  • Shaw, K. “How can BC reconcile resource extraction with environmental and economic concerns?”   Presented and panelist at IdeasFest, University of Victoria, March 2014.
  • Moore, M-L., Breiddal, R., Lowe, L. Keynote speaker at 'Cumulative environmental, community and health effects of multiple natural resource developments in northern British Columbia.' January 2014.
  • Breiddal, R. Presentation of major research findings to Water Sustainability Branch of the Ministry of Environment. March 2015.
  • “What’s the Fracking Point? The Disenchantment of 'Meaningful' First Nations Engagement in the Horn River Basin.” Presented at the Geography Graduate Symposium, December 2013.
  • “What’s the Fracking Point? The Disenchantment of 'Meaningful' First Nations Engagement in the Horn River Basin.” Presented at Water Initiative
    Futures (WATIF) Conference in Kingston, ON, May 2014.
  •  Moore, M-L. "Stormwatching or Opportunity Seeking? Making the case for governance innovation research." Presented at DRIFT Institute, Erasmus University, Rotterdam. November 2014.
  • Garvie, K., Shaw, K. "Taming the Industry? Consultation on unconventional gas in NE British Columbia.” Presented at the Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference, University of Victoria, June 5.

This research project has held and attended several key end-user oriented workshops and webinars:

  • "The First Nation Shale Gas LNG Summit: Striking a balance." (April 2014). Fort Nelson First Nation.
  • Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions' workshop on "A Natural Gas Research Agenda."
  • Shaw, K. “Looking upstream: Ecosystem impacts of hydraulic fracturing in northeast B.C.” Invited speaker at BC’s Liquefied Natural Gas
    Ambitions: An Energy Forum Public Dialogue, Vancouver, BC, 15 April.

This research has resulted in scholarly journal publications and end-user reports:

  • Garvie, Kathryn H., Lana Lowe and Karena Shaw, “Shale Gas Development in Fort Nelson First Nation Territory: Potential Regional Impacts of the LNG Boom.” BC Studies: Vol. 184 (Winter 2014/2015): 51-77.
  • Anticipated Plain Language Primer.


Outcomes include:

  • This study highlights the need for a better understanding of the role of private industry in water governance in Canada, increasing the opportunities for future research.
  • Strengthened relationships with researchers, as this project seeded ideas for a broader Canadian Water Network project that involved a greater number of scholars and research partners.
  • Relationships built through attending workshops, participant observation (participating in FNFN's consultation meetings), and conducting interviews with members of the Provincial Government working in water governance, all contributed to strengthened relationships with end-users and within the University of Victoria community.
  • Increased knowledge to inform debates about hydraulic fracturing, water governance, and Indigenous co-governance with policy-makers. 
Although a specific policy change cannot yet be attributed to the results of this research, the knowledge gained will lead to new ways of understanding amongst key decision-makers, including industry and government.
  • Increased knowledge. This study has increased the knowledge of HQP, co-PIs, and research partners about the challenges associated with water governance, hydraulic fracturing, collaborative governance, and social learning. This knowledge has ripple effects as this knowledge is disseminated through research team member’s classrooms, conferences, meetings with communities, government, and in future research partnerships.