Governance and sustainability at a municipal scale: the challenge of water conservation

Can Public Policy. 2011;37(2):219-37. doi: 10.3138/cpp.37.2.219.
[Article in English, French]


Municipal water conservation is increasingly promoted as a key dimension of environmental sustainability at the municipal scale. Progress toward municipal water conservation in Canada has, however, been poor. This paper examines the governance dimension of water conservation, and presents evidence in support of the argument that conservation efforts on the part of water utilities (and sometimes municipalities) are often constrained by factors external to their jurisdiction. To explore these issues, this paper presents a case study of municipal water conservation in Canada. The analysis identifies governance-related barriers to water conservation and explores the relationship between these barriers and broader issues stemming from the multi-scalar, fragmented nature of environmental governance in Canada.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Canada / ethnology
  • Conservation of Natural Resources* / economics
  • Conservation of Natural Resources* / history
  • Conservation of Natural Resources* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Environmental Health* / economics
  • Environmental Health* / education
  • Environmental Health* / history
  • Environmental Health* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Local Government* / history
  • Public Health / economics
  • Public Health / education
  • Public Health / history
  • Public Health / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Public Policy* / economics
  • Public Policy* / history
  • Public Policy* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Water Supply* / economics
  • Water Supply* / history
  • Water Supply* / legislation & jurisprudence