Go to Site Index See "Articles" main page
14th September 2016
New research on the challenges facing BC's most important resource

From consecutive droughts and floods, to contamination and record-breaking low levels in streams and rivers, escalating water challenges in BC require a better understanding and coordinated work to avoid future crisis.

Released today by the University of Victoria’s POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, the report Top 5 Water Challenges that will Define British Columbia’s Future documents dozens of examples of critical water issues unfolding in the province’s watersheds. Drawing on an extensive review of media, court and tribunal cases, and insights from attending over 100 recent events related to water issues, the study identifies five key water challenges which cut across the themes of securing fresh water for ecological, community, and economic sustainability, and building a leading, robust science and governance framework.

These challenges are emerging across BC and have the potential to fundamentally impact the province’s future prosperity and quality of life. The report also suggests possible solutions to create water security and sustainability over the coming years.

“When you take stock of all the examples of water issues emerging across BC’s watersheds, it amounts to a daunting array of complex problems,” says Rosie Simms, who co-authored the report with Oliver M. Brandes, POLIS Co-Director. “These challenges also a present a genuine opportunity to collaborate on solutions, including full implementation of the province’s recent Water Sustainability Act through development of robust supporting regulations."

A major element of the report is a series of province-wide maps to illustrate each of the five topics.

Download a copy of Top 5 Water Challenges that will Define British Columbia’s Future.

Media Contacts:
Rosie Simms, Water Law and Policy Researcher/Coordinator, POLIS Water Sustainability Project
250 721 6388 or

Megan Spencer, Research and Communications, POLIS Water Sustainability Project
250 668 9273 or