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UBCO: Research into B.C.’s most treasured resource—H2O

Grace H. Fan, assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship with UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Management, has been granted $73,800 over two years from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSCHRC) to support research on the discourse on water in B.C.

Grace Fan

“BC is going to have a new water act—the Sustainable Water Act, which is replacing the more than 100-year-old water act, and it is going to have a significant impact on the way water is managed throughout BC,” says Fan, who uses organization theory to explain entrepreneurship and water sustainability. Organizational theory is the study of organizations and their interrelationship with the environment in which they operate.

“My research will focus on the process of how the BC Sustainable Water Act has been developed – who was consulted, how they were involved, the transparency of those consultations, and what, if any, influence or impact those dialogues have in forming policy for the Sustainable Water Act.”

Fan and her co-investigator, Dev Jennings from the University of Alberta, are interested in the process of how the policy is developed, and will also examine how the policy is received by the community and stakeholders, and what further negotiations take place. They will also look at how the Sustainable Water Act will be implemented at the ground level.

It is anticipated the Sustainable Water Act will be announced and reviewed in spring 2015.

Fan explains her research could be used by policy-makers, communities, and stakeholders to better understand their roles and possible alternatives in the consultation and negotiation process, potentially leading to smoother implementation of policy and better collaboration from stakeholders.

Fan’s past research has applied organizational theory to the collaborative model created by the Okanagan Basin Water Board and Okanagan Water Stewardship Council. “What the OBWB and OWSC have achieved by working together is often considered a leading example of water management in Canada, and the whole of North America.

 

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