The Program On Water Issues (POWI) creates opportunities for members of the private, public, academic, and not-for-profit sectors to join in collaborative research, dialogue, and education.

The Program is dedicated to giving voice to those who would bring transparency and breadth of knowledge to the understanding and protection of Canada’s valuable water resources. Since 2001, The Program On Water Issues has provided the public with analysis, information, and opinion on a range of important and emerging water issues.

Its location within the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto provides access to rich analytic resources, state-of-the-art information technology, and international expertise.



Adèle Hurley

Adèle Hurley is the Director of the Program on Water Issues at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

In the 1980s, during the early days of the Reagan Administration, Adèle Hurley moved to Washington and co-founded the Canadian Coalition on Acid Rain. For several years she worked on a successful campaign that brought about amendments to the US Clean Air Act, as well as regulations that reduced pollutants from large Canadian emitters.

In the early 1990s she was appointed to the Board of Ontario Hydro. In 1995, she was appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office to serve as Canadian Co-Chair of the International Joint Commission, which oversees Canada/US Boundary water issues according to the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909.

Adèle has served as a member of the Canadian Federal Government’s International Trade Advisory Committee – Task Force on Environment and Trade Policy. She is a member of the advisory board of the Columbia Basin Trust and was appointed in 2006 to the board of directors of the Ontario Power Authority.

She has won numerous awards for her work including the Conservation Council of Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor’s Conservation Award.



Joanna Kidd

Joanna Kidd has been working in the environmental field since 1982, first as a researcher for the Pollution Probe Foundation, then as a Senior Consultant at Lura Consulting and currently as the principal of Kidd Consulting.

As a consultant Joanna provides environmental planning, communications and public involvement services to a wide range of public sector clients (municipal, provincial, federal and international). She has a solid background in water issues. In the Great Lakes Basin, she has been involved in four Remedial Action Plans, four SOLEC conferences, and projects relating to transboundary groundwater, contaminated sediments, community health indicators, withdrawals and diversions from the Great Lakes, and the US/Canada Bi-National Toxics Strategy. Working with the Ontario government, conservation authorities and municipalities, she has extensive experience in watershed planning and reporting. Joanna has authored reports on many water-related issues including the State of the Great Lakes, stormwater management strategies, groundwater in North America, best practices in watershed planning, sustainable shoreline development and watershed report cards. She has been an advisor to the Program on Water Issues at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto since its founding in 2001.

As a volunteer, Joanna has been actively involved for ten years in making the Toronto Bay area cleaner, greener and healthier.

James Olson

James Olson is the senior principal with the law firm, Olson, Bzdok & Howard, P.C., specializing in Environmental, Land Use and Natural Resource law and policy. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business from Michigan State University. A graduate, with honors, from the Detroit College of Law, he undertook specialized post-graduate legal training and holds a Masters of Law degree at the University of Michigan in environmental and natural resource law. He is also a trained and accredited mediator. Since clerking with the Michigan Supreme Court in 1971-1972, he has been practicing for more than thirty years, primarily in the areas of environmental, land use, municipal, water and natural resource law. He has written extensively and given numerous presentations on various subjects associated with environmental, public trust, water, land use law, and takings law. He currently represents the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation in the water and public trust rights law suit over the groundwater withdrawal and diversion of water by Nestle/Perrier out of the headwaters spring aquifer of the West Branch of the Little Muskegon River, which of course ultimately flows into Lake Michigan.

Owen Saunders

Owen Saunders is Executive Director of the Canadian Institute of Resources Law and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary, where he teaches public international law. He has a B.A. (1st Class Hon.) in economics from St. Francis Xavier University and holds law an LL.B from Dalhousie University and an LL.M. from the University of London (London School of Economics and Political Science). He is a member of the Canadian Council on International Law, the International Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the American Society of International Law. His research interests have included water law, international law, environmental law, natural resources law, and constitutional law. He has written numerous articles on the legal aspects of natural resources management, including transboundary resource management generally and water management specifically. He has acted as an advisor to Canadian and foreign governments and international organizations on resource management and environmental issues. More recently, he has served on the binational study team advising the International Joint Commission on its 1999-2000 Water Uses Reference, in which capacity he had the lead role in preparing the legal background paper for the Commission. In 2002 he was a member of the four-person task force created by the Commission to prepare a three-year update on the Water Uses Reference.

David Schindler

Dr. David W. Schindler is the Killam Memorial Chair and Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. From 1968 to 1989, he founded and directed the Experimental Lakes Project of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans near Kenora, Ontario, conducting interdisciplinary research on the effects of eutrophication, acid rain, climate change and other human insults on boreal aquatic ecosystems. His work on eutrophication and acid rain has been widely used in formulating ecological management policy in Canada, the USA and in Europe. More recently, he has studied the effects of climate warming, alien fish stocks, airborne contaminants and other human impacts on freshwaters of the Rocky Mountains. Dr. Schindler received his doctorate from Oxford University, England, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. During his career, he has headed the International Joint Commission’s Expert Committee on Ecology and Geochemistry, and the US Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Atmosphere and the Biosphere. He has served as President of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and as a Canadian National Representative to the International Limnological Society. He is the author of over 250 scientific publications.

Dr. Schindler has received numerous national and international research awards, including the 1984 Outstanding Achievement Award of the American Institute of Fisheries Biologists, the 1984 Frank Rigler Award of the Canadian Limnological Society, the 1985 G.E. Hutchinson Medal of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the 1988 Naumann-Thienemann Medal of the International Limnological Society, the first (1991) Stockholm Water Prize, the Manning Award of Distinction for Innovation in Science (1993), the first Romanowski Medal of the Royal Society of Canada (1994), the Volvo International Environment Prize (1998), the NSERC Award of Excellence in Research (2000), Environment Canada’s Vollenweider Lectureship (2001), and the Canadian Nature Federation’s Douglas Pimlott Award for Conservation (2001). In November 2001 he was awarded Canada’s highest scientific honor, the NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal for Science and Engineering and in May 2003 received the Killam prize, awarded for outstanding career achievements. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (UK), a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and in January 2004 he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada. Also in 2004, he was elected as one of 100 Edmontonians of the Century, in honour of Edmonton’s centennial year. He was awarded an Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 and the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Ruth Patrick award in 2006. He has received nine honorary doctorates from universities within Canada and the United States.

Dr. Schindler teaches courses in ecology and environmental impact assessment at the University of Alberta. He is a frequent guest speaker to public groups, and in environmental courses in other University departments.


Adèle Hurley


Joanna Kidd
James Olson
Owen Saunders
David Schindler


Program on Water Issues
Munk School of Global Affairs
University of Toronto
1 Devonshire Place,
South House Rm. 258
Toronto, ON Canada M5S 3K7

Phone: (416) 946-8919
Fax: (416) 946-8915