Since the Our Living Waters Network first took form in 2016, membership has grown to 157, including 117 organizations and 40 individuals, with a Shared Measurement System of 24 impact measures to track progress on our ambitious goal of all waters in good health by 2030! Each year, members inform our Network priorities through the Annual Survey. This year, we heard back from a record 81 organizations, or 69 percent of our member organizations. Thank you to all who participated! Here is what we heard.
Regarding the Shared Measurement System, we streamlined the survey this year and asked you to prioritize a subset of seven of the 24 impact measures for data development. Why seven? We decided to focus on seven impact measures that either have no data or that haven’t been updated since 2019 or earlier.
The results are below, with Green Infrastructure, Environmental Flow Standards, and Open Access Hubs making up the top three. As we decide on which impact measures to update this year, we’ll take into account your priorities, but also need to consider the resources and capacity required to update any given measure. Some impact measures, for example, are quite expensive to gather data for, and we can’t always raise the needed funds to accommodate the top priorities perfectly.
We also asked you about our five key services. Specifically, we wanted to know how much you believe each service contributes to achieving our ambitious goal of all waters in good health by 2030. Between 62% and 76% of people ranked the services as having very high value (5) or high value (4), with the median value for all services ranked as high (4). This gives us confidence that we’ve hit the mark in our support of the Network, but we’ll also keep on working on improving our services and communicating about them. In this vein, we’ll be hosting a Member’s Meetup on June 29 where you can learn more about our five services, our work over the coming year, and opportunities for involvement.
We also wanted to find out how much of the country the OLW Network covers geographically, so we asked you to identify which watershed(s) you work in. From the results, we created this fun map! Of the 81 organizations who responded, 21 organizations, or 26%, work at a cross-country scale. As to the other 60 place specific organizations, they represent all watersheds in Canada except two. In the map below, we placed an OLW logo beside each drainage area number where a member is working, with the larger logos representing a relatively higher number of members compared to the smaller logos. The logo in the top right corner represents member organizations working at a country-wide scale. It’s worth celebrating that in recent years, we’ve expanded our members in Alberta and Quebec in particular. It’s wonderful to see the Network growing, but we still need your help! Please invite organizations you know in underrepresented watersheds to join!
(To see the original unmodified map, please visit Statistics Canada here).
Thanks for filling out this year’s survey, and if you have questions or comments about it, please reach out at [email protected].