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Water Teachings (2020)

“Water Teachings” is an edited book which explores perspectives on Indigenous water law, bringing together voices of Indigenous scholars and community members from across Canada. This book was co-authored by a collective of Indigenous scholars and community members, and edited together with Courtenay Crane, a photographer/filmmaker and member of Key First Nation. After consultation with my research collaborators (including Indigenous scholars and Indigenous community organizations), we decided to publish this book ourselves, in order to make it available free of charge. View here. 

Eau Canada: The future of Canada’s water (2007)

As the sustainability of our natural resources is increasingly questioned, Canadians remain stubbornly convinced of the unassailability of our water. Mounting evidence suggests, however, that Canadian water is under threat. Eau Canada assembles the country’s top water experts to discuss our most pressing water issues. Perspectives from a broad range of thinkers – geographers, environmental lawyers, former government officials, aquatic and political scientists, and economists – reflect the diversity of concerns in water management. Arguing that weak governance is at the heart of Canada’s water problems, this timely book identifies our key failings, explores debates over jurisdiction, transboundary waters, exports, and privatization, and maps out solutions for protecting our most important resource. View here.

Water without Borders? Canada, the United States, and Shared Waters (2013)

Since 1909, the waters along the Canada-US border have been governed in accordance with the Boundary Water Treaty, but much has changed in the last 100 years. This engaging volume brings together experts from both sides of the border to examine the changing relationship between Canada and the US with respect to shared waters, as well as the implications of these changes for geopolitics and the environment. Water without Borders? is a timely publication given the increased attention to shared water issues, and particularly because 2013 is the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. Water without Borders? is designed to help readers develop a balanced understanding of the most pressing shared water issues between Canada and the United States. The contributors explore possible frictions between governance institutions and contemporary management issues, illustrated through analyses of five specific transboundary water “flashpoints.” The volume offers both a historical survey of transboundary governance mechanisms and a forward-looking assessment of new models of governance that will allow us to manage water wisely in the future. View here. 

Water Security: Principles, Perspectives and Practices (2013)

The purpose of this book is to present an overview of the latest research, policy, practitioner, academic and international thinking on water security—an issue that, like water governance a few years ago, has developed much policy awareness and momentum with a wide range of stakeholders. As a concept it is open to multiple interpretations, and the authors here set out the various approaches to the topic from different perspectives. Key themes addressed include: Water security as a foreign policy issue, The interconnected variables of water, food, and human security, Dimensions other than military and international relations concerns around water security, Water security theory and methods, tools and audits. The book is loosely based on a masters level degree plus a short professional course on water security both given at the University of East Anglia, delivered by international authorities on their subjects. It should serve as an introductory textbook as well as be of value to professionals, NGOs, and policy-makers. View here. 

An Uncooperative Commodity: Privatizing Water in England and Wales (2004)

The privatization of water supply is an emotive and controversial topic. The ‘British model’ of water privatization is unique: no other country has entirely privatized its water supply and sewerage systems. This book analyzes the socio-economic and environmental dimensions in privatization in England and Wales. It examines the implications of privatization for consumers, environmental management, and the water supply industry. View here. 

Privatizing Water: Governance Failure and the World’s Urban Water Crisis (2010)

Water supply privatization was emblematic of the neoliberal turn in development policy in the 1990s. Proponents argued that the private sector could provide better services at lower costs than governments; opponents questioned the risks involved in delegating control over a life-sustaining resource to for-profit companies. Private-sector activity was most concentrated and contested in large cities in developing countries, where the widespread lack of access to networked water supplies was characterized as a global crisis. In Privatizing Water, Karen Bakker focuses on three questions: Why did privatization emerge as a preferred alternative for managing urban water supply? Can privatization fulfill its proponents’ expectations, particularly with respect to water supply to the urban poor? And, given the apparent shortcomings of both privatization and conventional approaches to government provision, what are the alternatives? In answering these questions, Bakker engages with broader debates over the role of the private sector in development, the role of urban communities in the provision of “public” services, and the governance of public goods. She introduces the concept of “governance failure” as a means of exploring the limitations facing both private companies and governments. Critically examining a range of issues including the transnational struggle over the human right to water, the “commons” as a water-supply-management strategy, and the environmental dimensions of water privatization? Privatizing Water is a balanced exploration of a critical issue that affects billions of people around the world. View here.