Our Living Waters Network members are united by an ambitious goal of all Canada’s waters in good health by 2030.

Specifically, this means that:

  • Canada’s water is safe for swimming and drinking and safe from contaminants;

  • The flow of water in Canada’s rivers and lakes supports life, recreation and a healthy environment;

  • Fish are flourishing in Canada’s waters and are healthy to eat; and

  • Aquatic bugs that form the base of the food chain are thriving in Canada’s waterways.

Network members also believe that if we are to address the many problems that impact water: pollution, alteration of flows, habitat loss, overuse of water, invasive species, habitat fragmentation and climate change, then we need to come together around a common agenda for change.

Success will take a coordinated effort to reach a series of seven winning conditions ~ defined as a set of circumstances that when brought together are likely to achieve our goal. These winning conditions are divided into four themes to provide a simple organizing structure to plan for and stimulate coordinated action by the Our Living Waters Network.

Reaching these winning conditions will further require the OLW Network to prioritize the actions we take together, while also measuring whether these actions are making a difference. The graphic below...

More information on the impact measures and the shared measurement system as a whole can be found … here.

With input from prospective members throughout 2016 (at the spring Our Living Waters Forum, the fall Living Waters Rally), priority activities have been identified and initiated within each of the OLW strategic themes. This work includes:

Pooling Water Knowledge

  • Advancing adoption of community based monitoring across Canadian watersheds.

  • Advancing the establishment of data housing hubs in every major Canadian watershed.

Revitalizing the Rules

  • Developing and testing the concept of pan-Canadian watershed governance framework with federal, provincial, territorial and First Nations governments.

  • Sustaining efforts to modernize key federal freshwater laws to ensure effective implementation through policy, programs and partnerships.

Living with Water

  • Commissioning a national assessment reviewing the problem of un/under treated sewage entering Canada’s waterways.

  • Convening a multi-organizational working group to define national-level solutions to Canada’s algae problems.

  • Initiating a baseline report-card on the adoption of transformative green infrastructure in Canada.

Building the Movement

  • Identifying best practices to advance freshwater knowledge and engagement.

  • Building an OLW Network that represents the diversity of Canada’s freshwater community.

  • Building a connection between indigenous communities and OLW to include an indigenous lens to the work of OLW.

To support these priorities, and the work of the network, the Our Living Waters 2030 fund has been established to support collaborative activities that advance priorities of the network. It is managed by an advisory body of contributing funders and fund administrators.


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