Program on Water Governance Established at the University of British Columbia




The Future of Water in Canada

A new program at the University of British Columbia  aims to connect water researchers with those active on water policy. The Program on Water Governance (PoWG) conducts basic research on water management, engages the wider community in outreach and education on water issues, and facilitates dialogue on water governance between universities, communities, government, NGOs and the private sector. For more information, click on this link:


Weak Governance at Heart of Water Problems

The Director of the Program is Dr. Karen Bakker. She is an an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, She wrote Eau Canada, The Future of Water in Canada.

“Canada has long been seen as a land of natural bounty — a country of lush forests, abundant agriculture, and pristine lakes. Even as the sustainability of many of our resources has been questioned, Canadians have remained stubbornly convinced of the unassailability of our water. Mounting evidence suggests, however, that Canadian water is, in fact, under threat,” writes Karen Bakker.

“Eau Canada assembles the country’s top water experts to discuss our most pressing water issues. Perspectives from a broad range of thinkers — geographers, environmental lawyers, former government officials, aquatic and political scientists, and economists — reflect the diversity of concerns in water management. Arguing that weak governance is at the heart of Canada’s water problems, this timely book identifies our key failings, explores debates over jurisdiction, transboundary waters, exports, and privatization, and maps out solutions for a more sustainable future.”

Water is arguably the most important resource of our time. How we govern it today has critical consequences for our future. Eau Canada provides a powerful discussion of the most controversial and pressing water issues facing Canadians today.


Groundwater: Buried Treasure

Linda Nowlan, an environmental lawyer, is a Faculty Research Associate with the Program. She is the author of Buried Treasure: Groundwater Permitting and Pricing in Canada. This comprehensive report was written to help fill the need for greater public awareness of the value of groundwater and an understanding of how it is regulated.