Municipal Water Supply Infrastructure Governance in Canada:
Uptake of water conservation technologies in the context of utility restructuring.
Project Data Phase 2
In the second phase of the project, the research was expanded to a pan-Canadian study. Selecting eleven municipalities that are leaders in water efficiency programming in Canada, we are directed our research to the governance arrangements that have aided their progress and how these could be further improved. In addition, we gathered the histories of their experiences and the lessons learned. The case studies included in this second phase are: the Capital Regional District (CRD), Vancouver and Kelowna in British Columbia; Cochrane, Calgary, Edmonton and Okotoks in Alberta; Sherbrooke and Mont Tremblant in Québec; and the Regional Municipalities of Halifax and Cape Breton in Nova Scotia.
This phase of the research project culminated in a second workshop to which community representatives, utility professionals, policy makers, and representatives from government, non-governmental organizations and industry were invited. The objective of the workshop was to build and disseminate knowledge on effective programming for conservation and efficiency in municipal water supply in Canada. During the workshop participants discussed the implementation of best practices, which contributed to the refinement of a policy document on how governance can be improved to facilitate and encourage water conservation and efficiency, and to provide networking opportunities. The research results were extensively disseminated through a variety of media, including a policy report and a handbook written for a general audience.
Legislative Overview of Canada’s Provinces and Territories
In Canada, most water related legislation is the purview of the provinces and territories. Provinces are generally responsible for both water governance and water as a natural resource. These responsibilities include licensing, ensuring water potability, and environmental protection for waters under provincial jurisdiction. Thus, to contextualize municipal water supply in Canada it is necessary to understand, the often divergent, legislative frameworks to which it is subject across Canada’s ten provinces and two territories.
As such we have compared the legislative approaches of Canada’s twelve jurisdictions on a variety of issues. These include: Drinking Water Protection, Water Property Rights, Water Transfers, Diversions and Exports, and Emerging Approaches to Source Protection.