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Critical Analysis

02 Aug 2016Economics Essays

The article is basically about the water management and conservation issues in Canada. Canada is using more water than ever, yet little has been done to redress the issue.  He points out many factors responsible for this problem, such as lower water prices leading to excessive use, lack of effective policies and regulation, which  is bringing environmental disaster with a huge toll on water infrastructure in the Canada. The solution he presents is not only to increase the efficiency of water usage but also to protect it from overuse and contamination.

The article is too long and the topic is not appropriate. It does not tell, what is the article really about. The reader is rather confused, is it one topic or combination of many topics.

Normally titles are meant to portray a complete picture of the topic, which is missing here. The title is always clear and catchy, easy to grab the reader’s attention, which in this case is in the opposite. Instead of catching attentions it is more confusing. A better title can be “Water Management and Conversation in Canada: The need for  new approach”

The abstract has also not been written in the proper format and does not convey the main ideas or summary of the article. The abstract normally presents an article summary in few words providing a quick peek to the readers to check, if the article is worth reading or if it is really on the required topic.

The introduction is too long and often deviates from the topic, rather the author is rambling a lot about unrelated things, which doesn’t make any part of the topic. Normally the introduction should discuss the subject matter relevant to the topic and take a holistic approach, narrowing down the topic, which is missing here. The author could have compared Canada with other countries in the global perspective, so as to make the topic clearer and presented statistical data (table and figure) to make the case more accurate and comprehensible to the readers.

 The second part “WATER MANAGEMENT IN CANADA” is well written and provides the readers a view of the water problem, such as how the problem started, and how Canadians are contributing to the problem. The comparison with the US also makes it easier to see, where does Canada stand in the crisis. The approach encompasses almost all aspects of the issue including the supply infrastructure, which according to the author is aging and needs attention. However, there is the lack of tables and figures, which could have given a quick view to the readers and would have added more credibility to the article as the whole.

Similarly, the last paragraph of  “ECOLOGICAL GOVERNANCE” offers clear and complete analysis and solution as mentioned in the following words “Ecological governance cannot simply be designed in the abstract and then implemented. It must evolve out of the constellation of existing interests, practices, and institutions. By exploring common themes arising from the experiences of water providers, regulators, innovative projects, and consumers and civil society, a platform for the institutional redesign in Canada is possible”. There is also less jargon of words without any ambiguous statements.

The “CRISIS OF GOVERNANCE” part has discussed the barriers in detail affecting the water policy in Canada, but the solution part is ambiguous which can be observed in the following paragraph “Solving Canada's water resource problems requires accommodating various competing interests - most importantly, healthy ecological function. It also requires understanding historical forces that have created the existing framework, innovation and leadership to address emerging complexity, and policy coordination with conservation as a central principle at all political and administrative levels”. The author approach is holistic without specifying anything nor and also not offering any clear explanation, as how to overcome the official barriers. The best way would have been, if the author had offered some clear recommendations, and a definite change in policies to give readers and policy makes some idea, what needs to be done.

 The author ideas are not clear from the start and readers seem a bit confused, what is the topic really about, for example, the starting paragraph is unessential and does carry any real meaning “Constantly in motion through an eternal cycle, a vital resource, critical to the health of societies and ecosystems alike - sometimes too much, often too little. Water. It knits the landscape together and is the lifeblood of modern civilization. Despite its central importance, we continue to recklessly pollute, pipe, pump, dam and waste water”. It looks more literature and poetry rather than science.

For example reading the following paragraph will make little sense, what does the author wants to convey as the language is vague,” This interest stems from greater understanding of the complex interconnections between water and almost every other major issue of the day, from energy, climate change, and economic development, to environmental health, peace and security. Water is the strategic resource for the 21st century.”  Even the first sentence is ambiguous and rather meaningless, but the last sentence “Water is the strategic resource for the 21st century” is completely out of place.

Again the second last paragraph in “ECOLOGICAL GOVERNANCE” section

Instead of managing a watershed as an adjunct of the water supply, maintaining healthy watersheds is considered a prerequisite to water management. Water allocations are constrained by the larger need to ensure that natural processes are maintained. Under ecosystem-based management, human activity is situated within the structure and function of natural contexts - a shift that requires humans to manage themselves to fit into nature, not the reverse” is repetition, which could have been avoided, as the earlier paragraph has discussed the same point and there was no need of repeating it again.

The Section” PUTTING NATURE FIRST - WATER ALLOCATIONS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY" is comprehensive and gives an overall idea ,what is happening in other countries, such as examples given from “Australia, Europe, Israel, South Africa”.

The “DEMAND MANAGEMENT THE NEW WATER PARADIGM” part  is quite lengthy, which could have been made shorter. For example, second paragraph in this section is too long, the third is more to the topic and clear enough to give readers the idea of the “supply and demand strategies” However table one in this section is helpful to show the comparison between the demand and supply. The author has effectively identified the main problem and has mentioned different approaches to tackling the situation, however, the opted path soft solution is the most practical idea. The table two is generic and does not serve any purpose. The better approach would have been to develop the idea of conservation and management as discussed in the earlier table 1, rather than working on all the problems at a time and come up with nothing.

The author main concern, which he mentions in the end, is “to ensure that the institutional shift towards ecosystem-based management, ecological water allocations, and innovative urban water management fundamentally embraces conservation and demand management”. Ironically the article has not covered all the aspects of problem fairly, as some topics are discussed more than required. It would have been better, if the author has kept balance in the approach and given enough discussion coverage to all the relevant areas, rather than ignoring one topic at the cost of other.

From the study of the article, it is clear that the author is not fully aware of writing a research article and also lacks the skill to present ideas in the clear and precise way. There has been discussion a lot of unrelated material, due to which important parts are ignored. The problem starts from the beginning right from the wrong title and continues throughout the article till the end. It seems that the author has done the little homework before he embarked on his research or perhaps he had too many ideas at the time of writing. It is not possible to discuss in any pieces of research all the relevant issues at once; the ideal approach would have been to concentrate and continue until the end with a solid and practical solution. 

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