Solutions for complex water challenges not only require the development of novel data collection and modeling tools, but also the creation of strong research clusters and innovative knowledge mobilization instruments. There is a need to understand the focus and nature of interdisciplinary collaborative research, as well as the functionality and collaborative nature of the networks of researchers, extension and integration of partnerships.
The emphasis on Indigenous law is of pressing importance given that evolving legal frameworks have created expanded approaches to Indigenous title, rights, and traditional territories and hence expanded roles for Indigenous peoples in resource governance. This creates a challenge for all levels of government (including Indigenous governments), as new models of governance (and stakeholder relationships) are being debated and indeed created.
The overall goal of this project is to develop and implement a process for scenario planning in the Credit River watershed that is oriented to managing ecosystem services for human health and well-being.
Human health and well-being is fundamentally dependent on services provided by ecosystems. However, the importance of ecosystem services (ES) to human well-being, and of managing ecosystem and watershed resources to maintain such services, is not commonly understood by the public, and not well-enough articulated by environmental management and governance organizations.
The proposed research (development/administration of a survey in the NWT) builds upon existing knowledge in two important ways. First, it investigates use of water substitutes by peoples of the North (both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people) and individuals who pursue traditional trapping, hunting, or fishing livelihoods on the land.
The Columbia Basin is at a crossroads due to the potential termination of the 1964 Canada-US Columbia River Treaty. Once widely recognized as a world-leading, innovative approach to transboundary water governance, concerns are mounting about whether the renegotiation process can address the numerous issues that have emerged since 1964 and regain the Columbia River’s status as a recognized global leader in transboundary governance.
Growing urban water demands are putting increasing pressure on the infrastructure of many water agencies, signaling the potential need for greater capital investments. Most water agencies forecast demand by multiplying future population estimates with historical per capita water use. However, this approach tends to be inaccurate by failing to account for other demand drivers, such as income, price and household appliance holdings.
Forecasting water demands on a daily basis is remarkably difficult. Variables such as weather conditions, operational changes, watermain breaks, business cycles, human behaviour, economic and social factors effect water demand forecasting, but it is difficult to quantify those factors and thus difficult to make an accurate prediction.
Governments in Canada currently do not have the capacity to analyze the two-way relationship between economic activities and hydrologic conditions at the river basin level. Canada also does not have an integrated hydro-economic computer model for practical policy and decision-making towards sustainable water use.