Canadian Water Research Society Undergraduate Water Essay Prize

The CWRS is announcing its inaugural student water essay contest. The essay winning first prize will receive $2000.

Canadian Water Research Society (CWRS) is a British Columbia based provincially incorporated Society with federal Canadian charitable tax status. CWRS thinks globally, acts locally and conducts applied research in the areas of water law, water policy and water education. The objective of CWRS is to make Canada, and the world, a better place one waterway at a time.

Contest Rules and Submission Guidelines

Prizes: First prize: $2000; Second prize: $1000; Third prize: $500

Topic:  Essays on any aspect of “fresh” water issues in western Canada are accepted. “Fresh” water is defined as including creeks, rivers, lakes, wetlands, ground water, aquifers and estuaries (but does not include the “ocean”).  “Western Canada” is defined as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Students are encouraged to submit an original essay on any aspect of water in western Canada that captures their imagination or interest.  Policy and discussion-oriented essays rather than purely data-oriented submissions are encouraged as are essays written in a clear and easy-to-read style making them readily accessible to a non-technical or non-academic reader.

Who Can Enter: Undergraduate students enrolled in (or just completing) a degree, diploma or certificate program at an accredited post-secondary institution in British Columbia or Alberta.

Submission Deadline: Essays can be submitted anytime from October 1, 2016 until midnight (PST) May 24, 2017.  Late entries will not be accepted.

Originality:  The submission must be the original work of the student.  The research, writing and editing of the essay must be done solely by the student.

Word Limit: A maximum of 3500 words (not including footnotes, endnotes or bibliography).

Entry Limit:  Only one entry per student will be accepted.

Submission Format:  Essays should be in English; typed in a 12 point font; double spaced in a MS Word format; with the pages numbered; and have a cover page containing the author’s name, contact details (including an e-mail address); and the institution they are attending.

Can I Submit a Term Paper? Yes, providing you edit it to comply with the word limit noted above and follow the approved referencing and citation system used by your institution.

Submit Entries to:

Judging Criteria:  Submissions will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • relevance to the topic of water in western Canada
  • originality and topicality of subject matter
  • clear expression of ideas and understanding of the topic
  • excellence in writing
  • topic’s potential interest to a broader public readership
  • author’s ability to articulate possible policy implications for the future

Announcement of Winners:  The winning essays will be announced in September 2017.

For Additional Information: Go the CWRS Facebook Page at