Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research, Vol. 18, No.1, 2008. © 2008 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Karen Bakker has assembled an impressive list of contributors from academia and civil society, including internationally renowned physical and social scientists and prominent former civil servants. Lavishly referenced and weighing in at a hefty 400-plus pages, the book is broken into five main sections on current governance systems, jurisdictional fragmentation, privatization and markets, pathways to better management, and worldviews. Despite its heft, Eau Canada is a compelling read. A key message repeated in several chapters is that the federal government has largely ignored the principles set out in its own 1987 Federal Water Policy, which declared an overall objective of encouraging "the use of freshwater in an efficient, and equitable manner consistent with the social, economic, and environmental needs of present generations." A related point-though not commented on by any of the volume's contributors-is that the federal government has also failed to meet its international commitment to develop national Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) policies, made at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002.