Improving Water Quality With Novel Diagnostics: Policy Brief on the Potential Use of Metagenomics for Improved Water Quality Testing

Scientists at universities and public health institutions across Canada, including the BC Centers for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory, are using metagenomics to study the microbial communities in the water in order to develop new tests to assess water quality. Metagenomics has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of how perturbations in these microbial communities are linked to water quality with ramifications for drinking water and other applications. Although chemical pollution is not a focus of the current research, the state of these microbial communities can also indicate whether chemical or other contamination has occurred (e.g., temperature or other biophysical changes also shift the composition and function of these microbial communities).

Compiled by:

GE3LS Research Team: Dr. Leila Harris and Dr. Natalie Prystajecky (CoChairs), Dr. Natalie Henrich, Dr. Bev Holmes, Dr. Karen Bakker, Gemma Dunn, Ida Ngueng Feze, Dr. Yann Joly, Prof. Bartha Knoppers, Stanislav Birko, Edward S. Dove, Dr. Vural Ozdemir. Watershed Metagenomics

Project leaders: Dr. Patrick Tang and Dr. Judith Isaac-Renton

University of British Columbia, June 16, 2017

Policy Brief – Improving Water Quality with Novel Diagnostics

Governing transboundary waters: Canada, the United States and indigenous communities

Norman, E.S. (2015) Governing transboundary waters: Canada, the United States and indigenous communities. New York, Routledge.

Bringing together politics of coloniality and indigenous struggles for territorial, cultural and resource rights with water politics at the US-Canada border, this work makes significant conceptual and policy relevant contributions. Skillfully weaving diverse narratives, experiences, and moments of relevance for Indigenous communities on both sides of the border, the book makes for an inspiring read that explores key debates for contemporary water governance. – Karen Bakker and Leila Harris, Co-Directors, Program on Water Governance, University of British Columbia, Canada.

All of the water that is in our reserves and that is in our territories is ours”: Colonial and indigenous water governance in unceded indigenous territories in British Columbia

Harris, L. Simms, R. (2016). “All of the water that is in our reserves and that is in our territories is ours”: Colonial and indigenous water governance in unceded indigenous territories in British Columbia. Project Report. Canadian Water Network & Water, Economics, Policy and Governance Network. French version available here.

The main findings of this research and insights for decision makers are summarized in a policy brief, available in English and French.