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Decentralised drinking water regulation: risks, benefits and the hunt for equality in the Canadian context
by Ryan S.D. Calder; Ketra A. Schmitt
International Journal of Water (IJW), Vol. 9, No. 2, 2015


Abstract: Drinking water management in Canada is based on the intervention of provinces and territories. This contrasts with the American and European approach of uniform, legally enforced regulation at the federal or super-federal level. The Canadian model has been widely criticised for the unequal level of regulation between provinces and territories and the passive role taken by the federal government. This paper: 1) puts calls for greater centralisation in the context of Canada's social and political climate; 2) reviews government, academic and environmental advocacy literature on competing drinking water regulation paradigms; 3) evaluates strengths and weaknesses of centralised and decentralised frameworks for drinking water regulation in the context of risk management theory and practical challenges. Notably, we evaluate drinking water decision-making as one of many competing opportunities for public spending on risk abatement and posit that increasing the uniformity of drinking water quality does not necessarily increase overall equality.

Online publication date: Wed, 22-Apr-2015


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