Nicholas Parker, right, will lead the Blue Economy Initiative. Seen here with Dr. Rita Colwell at the Canadian Water Network's conference in Ottawa last March.

The Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation, Canadian Water Network and RBC Blue Water Project announced the Blue Economy Initiative this week, which will provide information to Canadians and key decision-makers about the economic benefits of protecting Canada’s fresh water, and the economic risks of neglecting the health of our watersheds. Its goal is to create an upswell of support for sustainable water management in Canada, addressing questions that so far remain unanswered, such as —

  • What is the value of protecting and restoring aquatic ecosystems?
  • Can we decrease healthcare costs by reducing water pollution?
  • Can we enhance agricultural productivity to help address the global food crisis while ensuring responsible water use?
  • How can cities tackle the costs imposed by climate change with new and innovative forms of water infrastructure?

The Blue Economy Initiative will be led by Nicholas Parker, chair of Cleantech Group and Parker Venture Management. The initiative’s first milestone will be in the fall of 2011 with the release of a ground-breaking economic study of the contribution of water to the Canadian economy, authored by Canada’s foremost water economists, Drs. Steven Renzetti and Diane Dupont, and award-winning journalist, Chris Wood.

The announcement was made at the second annual Canadian Water Summit in Toronto.

See also  CSR: Water

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