Basking in the halo of Canada 150 celebrations, 2017 was a year of political tension and turmoil when it comes to our water. It’s not that all that tension was bad, but the events that transpired created a sense of greater uncertainty about what lies ahead due to unmatched natural disasters and our changing hydrologic cycle, the onboarding of disruptive technologies, and the new world order when it comes to global trade agreements.
Infrastructure investments rippled across the country and the establishment of the new Canadian Infrastructure Bank promises even greater investments in the future. This year also brought about solid progress toward wetland preservation in Quebec and Manitoba, Mackenzie River management, and national floodplain mapping.
Trump, NAFTA, and the proposed Great Lakes Restoration Initiative cuts.
It was an uneven year for water resources in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, some had long-term drinking water advisories lifted while others were added, leading to modest nation-wide progress to end all long-term drinking water advisories. In an effort to reset relations with Indigenous leaders, the Ministry of Indigenous and Northern Affairs passed over its water responsibilities to the newly created Ministry of Indigenous Services.
For those who dream big with a focus on transformative technologies, 2017 was abuzz about blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, promising to make operators and city officials all-knowing in their optimization and asset management.
Stimulating further homegrown innovation, federal and provincial strategies provided positive, but not-quite-disruptive plans for Canada’s future as an innovation nation.
Looking back on the entire year of news stories, Water Canada reviewed, debated, and finally settled on the top five stories in 2017; however, this year, we have chosen the top five stories in six categories:
- Water infrastructure
- Water project finance
- Indigenous, Inuit, Métis
- Technology & innovation
- Politics and policy
- Scientific study & discovery
To make this list, we considered what was most-read by our readers, what will have the most lasting and profound influence on our water and freshwater abroad, what inspired us, and what will positively impact the Canadian economy. Did we miss anything? Care to comment? We hope that you will enjoy. Please Tweet your thoughts with the hashtag #CdnWater2017.
Editor Katherine Balpataky would like to acknowledge the incredible work in 2017 of Todd Westcott, WC’s content and marketing manager, who within one year surpassed all previous WC records for delivering news stories and Jane Buckland, who joined the team as associate publisher in 2017, who is forging many new partnerships within our industry.