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“water is more precious than gold”

6 Mar

water day logo2013bigIn honor of World Water Day on March 22nd – this month’s theme is on WATER!

And since resource/mineral extraction companies have been in the media lately, we thought we’d explore issues around water use and mining.  A lot of water is used in the extractive process itself and the surrounding aquifers and streams can have their water quality compromised by run off.

  • A typical open pit gold mine uses up to 900,000 liters of water a day.
  • Acid mine drainage (AMD) occurs when large quantities of rock containing sulphide minerals are excavated. The exposed sulphides react with water and oxygen to create sulphuric acid. This acid can leach into nearby streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater. AMD can severely degrade water quality, making it unusable.

The Council of Canadians just announced a “Water is more Precious than Gold” speaking tour to challenge Canada’s mining practices.  Check out their website for more info or to attend an event near you!

There’s How Much Water in My Hamburger? Do

28 Mar

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Water Action

21 Mar

Last year we blogged about water & health, bottled water, water crisis and, water security.  This year – in the middle of water week we wanted to tell you about an amazing trek that is happening in Nepal to raise awareness about water and climate change.

The trek cuts across some of the most vulnerable places in the country to climate change… The Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI) is organizing this trail to highlight the fact that the Himalayas that provide water to more than a billion people in Asia is being critically impacted by Climate Change.  Spanning 1700 kilometers across some of the most pristine places on the planet, the Great Himalayan Trail (GHT) is truly wondrous.
Also, one of the objectives of the trail is to promote local tourism along the route that can benefit impacted and impoverished communities as a much needed climate adaptation project. The stories and facts from the trail, they believe, will offer the Government of Nepal and its development partners new ways in addressing climate change. (350.0rg)

We thought this was a very creative project to raise awareness and ownership amongst government officials and community members by creating common goals and action steps.  Follow them on the trail here.

Discover Your Water Footprint

14 Mar

As we mentioned last week – Canada Water Week begins this Monday March 19th.  They’ve put together stacks of helpful information to help us think through water conservation.

Canada Water Week invites you to “Discover Your Water Footprint”

Did you know that the average Canadian consumes nearly 6,400 litres of water every day? Much of that water – over 90% – is embedded in the food you eat, the clothes you wear and the products you use every day!

This year’s Canada Water Week theme is Discover Your Water Footprint. Want to hear more? Check out their video…

And if you’re interested to know where the water you use is ’embedded’ they’ve set up a fantastic integrative resource here that allows you to click on multiple topics to find out how they’re related to your water use.

How Low Flow Can You Go?

7 Mar

“In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference”
– Rachel Carson

Water Week (March 19-25) is coming up in a few weeks so we wanted to share a few amazing ideas/projects people are working on in the days leading up to it…

The Water Conservation Challenge

To raise awareness on  the over-use of fresh water, water scarcity and water pollution consider How low flow can you go?  Take the water conservation challenge:

  Living on 25 litres (quarts) of water per day is not as easy as it sounds, most of us living in developed countries use a lot more than that… A LOT more. In fact, Canadians and Americans average more than 330 litres per day! But while the challenge may not be easy, it is certainly not impossible as all of us have proven.

There are many different ways you can go about this, the original campaigner fills up a large jug with 25 litres every morning and does not use a faucet at all for the rest of the day. All water comes from this jug including drinking water, water for a sponge bath (sorry, showers are use far too much water) and water for flushing the toilet.

Grey water reuse is a must, the sponge or cloth from a sponge bath can be wrung out and reused in the toilet as can excess water from a load of laundry.  But the Water Conservation Challenge is not just about saving water on our own, it is an educational and awareness building campaign. We seek to promote water stewardship and sustainable practices in our communities and in local media.

Are you taking the Water Challenge?  Leave us a comment – we’d love to hear about your experience!  Or check out these sites to hear more from those who’ve committed to limiting their water use: