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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
    COVID-19 Has Changed Our Freshwater Use. We Need To Be Careful

    COVID-19 Has Changed Our Freshwater Use. We Need To Be Careful

    In an opinion piece for the Ottawa Citizen, Matt McCandless argues that in Canada we often take fresh water for granted, but there are critical steps we must take to safeguard its health as usage patterns change. 

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  • Brochure
    Tomorrow Needs Us Today: Water (brochure)

    Tomorrow Needs Us Today: Water (brochure)

    Learn how your voice and actions can inspire generations to come. Your critical support will allow us to expand our research to keep tackling emerging threats to one of the most essential elements we need to survive: fresh water. 

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  • Blog
    Way to Go Winnipeggers, on Getting Us Even Closer to Protecting Lake Winnipeg!

    Way to Go Winnipeggers, on Getting Us Even Closer to Protecting Lake Winnipeg!

    Winnipeg is getting even closer to increasing the protection of Lake Winnipeg from harmful algal blooms. And it's thanks to Winnipeggers of all stripes!

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  • Report
    Mapping Policy for Solar Irrigation Across the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus in India

    Mapping Policy for Solar Irrigation Across the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus in India

    How are India's off-grid solar pump policies affecting the water–energy–food nexus? This paper maps out impacts and the key policies that are driving them.

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  • Blog
    Zooplankton and Fresh Water: Here are the facts

    Zooplankton and Fresh Water: Here are the facts

    Zooplankton are critical parts of freshwater ecosystems, but often get forgotten. Scientist Mike Paterson explains what zooplankton are, and why they matter.

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  • Briefing Note
    Geography Matters: Targeting

    Geography Matters: Targeting "hotspots" for cumulative environmental benefits

    Using open data from a variety of sources, we demonstrated how Manitoba can target its limited resources to deliver public programming to agricultural regions and gain better outcomes.

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  • Policy Brief
    How and Why the U.S. EPA Is Changing its Policy on Mercury

    How and Why the U.S. EPA Is Changing its Policy on Mercury

    President Trump wants to loosen the US EPA's regulations on mercury. We explore what the proposed changes are, why they would be a mistake and how they could affect the lives of Americans and even Canadians.

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  • Brochure
    Undertreated Sewage Contributes to Harmful Algal Blooms

    Undertreated Sewage Contributes to Harmful Algal Blooms

    In this short brochure, the Lake Winnipeg Foundation and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, present their plans for an interim solution to Winnipeg's phosphorus woes.

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  • Blog
    How the U.S. EPA is Changing its Mercury Policy

    How the U.S. EPA is Changing its Mercury Policy

    We explain how President Trump wants the EPA to changes its policies on mercury, and how it could impact the United States and potentially Canada.

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  • Blog
    Canada could take inspiration from U.S. environmental policy preventing algal blooms

    Canada could take inspiration from U.S. environmental policy preventing algal blooms

    Recent US legislation to combat algal blooms and protect fresh water shows bipartisan environmental action is still possible—and sets an example for other countries.

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