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Past Events

"Cancun, and more Consequential C Words"

 On November 29th the Tyee published an editorial opinion written by Michael M'Gonigle, Principal with the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance & Eco-Research Chair and Louise Takeda, Researcher with the POLIS Project.  The op-ed looks at climate change and how we can change the terms of discussion.  View the full article.

"BC Perspectives on Freshwater" Op-Ed

November 2010

Vancouver Sun

As the years flow by, access to fresh water is quickly becoming one of the world's most critical concerns.  That is perhaps a fact not much acknowledged in water-rich Canada or out on its wet Coast.  Nevertheless the recently released McAllister Opinion Research public opinion poll commissioned by the Vancouver Foundation and WWF Canada confirms that indeed British Columbians as a whole see the coming challenges surprisingly clearly. Read the full Op-Ed here.

Worth Every Penny Learning Lunch Workshop

A CAVI Event will be held on September 9th, 2010 in Nanaimo on the topic of conservation-based water pricing. This will be an introduction to conservation-oriented pricing for the West Coast - how water service providers can use price as a tool to improve financial performance and community water use efficiency.

For further information, see

Waterbucket Features "Worth Every Penny" Report

September 2010

"Water pricing is a hot issue in communities across the country. Yet it remains an almost totally untapped option for helping ensure our water service infrastructure -- the pipes, pumps and reservoirs -- is well maintained and up to date," states Kirk Stinchcombe, co-author of Worth Every Penny: A Primer on Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing.

Sustainable Service Delivery is another emerging issue in BC. Changing and/or additional demands mean the local government workload is expanding. Local governments are being challenged to maintain and/or replace existing infrastructure over time and to ‘do more with less’.

Part of the rollout to stimulate a national dialogue on sustainable water management, the Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop program is a unique blend of research and practice.

To learn more about the program or to download a registration form see

The Public Trust and a Modern BC Water Act

In June 2010 Water Sustainability Project leader, Oliver M. Brandes, and Randy Christensen released a briefing note examining the use of the Public Trust Doctrine in British Columbia Water Law. Proactively adopting the public trust as part of the Water Act modernization process allows the BC Government to implement the doctrine in a comprehensive and efficient way that is best suited to decision making processes and existing Living Water Smart priorities.

Download briefing note

Canadian Pollution Prevention Roundtable

In June 2010, Carol Maas, Innovation & Technology Director with POLIS' Water Sustainability Project and steering committee member of the Ontario Water Conservation Alliance, outlined key benefits of actions included in Ontario's proposed Water Opportunity and Water Conservation Act at the Canadian Pollution Prevention Roundtable in Toronto, Ontario.

Maas' Presentation

Issues and Ideas: We Need to Value and Conserve Water

On May 19, 2010 Vancouver Sun published an editorial opinion written by Oliver Brandes, POLIS Associate Director and Water Sustainability Project leader, Kirk Stinchcombe & Steven Renzetti on pricing water service at closer to its true cost to help pay for infrastructure and reduce waste.  Read the full op-ed here.

"Worth Every Penny" Radio Interview

Project leader Oliver M. Brandes chats with Jo-Ann Roberts about the myth of water abundance and the need for Canadians to focus on Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing.  Click here to hear the podcast.

Worth Every Penny: A Primer on Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing

Worth Every Penny:  A Primer on Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing provides an overview of conservation-oriented water pricing for decision makers, water utilities and service providers in Canada. The report's authors are Oliver M. Brandes, Associate Director, Steven Renzetti & Kirk Stinchcombe.  It explains how water pricing works, what the benefits are, and how water utilities can implement conservation-oriented water pricing structures as a key tool in the water manager's toolkit. As well, it offers advice on how to address implementation challenges, including how to avoid penalizing low-income families and how to maintain revenue stability for water utilities.

Media Backgrounder

Full Report (English)

Full Report (French)

Two page brief

A Book Conversation between the editors and a reviewer: "The Soft Path Approach"

Check out a new review of "Making the Most of the Water We Have" in the May 2010 issue of Water International