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

    How We Do Things at IISD-ELA: Researching Mercury

    This video explores the groundbreaking work that has been carried out at IISD-ELA to determine what impact mercury has on our water, and how we can best improve it.

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  • Blog
    Zebra Mussels in Manitoba: Here are the facts

    Zebra Mussels in Manitoba: Here are the facts

    Do you really understand why zebra mussels are dangerous to our water? Moreover, what can you do about them? IISD Experimental Lakes Area research scientist Scott Higgins breaks it down for you.

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  • 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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