A flush away from disaster

Monday, November 24, 2003

Canadians are living what is quickly becoming the New American Dream. Our summer vacations are spent at the lake while evenings in September are devoted to car washing and lawn watering. We spend hours in the shower and do six loads of laundry a week without second thought. Fresh water gushes from faucets in our homes, workplaces and schools, and we expend it like there’s no tomorrow.

While the severity and frequency of water shortage in the United States and beyond has been increasing, we Canadians have managed to stay afloat on our vast country’s natural supply of liquid gold.

But things are bound to change.

Living in a country that contains seemingly endless supplies of water does little to encourage conservation. With crystalline lakes never far from our reach it’s no surprise that Canada is as well known for its water-abusing citizens as its untamed rivers.

On Thursday evening Rob de Loe of U of G’s Geography Department/Guelph Water Management Group presented his thoughts on water use in Canada to an attentive crowd of concerned citizens, students and faculty. The lecture entitled “Droughts, Floods and Everything in Between: Water for Guelph and the Grand River Watershed” drew on examples from across the country but focused on local water resources.

  • For more info visit the Guelph Water Management Group online here

De Loe clearly pointed out that answers to water shortage issues must be sought locally. He criticized the anthropocentric nature of current water management practices and denounced the idea of importing water rather than reducing use. He also made mention of the increasing potential for drought throughout Canada and emphasized the important role that public attitude will play in curbing future crises.

Water is unquestionably the most important natural resource in existence. It is a multifaceted substance that is desired as much for its life-giving qualities as for its ability to perpetuate tranquility, adventure and one-ness with nature. Though water conservation is a pressing issue world-wide, with organizations like the Guelph Water Management Group at the research forefront, water-drinkers everywhere can rest easy knowing that solutions are just a flush away.

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