The National Round Table on the Environment and Economy (NRTEE) released a report in conjunction with the Canadian Water Summit. The report, “Changing Currents: Water Sustainability and The Future of Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors,” is the culmination of the first of a two-phase, cross-sectoral research and engagement process concerning the future of Canadian water. Folks, this stuff is important.
The report opens with a striking declaration that counters what many of us think about Canadian water: “Canada’s apparent water abundance masks a looming scarcity challenge.” Canada’s economy and future economic growth are based on natural resources. Water is at the core of everything from food production, forestry and mining, on to the highly-contentious Alberta oil industry.
As Canada’s largest water user, growth in our natural resource sectors means we must think fresh on how to ensure strong water management so that use of this precious resource is made sustainable for our environment and economy.
The report looks at the following:
* The importance of freshwater to our ecosystems
* The governance structures managing water in Canada
* The most important water uses and critical issues within each of the natural resource sectors
What we get from NRTEE is a prioritization of four water sustainability issues that are of national importance:
* Water governance and management
* The impacts of climate change
* The water-energy nexus
* The public license to operate
Moving forward, the NRTEE has decided to look more closely at water governance and management, offering up steps and recommendations for the development of a national water framework. Stay tuned for Phase II of the NRTEE’s water program and results, therein, on Folks Gotta Eat.