Water Resources Management

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 535-551

First online:

Water Security Assessment: Integrating Governance and Freshwater Indicators

  • Emma S. NormanAffiliated withDepartment of Social Sciences, Michigan Technological University Email author 
  • , Gemma DunnAffiliated withProgram on Water Governance, University of British Columbia
  • , Karen BakkerAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Program on Water Governance, University of British Columbia
  • , Diana M. AllenAffiliated withDepartment of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University
  • , Rafael Cavalcanti de AlbuquerqueAffiliated withDepartment of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University

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A new approach is developed for assessing water security status: the Water Security Status Indicators (WSSI) assessment method. The WSSI has four innovative aspects which address important gaps in the literature. First, it was developed in cooperation with end-users, whose participation enabled the design of a user-friendly assessment method. Second, this method is designed to be implemented at the local scale (small scale watershed or sub-watershed). Third, the WSSI is multivariate: it integrates variables pertaining to water quality and water quantity as they relate to aquatic ecosystems and human health. Fourth, the method provides concrete outputs for incorporation into water decision-making processes. In this paper, we document the WSSI assessment method and its application in a community in British Columbia (Canada), including the incorporation of community input into the development and application of the WSSI, and the integration of WSSI results into community water governance.


Water security Governance Environment Indicators Assessment Framework Canada