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Ecological Governance Abroad and at Home: Water Management Lessons from Semi-Arid Brazil to Canada's "Wet" Coast

Ecological Governance Abroad and at Home: Water Management Lessons from Semi-Arid Brazil to Canada's "Wet" Coast


A presentation as part of the POLIS Discussion Series on Ecological Governance
 
Dr. Nathalie Gravel is a geographer and a professor at Université Laval in Québec City. She will be presenting on her water governance research in the Brazilian Northeast. In this semi-arid region, civil society and levels of government have been working together to improve water management strategies to counter water shortages, including rainwater harvesting and efforts to reduce water demand. Nathalie will explore the paths being taken by rural communities to move toward environmental governance and ecological citizenship in this region.
 
Kevin Reilly is the Demand Management Coordinator for B.C.’s Capital Regional District. Bringing his local perspective, Kevin will open with a discussion regarding the Sooke Reservoir, a protected watershed that is the region’s primary water supply. He will speak about the water conservation and efficiency programs in place in and around Victoria, and how these relate to priority management issues across Canada, including water pricing, universal metering, and measurement.

The Water-Energy Nexus

This is the fourth webinar in the POLIS Water Sustainability Project's 2011/2012 Creating a Blue Dialogue webinar series. Past and upcoming webinars are listed at the bottom of the page.

WEBINAR SUMMARY

The interconnections and interdependencies between water and energy are rapidly becoming a priority area of focus in British Columbia and across North America. In this webinar, leading researchers will provide a tour of priority and emerging issues related to the water-energy nexus in sectors across Canada and the United States.

Researcher and policy analyst Ben Parfitt will draw on initial research into water and energy use in B.C. and outline emerging areas of concern related to the water-energy nexus in the province, such as strains on B.C.’s hydroelectric system, escalating water use in the resource sector, and challenges and opportunities in the agricultural and municipal sectors. Speaker Carol Maas will then focus on water conservation and efficiency as a possible path to realizing future energy savings for municipalities in Ontario. Guest speaker Heather Cooley will discuss current issues in the American West, including the energy implications of desalination and water requirements for electricity generation.

GUEST SPEAKERS

Heather Cooley
Co-Director of Water Program, Pacific Institute

Carol Maas
Innovation and Technology Director, POLIS Water Sustainability Project

Ben Parfitt
Resource Policy Analyst, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives B.C. Office
Research Associate, POLIS Water Sustainability Project

**SPACE IS LIMITED**
To register email Laura Brandes at communications (at) polisproject (dot) org

Many Ways to See Water: Fresh Water and a Changing Climate

As part of UVic's Ideafest, the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the Centre for Global Studies hosted the successful roundtable Many Ways to See Water: Fresh Water and a Changing Climate on March 8, 2012. Bringing together expert speakers from research centres and departments across the campus, the event highlighted UVic research on freshwater resources in a changing climate, and associated issues of governance. With approximately 40 people in attendance—including students, researchers, community members, and government representatives—the discussion was robust. Questions focused on the science-policy interface and water availability in Canada as a result of a changing climate. The event showcased research from the Centre for Aboriginal Health Research, Centre for Global Studies, Department of Geography, Faculty of Law, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, and Water and Climate Impacts Research Centre.

POLIS Roundtable on Ecological Governance

Why does "ecological governance" matter now more than ever? This question was the focus of the University's first Roundtable on Ecological Governance held as part of Ideafest on March 5th. Tsartlip elder and educator Dr. Marie Cooper opened the session and Eco-Research Chair Dr. Michael M'Gonigle gave the keynote address (click on the audio below to hear a 30 minute recording of the keynote). A roundtable of responses followed from faculty, graduate students and community members offering a diversity of perspectives that spanned political science, geography, environmental studies, public policy, Indigenous rights and responsibilities, racialization and marginalized communities, gender and women’s issues, Indigenous child welfare, and ecosystem-based management of natural resources. Cross-cutting themes drew attention to the need for explicit involvement of gender, youth, Indigenous, and marginalized community perspectives as part of the pathway to reconnecting humans to place and re-imagining our governance systems as situated within ecological systems and relationships. The event was hosted by the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the Centre for Global Studies.

A Water Gathering: Collaborative Watershed Governance in BC and Beyond, Solutions Forum

Where: Vancouver, BC

The POLIS Project on Ecological Governance co-hosted this event in partnership with the Pacific Business and Law Institute, the Summit Institute, and a number of other British-Columbia-based organizations involved in watershed governance. The successful event brought together over 100 individuals from all sectors of the water field, including First Nations, local and senior government, research organizations, consulting firms, and watershed-based non-governmental organizations.

To read the official conference release, which summarized key findings and identified priority actions click here.

For more information please contact Laura Brandes at communications@polisproject.org or 250-721-8189.

Wave of the Future: Water Policy in Western Canada

This is the third webinar in the POLIS Water Sustainability Project's 2011/2012 Creating a Blue Dialogue webinar series. Upcoming webinars are listed below.

WEBINAR SUMMARY

Across North America, and indeed around the world, water is increasingly being recognized as critical to social, economic, and ecological prosperity. In this webinar, the guest speakers will examine emerging water policy trends and challenges and what they mean for western Canada.

