The goal of this project was to produce a substantive body of literature on the state of Canadian water use and policy in order to inform and guide policy makers in creating effective, long term water management strategies. Canada West Foundation recognized that while water is abundant in Canada, it is also a finite resource that is used for a variety of purposes including agriculture, industry, recreation and to sustain life. CWF assessed the state of Canadian water policy at all levels, municipal, provincial and federal, in order to determine what policies existed, what their impacts were and how accountability was measured. This project was the first in a three part series on water use and impacts in urban centres.