Our multidisciplinary research team explores water related issues and priorities at the community level. Research initiatives are divided into two research priorities:
Community-based water monitoring
For decades, Community-based monitoring (CBM) has been used as a tool to support Canada’s monitoring of freshwater. The absence of freshwater data in many communities in Canada prompted communities living on the shores of lakes, rivers and creeks to monitor the quality of the water. Local communities have thus played a significant role in supporting decision making. Our research team explores the surge of community-based water monitoring initiatives as well as the linkages between local data produced by citizens and governmental decision-making.
Community engagement and participation
For decades, community associations, local environmental organizations, and citizens have been significant advocates for better water quality and protection of water ecosystems. Our research team analyzes community engagement and participation in policymaking including citizens participation in public consultations for the creation of the Canada Water Agency. We also explore citizens’ involvement in water governance and management mechanisms, as well as social movements prompted by local actors to encourage governments to deploy a diversity of political and judicial tools to further protect freshwater in Canada. Our work includes case studies of recent community-based calls to grant legal personhood to several rivers in Canada following the Magpie River recent granting of legal personhood.