Water works in Okotoks: Lessons from a small, fast-growing Canadian town

Livable Cities Technology and Innovation Water

Smaller Canadian municipalities face unique challenges when it comes to sustaining healthy water and wastewater systems. To reduce the pressure, many of them are taking multi-pronged approaches to conservation and cost recovery. As we discuss in our latest report, well-designed user fees (i.e., water rates) are effective at curbing water use, but they’re not the […]

Canada’s park paradox

Pollution

Canada’s national parks host millions and millions of visitors every year, and entry was free in 2017 as part of Canada 150. As you might expect, people have flocked in record numbers. But national parks belong to the public. Should access always be free? And aren’t more visitors, rather than fewer, a good thing? In […]

The benefits of water meters: We can’t manage what we don’t measure

Livable Cities Water

Measuring our water consumption is fundamental to sustainable water management. Water meters provide municipal water utilities with vital information on how, when, and where we use water. They also allow municipalities to charge based on how much water we use. For these reasons and more, installing water meters is Best Practice #1 in our recent […]

A Price for All Seasons: Tofino’s Journey to Water Security

Livable Cities Water

Dry summers are the norm in British Columbia, especially of late. They can mean anything from forest fires to low crop yields to water scarcity. To prepare for the inevitability of future droughts, BC municipalities are taking innovative approaches to conserve their water. Today, as part of our new report that highlights 10 municipal best […]

water user fees

TLDR: How user fees can improve the environmental and financial sustainability of municipal water and wastewater services

Water

It’s easy to forget how important municipal water and wastewater services are in our daily lives. These complex systems treat and deliver water for millions of Canadian households and businesses—vital to our health, the economy, and the environment. Yet municipal water systems across Canada face significant challenges. The Ecofiscal Commission’s latest report, Only the Pipes […]

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