Open Access

Cooperation Between First Nations and Municipalities: Do Water Sharing Arrangements Improve Drinking Water Quality?

B. James Deaton and Bethany Lipka


Many communities engage in Water Sharing Arrangements (WSAs) with nearby communities. Using data characterizing drinking water systems in the Canadian province of Ontario, we assess the following question: Do WSAs influence drinking water quality outcomes for recipient water systems? We find that WSAs are associated with improved drinking water quality outcomes for First Nation recipient systems. We do not associate WSAs with improved outcomes for municipal recipient systems. These differing effects may be due to provincial state capacity which is available to all municipalities, irrespective of WSA status, and the subset of First Nation systems in a WSA.

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