The Government of Canada is creating a new Canada Water Agency to work together with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists and others to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean and well managed.  Agriculture is the largest consumer of water in Canada and agricultural lands serve as source waters of most rural and urban populations in Canada, including Indigenous communities. Global Water Futures (GWF) has been conducting research on many aspects of agriculture and water in Canada with the goal of informing the development of more sustainable water management of agricultural drainage basins. To contribute to these discussions, GWF is hosting a 2-part mini virtual workshop that focusses on Canadian agricultural water management issues, capabilities, advances and needs to help inform the federal government in its development of the Canada Water Agency.  

Register Now!

Featuring the Honourable Ralph Goodale, the virtual workshop will bring together GWF scientists and agriculture and water management professionals. We will present the latest agricultural water scientific advances from GWF projects including Agriculture Water FuturesPrairie WaterLake FuturesIntegrated Modelling Program for CanadaFORMBLOOM and Climate-Related Precipitation Extremes. We will foster a discussion on how the creation of a Canada Water Agency could help support sustainable management of agricultural waters and management of water for agriculture in Canada. 

This workshop will build on the discussion that began with the National Water Policy Panel on May 13th by diving deeper into priority water issues as they relate to agricultureThe mini virtual workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to offer their perspectives and identify specific opportunities for science synergies and implementation.  

The breakout discussions will form a submission to the Government of Canada's PlaceSpeak feedback platform by using their guiding questions, framed for our workshop's agricutural focus:

  1. From an agricultural perspective, what are the most pressing freshwater challenges nationally, and in your region of Canada?
  2. What in your opinion are the essential agricultural-related science, data, policy, and program gaps that need to be filled in relation to these freshwater challenges?
  3. What role would you see a Canada Water Agency playing in filling these agricultural-related gaps?
  4. Recognizing the important role of provinces and territories in agricultural water management in Canada, how should a Canada Water Agency work to enhance federal-provincial-territorial coordination and cooperation?
  5. Recognizing the Government of Canada’s commitment to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through renewed nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationships based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership, what role should a Canada Water Agency have in working with Indigenous peoples on agricultural-related freshwater management issues?

Workshop Agenda 

Part 1: GWF agriculture and water science: issues, capabilities, advances and needs
8:00 – 9:30am PDT | 9:00 – 10:30am MDT/CST | 11:00am – 12:30pm EDT | 12 – 1:30pm ADT


Welcome to Agriculture Considerations for the Canada Water Agency Part 1


GWF Introduction and Overview presentation


Agricultural-Water Research in GWF


Moderated Discussion: Ag-water related science, results and outputs to date featuring GWF researchers


Question/Answer discussion


Part 1 wrap up


Part 2: Water science to agriculture policy discussions
10:30am – 12pm PDT | 11:30am – 1:00pm MDT/CST | 1:30 – 3:00pm EDT | 2:30 – 4:00pm ADT


Welcome to Agriculture Considerations for the Canada Water Agency Part 2


The Honourable Ralph Goodale


Moderated Discussion: Science to policy needs and opportunities through the Canada Water Agency featuring water leaders in agricultural sectors

35 min

Breakout Discussions with all participants

5 min

Workshop wrap up and next steps


Featured Speaker: The Honourable Ralph Goodale, PC

The Honourable Ralph Goodale

The federal Member of Parliament for Regina-Wascana for 26 years, from 1993 to 2019, Ralph Goodale holds the record as Regina’s longest-serving elected representative in the House of Commons. 

With practical experience in agriculture, business, law and broadcasting, Mr. Goodale served in the federal Cabinet under three Prime Ministers.  His portfolios included Agriculture, Natural Resources, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Public Works, Finance and Public Safety. 

Having been raised on a dryland prairie farm, Mr. Goodale has had a lifelong interest in water which he describes as “Saskatchewan’s most precious resource”.  Four of his federal Cabinet posts involved responsibilities with respect to effective water management.  He authored the current federal government’s commitment to create a Canada Water Agency to build upon the spirit and legacy of the former Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration.

Science Panelists

Dr. Merrin Macrae, University of Waterloo
Dr. Helen Baulch, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Chris Spence, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Nandita Basu, University of Waterloo
Dr. Ron Stewart, University of Manitoba
Dr. Warren Helgason, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Karl Lindenschmidt , University of Saskatchewan
Moderated by Dr. Sean Carey, McMaster University

Policy Panelists

Dr. Dawn Martin Hill, McMaster University
Ms. Colleen Sklar, Winnipeg Metropolitan Region
Dr. Tom Bruulsema, International Plant Nutrition Institute
Dr. Pascal Badiou, Ducks Unlimited Canada
Mr. Alex Ostrop, Alberta Irrigation Districts Association
Ms. Gabrielle Ferguson, Rural Ontario Institute
Moderated by Dr. John Pomeroy, Global Water Futures




Event Details

09:00 AM - 01:00 PM CST


Stephanie Merrill