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Water Science and Policy

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Good science is essential for good policy. 

The partnership between IISD’s Water Program and IISD-ELA brings together more than 40 years of rigorous aquatic science with 25 years of global policy analysis and practical guidance. Our combined expertise in hydrology, modelling, biology, limnology, ecosystem services and policy is directed at helping governments and industry to manage water and related resources in such diverse contexts as agriculture, hydro-electric operations and mining, to minimize effects on people and ecosystems.

With the best available science and collaborative analyses, our water solutions are evidence based, long term and meet the needs of a range of stakeholders. 

  • Report
    Manitoba Prairie Lakes: Mass balance budget for nutrient management at Pelican Lake, Manitoba

    Manitoba Prairie Lakes: Mass balance budget for nutrient management at Pelican Lake, Manitoba

    This study documents the variance and relative importance of different nutrient sources and internal lake processes for a Prairie lake (Pelican Lake, Manitoba).

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  • Blog
    How Scientific Knowledge Can and Should Guide Policy-Making

    How Scientific Knowledge Can and Should Guide Policy-Making

    Now that it is welcoming its first federal chief science advisor, Pauline Gerrard explains how Canada can best support and nurture its scientific community.

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  • Blog
    Mercury: What it does to humans and what humans need to do about it

    Mercury: What it does to humans and what humans need to do about it

    As the very first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury takes place, we explain why mercury poses such a risk to humans and what IISD Experimental Lakes Area has discovered, and lay out what needs to happen next.

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  • Paper
    Behavioral responses to annual temperature variation alter the dominant energy pathway, growth, and condition of a cold-water predator

    Behavioral responses to annual temperature variation alter the dominant energy pathway, growth, and condition of a cold-water predator

    Canadian scientists at IISD Experimental Lakes Area have discovered that certain lake predators are altering their behaviour due to climate change, revealing what the future may hold for these fish and their food. 

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  • Blog
    IISD Experimental Lakes Area's Lake 626 Climate Change Diversion Project

    IISD Experimental Lakes Area's Lake 626 Climate Change Diversion Project

    IISD-ELA's Lake 626 Diversion project has been exploring the effects of climate change on water since 2008. How does it work? And what have we discovered so far?

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  • Video
    Welcome to IISD Experimental Lakes Area

    Welcome to IISD Experimental Lakes Area

    Give us a minute, and we will show you around the most unique laboratory in the world!

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  • Video
    Welcome to IISD Experimental Lakes Area (with subtitiles)

    Welcome to IISD Experimental Lakes Area (with subtitiles)

    Give us a minute, and we will show you around the most unique laboratory in the world!

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  • Blog
    Microplastics: What are they and what can we do about them?

    Microplastics: What are they and what can we do about them?

    What exactly are microplastics? What are they doing to our water? And why should you be worried? We sat down with IISD Experimental Lakes Area research fellow Dr. Michael Rennie, who has recently worked on the impact of microplastics on fresh water, and he gave us the lowdown on them.

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  • Video
    How We Do Things at IISD-ELA: Researching Estrogen

    How We Do Things at IISD-ELA: Researching Estrogen

    Some interesting results have come from IISD-ELA research on the impact of estrogen on fresh water. This short video explains how we researched the issue, and what we discovered.

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  • Video
    How We Do Things at IISD-ELA: Researching Eutrophication

    How We Do Things at IISD-ELA: Researching Eutrophication

    Ever since its inception, IISD-ELA has been researching what causes algal blooms in fresh water bodies. This short video explains our work on phosphorus and nitrogen at IISD-ELA, and what impact it has gone on to have on policy around the world.

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