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What's New in WIC?

Water is essential for life on earth—yet it is a threatened and under-valued resource. The two greatest obstacles to improved water management are financial and institutional. The water sector requires innovative use of financial and investment instruments that reinforce local and regional integrated water resources management and restore natural capital.

IISD's Water Innovation Centre (WIC) responds to this need. IISD combines five years of experience on natural capital and ecosystem service research with 20 years of institutional expertise on policy instruments for sustainable development. They bring this experience to the water sector through the Water Innovation Centre.

IISD believes that although solving the world's water crisis will not occur by simply commodifying water, economics does play an important role. Properly valuing our natural capital, such as watershed integrity and the wetlands that purify water and provide flood and drought protection, is a crucially important water policy direction. The Water Innovation Centre brings this perspective to our flagship project, Strategic Management of the Lake Winnipeg Basin, embracing financial, institutional and technological innovation. Our work will benefit from best practices around the world and will provide analysis and solutions applicable to water management in other water-stressed regions of the world.


Lake Winnipeg Basin Summit (2010)

WIC Summit 2010 On November 30th and December 1st, 2010, approximately 150 scientists, policy-makers, business leaders, civil society members and other stakeholders convened in Winnipeg for an intensive, two-day "Lake Winnipeg Basin Summit," with the goal to develop solutions for improved water quality that recognize environmental, social and economic values.

Presentations by International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) staff and guest speakers informed lengthy facilitated discussions by attendees. Topics covered included the history of the basin, the current condition of the lake, case studies from around the world and an illustrative example of a potential "Watershed of the Future" for Manitoba.

Event outcomes included consensus on the need for partnership and collaboration, and a call for IISD to chair a stakeholder group tasked with producing a five-year action plan.

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Lake Winnipeg Basin

Lake Winnipeg BasinLake Winnipeg is the tenth largest freshwater lake in the world and faces a multitude of environmental challenges. Nutrient loads on Lake Winnipeg have apparently exceeded ecological thresholds and Lake Winnipeg is now deservedly the subject of concerted scientific and institutional attention. The Water Innovation Centre will work in the areas of integrated land and water management by coordinated existing and proposed work towards basin-wide solutions.

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Water in the World

Water in the WorldOf all the resources required for sustaining ecosystems and the services they provide for human health and well-being, water is arguably the most important. The challenge of providing clean and reliable water supplies is exacerbated by the predicted impacts of climate change on the future supply, quality and reliability of water. The Water Innovation Centre (WIC) promotes IWRM for the realization of multiple policy objectives related to social, economic and environmental development.

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