priority water drop energy and resources lg

Energy and Resources

The energy and resource sectors are key pillars of the Canadian economy, representing 20% of GDP and 1.8 million jobs in 2014 (NRCan).

The sustainable use of water is critical to the success of these industries and their continued economic growth requires a focus on environmental and public health protection, including world class water management.

From mining to oil and gas, forestry to hydropower, sustainable development is vital not only to ensuring responsible management and stewardship, but also to maintaining a global competitive advantage.


Water and Hydraulic Fracturing Program

CWN established a national program on water and hydraulic fracturing to identify key questions and support the generation and use of knowledge to inform decisions. To achieve this, CWN has undertaken a series of research projects, compiled an overview report, conducted a national prioritization survey and hosted the Western Canadian Forum on Water and Hydraulic Fracturing. Each piece builds on the previous to arrive at an understanding of shared priorities for decision makers and to find ways to move forward collaboratively on these priorities, outcomes and opportunities related to water and hydraulic fracturing.

You can read the full reports below that summarize each of these activities. 

Next Steps

Based on CWN’s process of identifying shared priorities and opportunities to advance knowledge through research, an analysis of strategic research options is being developed. 


Overview Report

September, 2015


Survey Report

April, 2016


Meeting Capture Report

April, 2016

 Eng Report Cover HF Overview Report    Eng Report Cover HF Priorization Survey    Eng Report Cover HF Meeting Capture Report


Hydraulic fracturing research 

In 2014, Canadian Water Network funded five multi-university teams to look at what we know — and don’t know — about the potential risks and impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water:

Moore HF 221

Not just a license to drill: Exploring the challenges of water governance and hydraulic fracturing in Canada

Lead Researcher - Michele-Lee Moore, Assistant Professor, University of Victoria

Gagnon HF 221

Development of a water safety framework for watershed and water demand governance and management approaches related to hydraulic fracturing

Lead Researcher - Graham Gagnon, Professor, Dalhousie University

Goss HF 221

Unconventional wastewater management: A comparative review and analysis of hydraulic fracturing wastewater management practices across four North American basins

Lead Researcher - Greg Goss, Professor, University of Alberta

Ryan HF 221

Subsurface impacts of hydraulic fracturing: Contamination, seismic sensitivity, and groundwater use and demand management

Lead Researcher - M. Cathryn Ryan, Professor, University of Calgary

Quinn HF 221

Hydraulic fracturing and water knowledge integration: Landscape impacts

Michael Quinn, Associate Vice President, Research, Scholarship and Community Engagement, Mount Royal University


To learn more, contact Dr. Katrina Hitchman, Director of Program Development at (519) 888-4567 x 37943 or