, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 535-551

Water Security Assessment: Integrating Governance and Freshwater Indicators

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Abstract

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.