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Water Leaders Survey - Flagship Project

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Carolyn Johns (opens in new window)  has published the findings from a recent Survey of Ontario Water Leaders. The study was performed with Adam Thorn (external link)  and in collaboration with Urban Water TMU. The study surveyed water leaders from 444 municipalities and all 36 conservation authorities in Ontario, with a response rate of 18% and 28.6%, respectively. 

The first survey, performed in December 2018, obtained baseline values for leader perceptions of water values, priorities, and challenges for water management in Ontario. 

Over 59% of respondents had more than 16 years of experience with water-related issues. The survey found that most respondents ranked drinking water as the most important water use, followed by ecological services. Most municipal water leaders said they viewed drinking water as a top priority, whereas conservation authority respondents viewed flooding and wet weather as their top priority. 

They found that most municipal water leaders felt infrastructure was the most significant challenge, whereas most conservation authority respondents believed climate change is the most important challenge. Both groups believe that their top challenge will remain the most crucial issue in Ontario 20 years from now. 

These findings can help guide policy and funding decisions from all levels of government. The findings can also provide guidance on which research directions may remain most pressing in Ontario for the next two decades.