Water: Our greatest resource
Water has a natural ecological cycle and an economic cycle of human use, cycles at times mutually incompatible. This problem is stirring up fierce controversy and is becoming an increasingly urgent matter to resolve.
People around the globe are naturally drawn to coastal areas for the abundant resources and trading opportunities they offer, in spite of the stories of storms and perilous shores that are as old as civilization itself.
In a time of widespread environmental damage and when community water quality can no longer be taken for granted, we have to come to terms with our “culture of flushing.”
Permafrost covering an area the size of Australia will thaw in the next 100 years, affecting landscapes, water and ecosystems. Although the wealth of natural resources previously hidden in the Arctic will become available, the environmental consequences may not be worth it.
As the climate continues to warm, the risk of flooding increases—and not only in costal areas: ice jams in inland waterways pose a greater threat to populations than does the annual snowmelt. Soon, a new tool to model ice formation in lakes and rivers will be available to help better predict how and when ice jams occur in these waterways.
People talk about protecting the environment, but many fail to understand the connection between their actions and the state of our water. A lot of people simply take this life-sustaining substance for granted—an attitude that is affecting the world around us in ways no one could have predicted just a short time ago.
As the proverb says, “You never miss the water till the well runs dry.” Philippe Crabbé, an economist dedicated to environmental issues, offers some cost-effective options to better preserve freshwater supplies.
Recent research shows a great deal of public distrust, scepticism and uncertainty over how rural drinking water is managed. Understanding how perceptions about water are formed is essential for managing risks, creating appropriate policies and protecting public health.
Despite a general decrease in the number of drowning deaths across the country, water-related fatalities are still incredibly high in the Canadian North. In fact, drowning rates among northern Aboriginal people are up to 10 times the national average. The question begs to be asked: Why is there such a disproportionate number of water-related tragedies among Aboriginal populations of the North?