Why Protect Water?
The human body is at least 50%-65% water. We all need to drink. In fact, humans can go several weeks without food, yet can only go a few days without water.
Water shortages lead to droughts, poor quality water, hunger (lack of locally farmed food), lower education levels (more time spent searching for food and water), gender inequality (women meeting the brunt of household demands) and impacted energy generation (hydro-electricity). Lack of water is a source of poverty.
Water is a necessity of life and a common good.
Today it is possible to treat and process water for consumption, but treatment costs money and therefore puts clean water out of reach of some people.
Not everyone can afford to pay.
It is cheaper not to contaminate water in the first place then it is to clean water after the fact — if the water can be cleaned at all.
Health & Welfare
The Walkerton E. coli tragedy that occurred in the year 2000 reminded Ontarians of the importance of water. Seven people died and thousands were sickened when the town’s well was inadvertently contaminated.
Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk.
Water borne illnesses put additional cost on the healthcare system.
As per the Government of Ontario’s 2015 statistics, recreational fisheries in Ontario bring in $2.2 billion annually, while commercial fisheries contribute $230 million, and aquaculture generates $60 million.
A fresh clean water ecosystem is a necessity for a thriving, healthy fishing economy.
Ontario has vast aquatic resources, including:
- 24% of Canada’s fresh water
- 250,000 inland lakes
- Canadian portion of four (4) Great Lakes
- countless rivers and streams
Ontarians love aquajogging, barefoot skiing, boating, bodyboarding, cable skiing, canoeing, canoe polo, diving, dragon boat racing, fishing, flowrider, flyboard, hydrofoiling, jet skiing, kayaking, kiteboarding, kitesurfing, kneeboarding, paddleboarding, paddleboating, parasailing, rafting, regattas, rowing, sailing, scuba diving, skimboard, skurfing, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, stand-up pedal boarding, swimming, tubing, wading, wakeboarding, wakeskating, wakesurfing, water aerobics, water polo, water volleyball/basketball, waterskiing, white water rafting, windsurfing, yachting. You can probably think of other fun in the water.
The point is would you want to play in nasty, dirty, toxic water?
Rio 2016 Olympics gave us an idea of what playing in such water is like:
Plants, Animals and Other Wildlife
Water is a crucial resource for plants, animals, birds and other wildlife — for habitat, feed and cover.
These natural areas are important for so many reasons:
- fresh air
- recreation: hunting, camping, fishing, birdwatching
- quiet enjoyment
- flood protection
- baseline for comparison against managed or exploited resources
- useful educational and cultural information
- local history, waterways determined the patterns of settlement as well as the patterns of industrialization
- scientific study
- insect study
- wildflower and tree identification
- biological raw material (a new wonder drug yet to be discovered? Development of products that could greatly benefit the health and well-being of humankind?)
It is said that anything the human race wants to do has already been done by Mother Nature. We can look, learn, dream and invent.
For the Future and for the World
According to the Government of Ontario:
- Ontario’s more than 250,000 lakes contain about one-fifth of the world’s fresh water.
- The five (5) Great Lakes are the world’s biggest continuous body of fresh water.
- More than 98% of Ontario residents live within the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin and more than 80% of Ontarians get their drinking water from the lakes.
- The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin supports more than 75% of Canada’s manufacturing, and a third of the country’s employment in agriculture and food processing.
Clean abundant water is imperative for a healthy future: to avoid disease and malnutrition, for optimum child development, for gender equality, sustainable energy, for higher density urban areas (freeing up farmland and natural areas), for agriculture and food security, for recreation, for a thriving economy, and for peace and social security.