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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. 

  • 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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  • Report
    Advancing Natural Infrastructure in Canada: A forum report

    Advancing Natural Infrastructure in Canada: A forum report

    The Advancing Natural Infrastructure in Canada forum convened Canadian experts to discuss how natural infrastructure can build climate-resilient cities/landscapes. This report highlights forum presentations, discussions, insights and next steps. 

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  • Blog
    How Will Cannabis Legalization Affect our Fresh Water?

    How Will Cannabis Legalization Affect our Fresh Water?

    The world’s freshwater laboratory is a very busy field station these days—with ongoing studies examining algal blooms, climate change, selenium...

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  • Policy Brief
    IISD Experimental Lakes Area Response to Ontario’s Commitments to Freshwater Protection in Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan

    IISD Experimental Lakes Area Response to Ontario’s Commitments to Freshwater Protection in Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan

    IISD-ELA's response to the Government of Ontario’s Environment Plan that sets out necessary steps and goals to achieve a more sustainable future for the province.

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  • Discussion Paper
    IISD’s Response to Manitoba’s Proposed New Water Rights Regulations to Protect Wetlands and Make Drainage More Sustainable in the Province

    IISD’s Response to Manitoba’s Proposed New Water Rights Regulations to Protect Wetlands and Make Drainage More Sustainable in the Province

    IISD's response to the Government of Manitoba's proposed drainage regulations aimed to ensure no net loss of wetland benefits while streamlining the drainage permitting process.

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  • Report
    Case Study Research on Offsets for Water Quality Management

    Case Study Research on Offsets for Water Quality Management

    This case study research examines six water quality trading/offset programs from Canada, the United States and New Zealand and provides lessons relevant to offsetting nutrients, specifically phosphorus and nitrogen, in Manitoba. 

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  • Blog
    Why Public Policy Matters When It Comes to Gender Equality for Sustainable Development

    Why Public Policy Matters When It Comes to Gender Equality for Sustainable Development

    Cold statistics on gender equality in government reveal only part of the story; the cultures and processes behind the stats can teach us much more about where we are headed. 

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  • Report
    Lake Dal in Srinagar, India: Application of the Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) methodology for the analysis of conservation options

    Lake Dal in Srinagar, India: Application of the Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) methodology for the analysis of conservation options

    The report presents the interim results of the SAVi analysis for developing the business case for the long-term conservation of Lake Dal in Srinagar, India.

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