With all eyes on the Red River this week, it’s hard not to think about water. And that’s good, because water is a vital resource that no community can afford to ignore.
This year will be a big year for “water” in the City of Selkirk. We will be installing two new wells and 11 kilometers of new water mains to ensure that our community has a safe and abundant source of drinking water for decades to come.
Beyond drinking water however, we also have a responsibility to protect and preserve the water ways and natural aquatic environments in and around our city. What we do here in Selkirk impacts the communities and ecosystems downstream of us. Environmental stewardship is part of our strategic plan and is the foundation the City of Selkirk’s Declaration of Right to a Healthy Environment. That’s why we are pleased to celebrate World Water Day today.
Below you will find a special Water Day message from Lake Friendly an important partner of the City of Selkirk.
March 22, 2016 is World Water Day. According to unwater.org, this is a day of international observance and an opportunity to educate ourselves about water issues, get inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference.
Before we can begin to make changes in order to become a more sustainable province, we need to know where we are now. In honour of World Water Day, Lake Friendly wanted to make it easy for you to educate yourself and your family about water and water in Manitoba. So we did the legwork for you.
Here are some facts about water in Manitoba you may not know:
- 900 trillion liters of surface water covers 16% of the province of Manitoba.
- 12,000 years ago a glacial lake called Lake Agassiz covered Manitoba.
- Manitoba is the only province in Canada where all rivers eventually flow north.
- 73% of Manitoba’s population consumes surface water.
- The Lake Winnipeg watershed is 40 times larger than the lake itself.
- Lake Winnipeg has been around for 12,000 years.
So now that we have a bit of perspective, we need to know what the real water issues are.
On a local scale:
- Nutrient loading into Lake Winnipeg has produced algal blooms so large that they can be seen from space
- Our way of life includes fishing in this great province, and fisheries depend on water quality to produce marketable yields
On a national scale:
- The Lake Winnipeg drainage basin is 1,000,000 kilometres squared and reaches four provinces and four U.S. states. What we do to our water here will eventually reach many other Canadians
On a global scale:
- Only one half of one percent of all water on Earth is drinkable
- More than 1.2 billion people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water
The question: how can we help? How can we ensure our daily activities are done in a mindful way to protect Mother Earth’s life force and encourage sustainability for future generations?
The answer: we can conserve and treat water with care. We can take showers instead of baths, we can turn off the tap while we brush our teeth, we can switch to newer higher efficiency appliances, we can use EcoLogo certified products that go down the drain into our water systems and we can do a lot more if we all do this together, collectively as a group of like-minded individuals in order to protect our fresh water.
To learn more about Lake Friendly and protecting our water, visit lakefriendly.ca.