It’s important to be transparent that this Shared Measurement System was designed from a non-Indigenous worldview and we recognize that Indigenous ways of knowing are absent from it. For more information on this positioning, see our Right Relations page.
Getting data to report on this impact measure is a work in progress. This shared measurement system belongs to all members of the Our Living Water Network, so if you have any data or ideas to share with us on this measure, please send us an email at [email protected].
In an age of fake news, it’s especially important to promote and disseminate accurate information. Freshwater awareness has the potential to translate into engagement and increased support for monitoring, protecting and restoring freshwater health. With knowledge comes power, but only if it is catalyzed into action!
In 2017, RBC’s Canada Water Attitudes survey found 45% of Canadians view freshwater as Canada's most important natural resource. This was down from 57% in 2013. The Canadian Freshwater Alliance’s (CFA) Freshwater Insights, completed in 2013, found similar results. This decline shows that Canadian perceptions on the importance of clean water may be waning, but these polls fall short of uncovering whether Canadians accurately understand the state of water health and threats to it.
To measure Canadians’ knowledge of health and threats to water, we need to compare how respondents answer questions related to health and threats against reality. The WWF Watersheds Reports gives us a framework to do this. For example, we know pollution is a top of mind concern for Canadians (CFAs Freshwater Insights found that 42% of respondents identified pollution as the most serious threat to freshwater in their region). Concurrently, the Watersheds Reports identifies pollution as a significant threat to many watersheds in Canada. Using the Watershed Reports as a tool of what we currently know with respect to freshwater health and threats, we are now in a position to determine whether the freshwater awareness of Canadians matches this reality.
5-Year target: to establish baseline measure and understand how Canadians’ knowledge is aligned with identified health and threats of waters, both nationally and at a watershed scale.
Last updated June 2017