Drawing on the outcomes of the Honourable James A. Richardson Discovery Roundtables (held in cities across western Canada in spring 2011), guest speaker Dr. Roger Gibbins will discuss western Canada’s current water challenges and priorities for the future. In particular, he will describe the overall western outlook, including the similar set of issues and priorities identified in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Speaker Oliver M. Brandes will then focus on current water policy developments in British Columbia, exploring what makes a modern water act and the potentially significant implications of B.C.’s Water Act Modernization process for the rest of the country.

GUEST SPEAKERS

Dr. Roger Gibbins
President and CEO, Canada West Foundation

Oliver M. Brandes
Co-Director and Water Sustainability Project Lead
POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, University of Victoria

**SPACE IS LIMITED**
To register email Laura Brandes at communications (at) polisproject (dot) org

POLIS Dispatch – Winter 2011

The Winter 2011 POLIS Dispatch provides updates on POLIS research and activities, and profiles our core team of associates. Within the newsletter you will find a significant list of forthcoming POLIS publications, as well as featured publications, recent special assignments, and highlighted outreach activities. Read the Winter 2011 POLIS Dispatch.

Read the Spring 2011 POLIS Dispatch.

Global Interdependence and You, CFGS Symposium

Where: First People's House and Centre for Global Studies (Sedgewick Building), University of Victoria

The POLIS Project on Ecological Governance participated in this symposium, which kicked off International Education Week at the University of Victoria. The event began with a two-hour lecture event at the First People's House, and was followed by an open house at the Centre for Global Studies (CFGS) where CFGS staff were available to discuss their work, as well as potential opportunities to get involved with CFGS. Students, faculty and staff, as well as the general community were all invited, and food and beverage were provided. To read the event poster and participant biographies click here.

 

Peeling Back the Pavement: Reinventing Rainwater Management in Canada's Communities

 

 

This is the second webinar in the POLIS Water Sustainability Project's 2011/2012 Creating a Blue Dialogue webinar series. Upcoming webinars are listed below.

Webinar Summary

The majority of Canada's communities manage stormwater runoff in a way that is not sustainable in the long term. Flooded streets and basements, degraded urban streams, increasing impacts of a changing climate, and expensive drainage infrastructure that demands constant maintenance are all evidence that we must learn to better integrate the water cycle into urban areas. Rethinking the way we deal with rain and snowmelt in our cities means replacing conventional “pipe-and-convey” systems with an approach that recognizes rainwater as a valuable resource while, at the same time, reducing runoff volume and improving runoff quality. One of the greatest challenges to reinventing rainwater management is the fragmented responsibility for fresh water across and within jurisdictions. Peeling back the pavement in Canada’s urban communities will mean addressing issues of governance and decision making.

Providing both ecological and political perspectives, the guest speakers will discuss the need for a new paradigm of rainwater management in Canada’s urban environments and outline positive policies and initiatives already underway in communities across the country and beyond.

This webinar marks the launch of Peeling Back the Pavement: A Blueprint for Reinventing Rainwater Management in Canada’s Communities, a new publication from the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria and the fourth instalment in its water sustainability handbook series for local governments.

Guest Speakers

Susanne Porter-Bopp, Community Water Coordinator, POLIS Water Sustainability Project and Lead Author ofPeeling Back the Pavement: A Blueprint for Reinventing Rainwater Management in Canada’s Communities

Patrick Lucey, Senior Aquatic Ecologist and President, Aqua-Tex Scientific Consulting Ltd.

**SPACE IS LIMITED**
To register email Laura Brandes at communications (at) polisproject (dot) org

Past and Upcoming Webinars

September 28, 2011
What Canada Can Learn from EU Water Governance
with Émilie Lagacé, Inger Weibust, and Ralph Pentland
*To view archived webinar click here*

January 19, 2012
Water Policy in Western Canada
with Roger Gibbins

March 7, 2012
Watershed Governance in the 21st Century
with Oliver M. Brandes

May 2012
The Water-Energy Nexus
with Ben Parfitt

 

Shared Water, One Framework: What Canada Can Learn from EU Water Governance

This is the first webinar in the POLIS Water Sustainability Project's 2011/2012 Creating a Blue Dialogue webinar series. Upcoming webinars are listed below.

Webinar Summary

When it comes to water management, both Canada and Europe face the challenges of jurisdictional fragmentation, unclear responsibilities, and disconnected governance. In 2000, the European Union applied a collaborative approach to water management driven by an ambitious policy: the EU Water Framework Directive.

The guest speakers will discuss the benefits of collaborative water governance and summarize lessons learned from the EU that could be applied in Canada. They will compare water pollution control in the EU and Canada and discuss how more effective environmental regulation and environmental management can contribute to economic opportunities.

If you are interested in reading Shared Water, One Framework (a February 2011 briefing note from the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW)) before the webinar please click here.

Guest Speakers

Émilie Lagacé, 2009 Gordon Water Fellow
Ralph Pentland, Co-Chair Canadian Water Issues Council (CWIC) and Member of Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW)
Inger Weibust, Assistant Professor, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University

**SPACE IS LIMITED**
To register email Laura Brandes at communications (at) polisproject (dot) org

Upcoming Webinars

October 2011
Reinventing Rainwater Management in Canada
with Susanne Porter-Bopp

January 2012
Water Policy in Western Canada
with Roger Gibbins

March 2012
Watershed Governance in the 21st Century
with Oliver M. Brandes

May 2012
The Water-Energy Nexus
with Ben Parfitt