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The Blueprint

Priority 1 - Enhancing National Capacity for Freshwater Protection

Priority 2 – Responding to the Impacts of Climate Change and Energy Production

Priority 3 – Securing Safe Drinking Water for All Canadians

Priority 4 – Protecting Aquatic Ecosystems and Aboriginal Water Rights

Priority 5 – Promoting a Culture of Water Conservation

Priority 6 – Preventing Interjurisdictional Conflicts and Bulk Water Exports

Priority 7 – Developing World Class Water Science


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Priority 1 - Enhancing National Capacity for Freshwater Protection


  • Develop a Vision and Strategy
  • Coordinate Action at the Watershed Scale
  • Increase Financial Capacity and Accountability

In order for the priority actions in this blueprint to be effective, the national capacity to implement them requires significant improvement; strengthening national capacity will be the foundation for action. The strengthening of national capacity should be guided by a clear strategy, and it should entail coordinated action by all levels of government, robust funding mechanisms, and clear lines of accountability.

Action 1: Facilitate a National Freshwater Strategy.

  • Partner with provinces and territories to facilitate a Canada-wide dialogue that integrates the perspectives of different levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial, Aboriginal and municipal), water use sectors, and civil society, to inform a national freshwater strategy.

Action 2: Implement a Nested Watershed Approach.

  • Create a federal watersheds agency to implement and support a nested watershed approach in all the major river basins in Canada. A national vision informs goals and objectives at the basin-wide level, which are formulated by federal and provincial, territorial, Aboriginal and municipal governments, stakeholders, and relevant interjurisdictional entities. Once in place, more localized watershed-based authorities, through partnerships with municipal, Aboriginal, provincial, territorial and federal governments, adapt to these goals and objectives and work with sub-watershed groups for local-level implementation.

Action 3: Formalize a Process for Sharing Best Practices

  • Utilize a federal watersheds agency to ensure that jurisdictions are able to obtain information on the water management practices that have worked well and those which were unsuccessful in other jurisdictions within Canada, and internationally.

Action 4: Create a National Water Fund and Audit Process.

  • In partnership with provincial, territorial and Aboriginal governments, establish a designated national fund for water and develop fund transfer mechanisms. Link distribution of funds to specific goals and objectives (jointly determined by federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments) at the appropriate watershed scale.
  • Require recipients to account for the use of funds and evaluate success in achieving goals and objectives. Suspend subsequent payments for poor performance.
  • Ensure a yearly independent audit for federal performance and provide an annual report on the use of the National Water Fund to Parliament.

Go to Priority One resources.


soil and conservation society polis project nature quebec WWF - Canada CIER

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