Eau Canada
440 pages, 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
25 b&w photos, 2 maps, 2 figures, 23 tables
Release Date:01 Jan 2007
Release Date:29 Nov 2006
Release Date:01 Nov 2007

Eau Canada

The Future of Canada's Water

Edited by Karen Bakker
UBC Press

As the sustainability of our natural resources is increasingly questioned, Canadians remain stubbornly convinced of the unassailability of our water. Mounting evidence suggests, however, that Canadian water is under threat. 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 protecting our most important resource.

The volume skillfully brings together the perspective form 28 of Canada’s top water experts who debate Canada’ most critical water issues and resolutions … The public at large, the academic community, water supply managers, environmental and water policy analysts, government officials, community groups and politicians from across Canada will find this book a high-quality read … The resulting product gives the interested by non-technical reader a straightforward tool for use in understanding the insidious and complex problems plaguing water governance in Canada. Connie Delisle, Strategic Advisor, Policy Research Initiative, Government of Canada, Horizons, vol. 9, no. 1
Canadians love our vast and beautiful expanses of water but know next to nothing about them. Eau Canada is a myth-busting, fact-based, comprehensive collection on all facets of our water that every Canadian should own. Without the knowledge contained in this book, we could lose the right to control our water in an increasingly thirsty world. Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, Council of Canadians, and co-author of Blue Gold
We Canadians display a passionate concern about water and about our stewardship of this resource, but sadly we know very little about either. Read this book and fix that problem. Looking at the state of Canada’s water resources and Canadian water policy, Eau Canada gives us the facts about both, and shows what we need to do to care for this priceless resource better. Lots of surprising information. Lots of good ideas. Well written. What more could you ask for? A good book to buy. David R. Boyd, environmental lawyer, Trudeau Scholar, and author of Unnatural Law: Rethinking Canadian Environmental Law and Policy
Canada's leading water experts paddle upstream against the flow of conventional wisdom in this excellent book. They are frank about Canada's water problems and forceful in describing the solutions that exist but aren't being implemented. Mandatory reading for all people concerned about the future of fresh water in Canada. David R. Boyd, environmental lawyer, Trudeau Scholar, and author of Unnatural Law: Rethinking Canadian Environmental Law and Policy
Karen Bakker is a professor of geography at the University of British Columbia.

Foreword / David Schindler

Preface / Karen Bakker

Acknowledgments Abbreviations

1 Introduction / Karen Bakker

PART 1 Muddy Waters: How Well Are We Governing Canada’s Waters?

2 Great Wet North? Canada’s Myth of Water Abundance / John B. Sprague

3 On Guard for Thee? Water (Ab)uses and Management in Canada / Dan Shrubsole and Dianne Draper

4 Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Taking Canada’s Groundwater for Granted / Linda Nowlan

5 Challenging the Status Quo: The Evolution of Water Governance in Canada / Rob de Loë and Reid Kreutzwiser

Is Canada’s Water Safe? A Photo Essay

PART 2 Whose Water? Jurisdictional Fragmentation and Transboundary Management

6 Whose Water? Canadian Water Management and the Challenges of Jurisdictional Fragmentation / J. Owen Saunders and Michael M. Wenig

7 Drawers of Water: Water Diversions in Canada and Beyond / Frédéric Lasserre

8 Thirsty Neighbours: A Century of Canada-US Transboundary Water Governance / Ralph Pentland and Adèle Hurley

PART 3 Blue Gold: Privatization, Water Rights, and Water Markets

9 Commons or Commodity? The Debate over Private Sector Involvement in Water Supply / Karen Bakker

10 Liquid Gold: Water Markets in Canada / Ted Horbulyk

11 Trading our Common Heritage? The Debate over Water Rights Transfers in Canada / Randy Christensen and Anastasia Lintner

PART 4 Waterwise: Pathways to Better Water Management

12 A Tangled Web: Reworking Canada’s Water Laws / Paul Muldoon and Theresa McClenaghan

13 Are the Prices Right? Balancing Efficiency, Equity, and Sustainability in Water Pricing / Steven Renzetti

14 Moving Water Conservation to Centre Stage / Oliver Brandes, David Brooks, and Michael M’Gonigle

PART 5 Water Worldviews: Politics, Culture, and Ethics

15 The Land Is Dry: Indigenous Peoples, Water, and Environmental Justice / Ardith Walkem

16 Half-Empty or Half-Full? Water Politics and the Canadian National Imaginary / Andrew Biro

17 Rising Waves, Old Charts, Nervous Passengers: Navigating toward a New Water Ethic / Cushla Matthews, Robert B. Gibson, and Bruce Mitchell

18 Conclusion: Governing Canada’s Waters Wisely / Karen Bakker


1 A Survey of Water Governance Legislation and Policies in the Provinces and Territories

2 Additional Resources and Reading

3 The Waterkeeper Alliance Contributors Index

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