Research Program

Our research program focuses primarily on water governance – the processes through which societies make decisions that affect water.

In previous work we have studied governance in contexts such as drinking water source protection, transboundary water management, water allocation and climate change adaptation. Water security is an important cross-cutting theme in our program.

Major scientific and technical challenges exist in these areas. However, we believe that progress – or lack thereof – in tackling these concerns requires addressing governance challenges relating to legitimacy and accountability, weak institutions, and shortfalls in capacity. Our research aims to make significant, original contributions to knowledge in relation to key water and environmental governance challenges in Canada and around the world.

A shared goal of team members is to use research to contribute practical, relevant solutions to governance challenges in real-world settings. As a result, partnerships with policy makers, practitioners and others involved in water governance are an important characteristic of our work.

Mid-2014 marked a major shift in the long-term direction of our research program. During 2015 we will be wrapping up work on a major focus on collaborative approaches to governance for water in Canada. Several current PhD students are finishing theses on various collaboration-related topics, and many publications are in preparation or forthcoming. However, through the new Rethinking Water Governance project, we are challenging the ways in which we approach governance for water in Canada (and around the world).

Current Projects

Rethinking Water Governance: Towards a New Agenda for Research and Practice. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2014-2019

Selected Completed Projects

Using Knowledge Co-Production to Improve Collaborative Approaches to Governance for Water. Funded by the Canadian Water Network (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2013-2014

Evaluating Collaborative Approaches to Governance for Water Allocation in Canada: Lessons from Ontario. Funded by the Water, Economics, Policy and Governance Network (SSHRC) (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2013-2015

Assessing the Outcomes of Collaborative Water Governance: A Canadian Perspective. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2011-2014

Creating a Next Generation Policy Delphi. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2011-2013

Improving Water Governance Through Policy Transfer and Lesson Learning. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2009-2012

First Nations and Source Waters: Understanding Vulnerabilities and Building Capacity for Environmental Governance. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Ryan Plummer, Principal Investigator) - 2009-2012

Governance for Watershed-Based Source Water Protection in Canada: A National Assessment. Funded by the Canadian Water Network  (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2008-2012

Climate Change Impacts and Implications for Niagara. Funded by Niagara Region (Ryan Plummer, Principal Investigator) - 2011-2012.

Source Water Protection in Ontario. Funded by the Canadian Water Network  (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2007-2009

Transferring Water Allocation Institutions: Insights from Canada and Australia. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2006-2009

Water Allocation and Water Security: A Canadian Assessment. Funded by the The Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2005-2007

Enhancing Water Security in Canada. Funded by the Canadian Water Network  (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2005-2007

Designing for Resiliency and Self-Reliance: An Evaluation of Options for Responding to Agricultural Drought in Canada. Funded by the Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Program (John Smithers, Principal Investigator) - 2004-2007

Institutional Arrangements and Capacity for Adaptation to Climate Change at the Watershed Scale. Funded by the Climate Change Action Fund  (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2002-2003

Building Local Capacity to Provide Clean Water. Funded by the Canadian Water Network  (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2001-2005

Water Allocation: A Comparative Assessment. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Rob de Loë, Principal Investigator) - 2001 - 2004

What's New

Congratulations Michelle

January 9, 2017

Alumni News

October 31, 2016

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