From fracking conflicts to innovation generation: A case study of water governance in Northeastern B.C.

Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network (WEPGN)




From fracking conflicts to innovation generation: A case study of water governance in Northeastern B.C.


Project Description:

The Horn River Basin, located north of the city of Fort Nelson, British Columbia, is the hotbed of Canada’s rapidly growing shale gas exploration and development activities.  The basin includes the traditional territory of the Fort Nelson First Nation, a signatory of the Treaty 8 agreement. However, current water governance arrangements do not consider or address Indigenous rights, the proliferation of resource extraction by the globally important oil and gas industry, or emerging water quality and quantity concerns. It is becoming increasingly apparent that innovative solutions for water governance are needed. A limited amount of research has emerged that examines the ecological impacts of shale gas developments in general. But, there is a lack of research that furthers the understanding of how to make on-the-ground, positive change happen in this context. A rigorous analysis is required of the options for alternative water governance models. Moreover, governance processes that enable the development of new knowledge, shared solutions, and collective action (i.e. social learning processes) among all levels of government and industry with the Fort Nelson First Nation are needed to mitigate conflict and generate innovative governance solutions that address the current challenges.

Researchers:

Michele-Lee Moore, & Karena Shaw

Partners:

Lana Lowe, Fort Nelson First Nation Lands Department