IUCN – The World Conservation Union runs a water and nature initiative with two goals: (1) Improved management in 10 river basins (increased livelihood security for water and wetland-dependent communities; improved utilisation of natural resources; Increased conservation of natural resources; and reduced conflicts between users); and (2) Tools for participation, governance, economics, and information management. The latter should be of particular interest to users of waterbucket.ca. The initiative's website is http://www.iucn.org/themes/wani/
Water Use Planning
In keeping with its newly adopted Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan, the Village of Lumby introduced a Stage-1 Water Conservation threshold that instituted water sprinkling regulations, a public education awareness program, and increased water-level monitoring for village wells.
Water is a precious thing. Williams Lake is blessed with an abundant source of fresh, clean water that’s relatively easy to extract and distribute. Unfortunately, like any good thing, our water supply is not infinite. During the past two years, the City of Williams Lake has worked hard to determine just how much water there is, and how to best manage it to ensure adequate supplies for future generations.
The Capital Regional District (CRD), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and the Peninsula Agricultural Commission, initiated the “Agricultural Water Use and Conservation Study” to gather, analyze, and present data on farm water use and conservation practices across the CRD. The resulting information will be used to set water rates for the agricultural sector, and to help the CRD develop water conservation program.
Most water utility managers don’t classify public outreach as an integral part of utility management. But, that’s an “unfortunate attitude because experience clearly demonstrates the value of devoting public outreach resources on major issues and projects early on instead of after the fact.”
It has been suggested recently that water and sewage utilities move to “full-cost” accounting as a means of addressing some of the challenges facing them. However, there are disagreements regarding how to implement this concept, and few estimates exist that show the impact of such a change.
In this paper, the Canadian experience with water reuse and recycling is reviewed under five theme areas: technology; policy and regulation; research; public acceptance; and coordination. At present, water reuse and recycling in Canada is practiced on a relatively small scale and varies regionally depending on the availability of water supplies and regulatory flexibility.
Even in “water-rich” Canada, many jurisdictions are having trouble providing adequate, clean fresh water as their populations not only grow, but also exhibit higher expectations for water availability and water safety. The conventional approach to such problems accepted the history of constantly growing demand for water and responded by extending pipelines, constructing more dams and drilling deeper.
Water is an important input for many industrial sectors including manufacturing, mining, and energy generation. Industrial water use differs from other sectors in its high reliance on self-supplied water, the potential for internal water recycling and the possibility of use leading to diminished water quality.
This article presents the main policy research issues related to the application of selected economic instruments (EIs) for water demand management. It builds on the papers presented at the Policy Research Initiative’s Symposium on economic instruments for water demand management.