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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Drop by Drop: Urban Water Conservation Practices in Western Canada

Report by Robert Roach, Vien Huynh, Sarah Dobson

Canada’s water is too important to our quality of life to take for granted; it must be treated as a valuable and irreplaceable resource in need of careful and forward-looking stewardship. Robert Roach, Vien Huynh and Sarah Dobson argue that water policy – be it at the federal, provincial, or municipal level, or development by the private sector – must take a holistic view of the water system, including where our water originates, where it ends up, and the water cycle’s productivity over the long term.

This report seeks to raise awareness and understanding about urban water issues. The authors adopt an urban focus because eight out of 10 westerners live in urban areas, and municipal governments are key players in the delivery and treatment of water. Roach, Huynh and Dobson examine municipal water conservation policy in six large western Canadian cities: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.

The authors’ analysis identifies barriers to effective urban water conservation policy, including: a resistance to institute water usage fees, a general lack of interest in conservation, and a lack of political leadership in conservation concerns. They conclude with recommendations to overcome these barriers including: introducing integrated policies; using new water conservation technology; and, private-public partnerships to educate the public about water conservation.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Robert Roach; Vien Huynh; Sarah Dobson;
Publisher: Canada West Foundation [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: Municipal;
Registration Required: Yes Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Cities & Communities / Municipal Infrastructure
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Water
Policy Articles / Cities & Communities / Municipal Infrastructure / 2004
Policy Articles / Cities & Communities
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Water / 2004


Keywords / Tags:

municipal water usage; urban water conservation; water stewardship; water conservation; water policy; conservation policy;