Posted by: Vicki Burns | May 31, 2010

Water Conservation and Canada’s Poor Record – What Some Students Are Doing About It

Last week I was delighted to be invited to give a presentation to the Grades 7 to 12 students at St. Mary’s Academy on the topic of Water Conservation. They were holding a special assembly for all the upper grades and it was organized by the Green Team students at the school.

The Green Team had chosen to work on Water Issues this year and had prepared a terrific presentation and video on some of the most basic concerns regarding the availability of freshwater all over the world. They were selling reusable water bottles with their logo on it to encourage students to stop buying bottle water.

While preparing my presentation I came across some information which we as Canadians should not be very proud of – we rank 15th out of 16 peer countries in terms of our water consumption. The Conference Board of Canada has prepared some very useful information about this. I was pleased to find very helpful information about ways we can conserve water in many different websites including Natural Resources Canada and Go Blue – Get Involved.

image of water consumption ranking Canada as 15 out of 16 peer countries

Canada gets D grade for 2nd highest water consumption

The World Wildlife Fund is offering grants of up to $5000 to schools to encourage students to get involved in environmental projects including, including Water Conservation. The most encouraging thing though, is to see high school students, the Green Team at St. Mary’s Academy, who are so committed to promoting change. They are going to be tomorrow’s leaders and they are demonstrating passion and commitment to protecting water now and for the future.

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Responses

  1. Do these per capita figures include water that runs through hydro-electric dams or is used for irrigation? Or are they strictly per capita use within municipalities or within residences? If the latter, then indeed we should do better. If the former, then even if the data is technically correct, it does not tell the complete story.

    There probably isn’t much irrigation or hydropower in Denmark or Luxembourg!

    • Excellent question. I’ll see what I can find out and report back. I’ve just checked the website of the Conference Board of Canada – http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/environment/water-consumption.aspx#indicator – and they have some very easy to understand information related to your question. Irrigation for agriculture is included in the per capita figures and apparently agriculture on the whole is the biggest user of water in Canada. However I don’t think water running through hydro development would be included because its not being extracted.
      The Conference Board is also suggesting that our low pricing of water and lack of metering of it in many locations is contributing to overuse. There really is much we can do to decrease our water consumption and improve our standing in relation to many other countries.

  2. We have already done enough harm to the environment…High time we woke up to see the damage we’ve caused.
    We may not be able to reduce global warming, end pollution and save endangered species single-handedly, but by choosing to live an earth-friendly lifestyle we can do a lot every day to help achieve those goals.
    Stand Up Take Action 2010.We need you…Globally more than 173 Million people stood up against poverty in 2009, a Guinness World Record! Let us break this record in 2010!
    It is Time for You to STAND UP AGAINST POVERTY NOW!
    Join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/unmcampaignINDIA
    Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/unmcampaignIND


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