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GIVEN ITS ROLE, THE HALIFAX WATERSHED ADVISORY BOARD'S ABILITY TO INFLUENCE WATER RESOURCE PROTECTION: A CASE STUDY
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Stakeholders engaged in land use planning and development in Halifax County and in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) have recognized Waters Advisory Boards (W ABs) for their expertise in water resource protection for over 35 years. During this time, W ABs have played a significant role in providing informal advice to land use planning and development stakeholders, and formal advice to municipal government units, about implementing ecologically responsible land use practices designed to protect HRM water resources. Despite these efforts, water resources continue to be degraded as a result of non-ecologically responsible land use practices. The Halifax Watershed Advisory Board (HWAB) has been formally designated, through a "Motion in Council'', to provide advice to HRM about how to protect water resources with respect to land use planning and development activities under its jurisdiction defined by its Terms of Reference. Given the role of the Halifax Watershed Advisory Board (HWAB), this case study found that the HW AB's ability to influence water resource protection through the land use planning and development activity review process is constrained. Factors contributing to the HW AB's ability to influence were identified through the results of the quantitative and qualitative analyses of data collected through direct observations, documentation and policy review, archival records, and surveys and interviews with land use planning and development stakeholders. The findings were analysed based on what the literature describes as an influential natural resource advisory group process. Recommendations were made on how the HW AB could have more influence on land use planning and development activities to protect water resources in HRM.