Canadian Water and Wastewater Association eBulletin

Toward the creation of a Canada Water Agency: Environment And Climate Change Canada seeks comments on discussion paper

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As mentioned in the previous Bulletin On December 17, 2020, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced the launch of public consultations to establish a new Canada Water Agency ("CWA") and improve freshwater management across Canada.

As part of the launch, Environment and Climate Change Canada ("ECCC") released a discussion paper: Toward the Creation of a Canada Water Agency ("Discussion Paper"). The Discussion Paper proposes the development of the CWA and seeks Canadians' input to identify freshwater priorities for the federal government.

The Discussion Paper sets out various objectives to enhance freshwater management in Canada. It also proposes opportunities to:

  • update, strengthen, and align various federal freshwater policies;
  • update flood hazard maps and climate scenarios to inform climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction;
  • engage Indigenous peoples in the development of the CWA;
  • collaborate with the agriculture sector to advance freshwater management strategies;
  • advance freshwater science and data collection; and
  • promote technology development in relation to priorities such as climate change adaptation, groundwater and surface water monitoring and prediction, rural and remote community water security, wastewater treatment, efficient freshwater use in various industries, and biodiversity and ecosystem protection.

The deadline for providing feedback on the Discussion Paper is March 1, 2021. Information about where to send responses is provided in the Discussion Paper.

This month, the federal government will host a virtual national freshwater policy forum. A series of regional forums will be held in February 2021 to provide further opportunities for Canadians to participate in consultations.

CWWA is working with our technical committtees to respond to the consultation. We are excited about the potential of the Canada Water Agency to provide national leadership on water issues and climate change.

Access the government announcement at:

Access the discussion paper at: