Security Underground: Financing groundwater mapping and monitoring in Canada

Groundwater is Canada’s hidden natural resource. Its importance to our environment, health, and economy is neither understood nor appreciated. Is our management of groundwater in Canada destined to fail? How will Canada finance critical mapping and monitoring of groundwater resources?

The Munk School’s Program on Water Issues tackles these issues in papers developed by Ralph Pentland and David McLaughlin. The Security Underground Symposium provided a forum for dialogue on these issues with an aim to chart a path forward for governments and others.

A recording of the webcast is now available for viewing. Please click on the links below to access the webcast.

Click here for Part 1, Security Underground: Financing groundwater mapping and monitoring in Canada. (Presentations by Nik Nanos, Ralph Pentland, and Panel Response).

Click here for Part 2, Security Underground: Financing groundwater mapping and monitoring in Canada. (Presentation by David McLaughlin and Panel Response).

Please note that a one-time registration is required to access the webcast. When you click the above links, you will be prompted to enter your email address, a user name, and password. Please retain this information in order to login and access both parts of the webcast.

After viewing, please click here to complete our online evaluation survey of your webcast experience.

 Download the following Symposium Papers:

Canadians’ views on groundwater issues and policies – Nanos Report

Full Paper – Destined to Fail? Groundwater Management in Canada, by Ralph Pentland

Executive Summary- Destined to Fail? Groundwater Management in Canada, by Ralph Pentland

French, Executive Summary – Destined to Fail? Groundwater Management in Canada, by Ralph Pentland

Full Paper – Security Underground: Financing Groundwater Mapping and Monitoring in Canada, by David McLaughlin

Executive Summary- Security Underground: Financing Groundwater Mapping and Monitoring in Canada, by David McLaughlin

French, Executive Summary – Security Underground: Financing Groundwater Mapping and Monitoring in Canada, by David McLaughlin

Globe and Mail Op Ed: Canada needs a new approach to protecting groundwater

 Click here to download a copy of the conference package, including speaker biographies

Click here to download the agenda

Featuring Key Note Speakers: 

Ralph Pentland

Ralph Pentland is currently President of Ralbet Enterprises Inc., where he has been active in consulting on a variety of water and environmental policy issues. From 1978 to 1991, he was Director of Water Planning and Management in the Canadian Department of the Environment. In that capacity, he was responsible for overseeing numerous Canada – U.S. and Federal – Provincial agreements and arrangements, and was the prime author of the Federal water Policy that was tabled in Parliament in 1987. With respect to Great Lakes issues, he served as Canadian Co-Chairman of the IJC’s Diversions and Consumptive Uses Study Board (1978 – 1982), the IJC’s Protection of the Great Lakes Study Team (1999 – 2000), the IJC’s International Water Uses Review Task Force (2002 – 2003), and the IJC’s Ten Year Review Committee, Protection of the Great Lakes (2014 – 2015). Between 1991 and 2000, he worked on water and environmental policy issues in a number of countries, including Canada, the United States, Venezuela, Indonesia, Poland, China and India. Since 2000, he has collaborated with a number of non-governmental and academic organizations, and in 2013, he co-authored the book “Down the Drain:  How We Are Failing to Protect our Water Resources”.

David McLaughlin

David McLaughlin is one of Canada’s leading experts and commentators on politics, public policy, and sustainability. He has worked for prime ministers, premiers, and ministers as a chief of staff and deputy minister at both the federal and provincial levels of government. David was President and CEO of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy from 2007-12. He led a rejuvenation of the NRTEE turning it into a dynamic, high-performing government agency delivering high-quality, innovative, and original-research reports on climate change impacts, carbon pricing, water conservation, oil sands, GHG best practices, the Kyoto Protocol, and sustainable development processes. During this period, the NRTEE delivered more reports and convened more stakeholder sessions than during any previous five-year period of the Round Table. It gained a reputation as a neutral and trusted convener on sustainable development. David wrote a book on the 1993 Canadian election campaign and writes regular commentaries for the Globe and Mail and Huffington Post. He has been published in the Toronto Star, Macleans, CBC, and Postmedia.

As Strategic Advisor on Sustainability to the Faculty of Environment, David works with faculty, staff, and students to promote the original work being done at the University of Waterloo and offer his insights and experience. David has a B.A., Honours from Mount Allison University, an M.A. in International Affairs from Carleton University, and an M.B.A. from the University of Bath, in the United Kingdom. David is an Honourary Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. He is an advisory board member to the Environment Commissioner of Ontario, Canada 2020, and the Canadian Energy Pipelines Association.

Underground Intelligence:
The need to map, monitor, and manage Canada’s groundwater resources in an era of drought and climate change.

The Program on Water Issues at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, presents:

Underground Intelligence: The need to map, monitor, and manage Canada’s groundwater resources in an era of drought and climate change. 

featuring a keynote presentation and discussion paper by author Ed Struzik

The conference took place June 25, 2013, from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm EDT at the Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.

The WEBCAST for this conference is available in 4 chapters. Click on the titles below to begin viewing.

Introduction – Presentation of Conference Paper by Author- Ed Struzik

Discussion Panel 2 – Making Groundwater Visible: Mapping and Monitoring Technologies

Discussion Panel 3 – Case Studies: Paying for Groundwater Inventories, Mapping, and Monitoring

Discussion Panel 4– Internalizing the Costs of Inventories, Mapping,and Monitoring: Options and Opportunities

For related conference documents:

Download the conference agenda here

Download the author and panel member biographies here

Download the conference discussion paper by Ed Struzik here. 

Globe and Mail article can be accessed here. 

Lecture on Groundwater by US Expert Robert Glennon

In this 2006 POWI-sponsored Lecture, law professor Robert Glennon discussed groundwater issues, drawing from his 2002 book, Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America’s Fresh Waters.

Panel Discussion
“Managing Groundwater Resources in the Great Lakes Basin: Securing Our Future”
Ralph Pentland and Gerry Galloway

This 2003 Workshop, hosted by POWI, was based on “Managing Groundwater Resources in the Great Lakes Basin: Securing Our Future”, written by Canadian water expert, Ralph Pentland and US water expert, Gerry Galloway. The Discussion Paper was developed as a catalyst to stimulate an in-depth and extended dialogue on the groundwater resources of the Great Lakes Basin. It provides an overview of groundwater in the Great Lakes and the institutional and legal setting that governs the use, protection, diversion and removal of water from the Basin. The paper also contains, in draft form, a desired Vision for the Future and nine Principles that can provide the required direction to realize that vision.

To see the related Discussion Paper, please click here.

To see the Meeting Report, please click here.