May 11, 2009

The Sustainable Management of Groundwater in Canada

The Expert Panel on Groundwater

Summary

Groundwater is vital for Canada’s health, environment and economy. Nearly a third of Canada’s population, some 10 million people, depends on groundwater for safe drinking water and more than 80% of Canada’s rural population depends on groundwater for its entire water supply. Canada’s groundwater, however, is increasingly under threat from factors such as urbanization, climate change, burgeoning energy production, intensification of agriculture and contamination.

Natural Resources Canada asked the CCA to examine what is needed to achieve sustainable management of Canada’s groundwater resources.

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The Question

From a science perspective, what is needed to achieve sustainable management of Canada’s groundwater resources?

Key Findings

The Sustainable Management of Groundwater in Canada addresses three themes goals, gaps and governance in considerable detail.

The interjurisdictional nature of groundwater necessitates the development of a cooperative approach, uniting municipal, provincial, and federal government agencies in the development of scientific programs and policies that will ensure Canada’s groundwater resources are managed sustainably. Such cooperation will be necessary if Canada is to avoid the kinds of catastrophic over-usage or contamination issues experienced by some other countries.

 

Expert Panel

The Expert Panel on Groundwater