Water is a vital natural resource that is a necessity for all life on earth.
An adequate and safe water supply is critical for every community and provides for the health and welfare of its residents. Ensuring water quality in rural and remote areas is particularly important.
Water technologies and services represent a tremendous economic opportunity in a $400 billion global market. Premiers support research, development, and adoption of innovative technologies to advance water conservation and quality.
In August 2010, Premiers endorsed the Council of the Federation Water Charter recognizing the collective obligation of Canadians and their governments to be responsible water stewards. Premiers directed their Ministers to use the Charter as a guide in their work.
In 2011, the Council of the Federation established the Water Stewardship Council (WSC). The purpose of the WSC is to:
- Provide information and strategic advice to Premiers on key trends, issues and opportunities related to Canada’s water resources; and
- Promote, and where appropriate, implement the commitments of the 2010 Council of the Federation Water Charter.
Engaging various water partners is a critical element of the WSC's work. To this end, the Water Partner Advisory Committee (WPAC) was formed in 2011, with representation from across Canada and across various sectors. The WPAC provides advice to the WSC and a linkage to non-governmental led water activity.
WSC initiatives include:
- World Water Day / Canada Water Week
- Provinces and territories are collaborating to develop and promote activities for World Water Day (March 22, 2013) and Canada Water Week (March 18-25, 2013). In order to bring recognition to achievements, innovative practice and leadership in the area of water stewardship, the Council of the Federation Excellence in Water Stewardship Awards have been established. Thirteen awards, one for each province and territory, will be awarded on World Water Day to recognize the outstanding contributions of organizations, partnerships, businesses, institutions, and community groups.
Value of Water
- Water Information Sharing Initiative – Canada’s Water InfoStream
- The purpose of this initiative is to improve the dissemination of – and access to – water data; and to better integrate water data and information across provinces/territories and sectors.
- Drinking Water for Small and Rural Communities
- Many rural communities do not have access to safe and secure drinking water sources. Management of small drinking water systems, both public and private, impacts provinces, territories and First Nations' communities and poses particular challenges that must be addressed by versatility in approach. Given the importance of safe drinking water, this initiative serves to enhance health and quality of life in rural areas.
Many Canadians lack understanding about water's contribution to their health, security and prosperity, and its role in supporting critical ecosystems that lay the foundation for their livelihoods and thriving communities. Outreach materials that present a broad picture of water will help raise awareness of the value and importance of water, as well as the associated costs and challenges.