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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. 

  • Blog
    Citizen Science: Gathering rivers of information for the knowledge pool

    Citizen Science: Gathering rivers of information for the knowledge pool

    Karla Zubrycki describes some of the exciting "citizen science" work happening in the Lake Winnipeg Basin and explains why it can be so important for governments and the scientific community.

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  • Blog
    Freshwater Stewardship in Canada

    Freshwater Stewardship in Canada

    Scott Vaughan explains how IISD is bridging the gap between freshwater science and policy, and how it plans to celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary.

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  • Paper
    Public Policy Assessment and Advancing Science-Based Freshwater Protection: Background paper

    Public Policy Assessment and Advancing Science-Based Freshwater Protection: Background paper

    In January 2017, IISD and the University of Ottawa convened a small group of experts to discuss fresh water in Canada, particularly as it relates to the federal regulatory regime. This paper written by M.P. Trudeau served as the background document for this event.

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  • Report
    Large Area Planning in the Nelson-Churchill River Basin (NCRB): Laying a foundation in northern Manitoba

    Large Area Planning in the Nelson-Churchill River Basin (NCRB): Laying a foundation in northern Manitoba

    This report explores two trends—the growing tendency towards large basin management and consideration of ecosystem services in decision making—for the northern portion of the Nelson-Churchill River Basin in Canada.

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  • Report
    Large Area Planning in the Nelson-Churchill River Basin (NCRB): Laying a foundation in northern Manitoba (Summary)

    Large Area Planning in the Nelson-Churchill River Basin (NCRB): Laying a foundation in northern Manitoba (Summary)

    This document summarizes a longer report that explores two trends—the growing tendency towards large basin management and consideration of ecosystem services in decision making—for the northern portion of the Nelson-Churchill River Basin in Canada.

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  • Report
    Opening Our Doors: IISD Experimental Lakes Area 2015-2016 Annual Report

    Opening Our Doors: IISD Experimental Lakes Area 2015-2016 Annual Report

    2015-2016 was the year that IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) truly opened its doors to the world.

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  • Blog
    Making Every Drop Count: Pakistan’s growing water scarcity challenge

    Making Every Drop Count: Pakistan’s growing water scarcity challenge

    Can climate change risks spur needed action?

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  • Video
    Mark Hanson Explains Why IISD-ELA is a Unique Educational Experience

    Mark Hanson Explains Why IISD-ELA is a Unique Educational Experience

    Dr. Mark Hanson, University of Manitoba, brought a group of students from across Canada to IISD Experimental Lakes Area for a two week field course...

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  • Video
    The Water Brothers Explore Climate Change at IISD-ELA

    The Water Brothers Explore Climate Change at IISD-ELA

    At the end of May 2016, the Water Brothers visited IISD Experimental Lakes Area to shoot an episode on the impact of climate change on fresh water. They performed some of the science themselves, spoke with researchers,  shot our beautiful vistas and, most importantly, met our fish.

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  • Commentary
    Building Transboundary Water Security

    Building Transboundary Water Security

    This article highlights a new generation of transboundary agreements that aim to integrate wider freshwater benefits, notably ecosystem functions. It also points to the need for holistic approaches to freshwater management moving forward, as countries turn towards implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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