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Water scarcity is largely a social dilemma that cannot be solved by technical innovations alone. Instead, it must be addressed through new, integrated approaches to water management and decision-making.
The POLIS Water Sustainability Project (WSP) began in 2003 as part of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance. It works to develop innovative legal, institutional, and practical approaches that embody the principles of ecological governance, providing the foundation for a comprehensive legal and policy framework for sustainable water management.
Sustainable water management must focus on ensuring all “new” water comes from better use of existing supplies, and from changes in attitudes and water-use habits. By demonstrating the powerful potential of new approaches, new perspectives, and innovation, the WSP team works to develop a clear model for ecosystem-based water governance in Canada—a model based on conservation, stewardship, and sustainability. By examining all actions in the context of the watershed, we can move toward a governance system that is rooted in ecological principles, and shift the focus towards managing the people within a watershed, rather than controlling the watershed itself.
The WSP is led by Oliver M. Brandes and hosts a number of researchers and advisors who focus on the organization’s four core research themes:
- Water Conservation & The Water Soft Path
- The Water-Energy Nexus
- Watershed Governance
- Water Law and Policy
For further information and a complete list of WSP research publications, visit www.poliswaterproject.org.
- Lessons from an Ancient Concept: How the Public Trust Doctrine will meet obligations to protect the environment and the public interest in Canadian water management and governance in the 21st century (2012—Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 23(2))
- Peeling Back the Pavement: A Blueprint for Reinventing Rainwater Management in Canada's Communities (2011)
- Why a Water Soft Path, Why Now and What Then? (2011—International Journal of Water Resources Development 27(2))
- Worth Every Penny: A Primer on Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing (2010)
- Making the Most of the Water We Have: The Soft Path Approach to Water Management (2009)
- Setting a New Course in British Columbia: Water Governance Reform Options and Opportunities (2009)
- The Soft Path for Water in a Nutshell (2007)
- Thinking Beyond Pipes and Pumps: Top 10 Ways Communities Can Save Water and Money (2007)
- At a Watershed: Ecological Governance and Sustainable Water Management in Canada (2005)
- Building Professional Capacity for a Water-Sensitive Future in Ontario (2013)
- Transitioning the New Construction Sector to Water-Sensitive Design (2013)
- Walking the Water Soft Path: York Region Water Strategy Puts Theory into Practice (2012)
- From Stream to Steam: Emerging Challenges for BC’s Interlinked Water and Energy Resources (2012)
- Cross-Canada Checkup: A Canadian Perspective on Our Water Future (2012)
Page last updated: 01/08/2013