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Summary BEI is a two year (+) research & communications project initiated by: Gordon Foundation A philanthropic leader in support of innovative water policy Canadian Water Network Canada’s Centre of Excellence for water research RBC Blue Water Project RBC is Canada’s leading financial institution and supporter of water issues globally
Summary Chaired by Nicholas Parker with: Steering Committee Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel Project Manager (To be hired) Official Launch: Early Fall 2011 “Renzetti, Dupont, & Wood Report”
Vision and Goal Vision: By sustaining our fresh water, we secure an economic future in which all Canadians enjoy the full wealth of benefits provided by our rivers, lakes and groundwater. Goal: Increase demand for sustainable water management by informing Canadians and key decision makers of the economic benefits arising from protection of Canada’s fresh water, and the economic risks of neglecting the health of our watersheds.
Objectives Elevate the Level and Quality of Public Discourse: catalyze a national dialogue that deepens our collective understanding of the full contribution of water to individual and societal prosperity. Support Decision-Makers with a Credible Knowledge Base: empower decision-makers to reconcile economic drivers and opportunities with long-term water protection by communicating cutting-edge research grounded in current water challenges and realities.
Global Context Global water resources under immense and growing stress, affecting all economic sectors. By 2030, 50%+ living in water stressed regions Demands could exceed current accessible, reliable supplies by 40% Critical element of global food and energy production Water an increasingly important factor in socio-political stability, as well as investment and economic decision-making, including location of production (e.g., many advanced industries such as biopharma, ICT and cleantech).
Global Context Water drivers creating new industries and innovation worth billions of dollars, both in traditional water infrastructure and within water intensive industry verticals. Canada’s comparative water wealth, including related expertise and technological know-how, essential to global prosperity and stability and a major opportunity to lead
Canadian Context Essential to virtually every sector of our economy from the fur-trade water highways to the steam used to unlock oil from bitumen. The source of much of our electricity from hydro-power generation to cooling of our massive thermal power plants. We know surprisingly little about water’s value and economic contributions through its many uses.
Canadian Context Strategic, responsible management of our water resources requires a broad, sophisticated view of water’s full contribution, enabling responses to questions like: What is the value of protecting/restoring aquatic ecosystems? Can we decrease healthcare costs by reducing water pollution? Can we enhance agricultural productivity to help address the global food crisis while at the same time ensuring responsible water use? How can cities tackle the costs imposed by climate change with new and innovative forms of water infrastructure?
Water’s Contribution to the Economy Lead authors: Profs. Steven Renzetti and Diane Dupont (Brock University) and award-winning journalist, Chris Wood. Full report at Fall launch: State of knowledge quantifying water’s contribution to Canadian economy. 1st serious effort in 25 years. Significant knowledge gaps in terms of economic contribution and pollution costs. Critical piece of economic intelligence that tells fascinating story of the risks and opportunities that lie ahead for Canada’s blue economy.