Healthy Watersheds

Supporting efforts that protect, sustain, and improve the health of Canadian watersheds for our communities and environment.

As Canadians, we all have a personal connection to water. It touches every aspect of our lives, and sustains our economies, cultures, and communities from coast to coast to coast. Watersheds—areas of land where all water naturally drains to the same place like a stream or lake—are a vital part of our ecosystems, from the headwaters that serve as the source of water and spawning grounds for fish, to the lakes and rivers in towns and cities where people have gathered for millennia.

The perceived abundance of water in the world means that it is easy to take this resource for granted. Yet we see lakes accumulating with algae, water laced with toxic chemicals, struggling fish populations, boil water advisories, and some rivers overflowing their banks while others are in peril of drying up completely. With these issues and the complex challenges of climate change and a growing population, developing new ways of safeguarding the health of our watersheds is increasingly important.

Water supply and quality affects every corner of the country and all parts of Canadian society, including food, energy, climate, and health. We support holistic solutions that consider how water connects with ecological, human, economic, and cultural well-being. Watersheds span the artificial boundaries defining cities, provinces, and countries. We facilitate leadership in water from the grassroots to the national level, including marine planning on the Pacific Coast, developing binational coordination in the Great Lakes, and supporting First Nations and Inuit communities in sustaining livelihoods and cultural sustenance that depend on their rapidly-changing waterways.

Priorities:

  • Amplify the capacity, impact, and inclusiveness of diverse Canadian groups working on water issues.
  • Support capacity and collaboration for regional freshwater conservation in British Columbia, the Mackenzie Basin, and the Great Lakes.
  • Support actions that recognize the fluid nature of water and bridge the multiple jurisdictions and sectors that impact the health of our watersheds.

Impact Stories

Initiatives

BC Freshwater Initiative

Supporting innovative projects and strategic collaboration that advance freshwater protection in British Columbia.

Canadian Freshwater Alliance

Building and supporting an active and engaged network of freshwater groups concerned with protecting and restoring Canada's waterways.

Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW)

Advancing progressive public policies and decisions about the future of our most precious resource—water.

Howe Sound / Atl'ka7tsem Marine Reference Guide

Connecting knowledge and people across governments, First Nations, and marine sectors to build capacity for co-management and improve socio-ecological health in Howe Sound / Atl'ka7tsem.

Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast

Advancing marine planning in British Columbia by supporting a collaborative, government-driven, and science-based process.

Our Living Waters

Working to achieve the ambitious goal of all Canada’s waters in good health by 2030.

Rivers Without Borders Canada

Encouraging conservation-based planning in the transboundary watersheds of southeast Alaska and northwest British Columbia.

Slave River Coalition

Securing, protecting, and restoring the Slave River and its connected waterways.

From the Blog

Howe Sound/Atl’ka7tsem Marine Reference Guide: protecting, restoring, and stewarding marine environmental health

Howe Sound/Atl’ka7tsem is an ecologically rich marine area that sits directly adjacent to the growing city of Vancouver. As such, it is representative of many …

Whitebeach Point. Photo: Pat Kane.

FLOW: advancing sustainable water management in Canada

The Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) is an independent think tank focused on water policy issues in Canada and a project on Tides Canada’s …

Why freshwater matters: Our Living Waters and MEC

Our Living Waters (OLW) is a national water network that recognizes that achieving freshwater conservation requires the organization and alignment of diverse groups addressing freshwater …

Our Living Waters: Protecting our most valuable natural resource

Boating, fishing, swimming… with summer around the corner, it’s safe to say many Canadians will be outdoors enjoying water-related activities across the country. Most Canadians …

Support our work in keeping Canadian Watersheds Healthy