I woke up thirsty in the middle of the night last night. I padded down the hall to the bathroom with my glass. When I turned on the tap, magic happened. Clear, cool, potable, fresh, safe, life-giving water flowed from it. In the middle of the night I only had to walk a few feet to satisfy my thirst.
The same magic happens when I run the washer or the dishwasher or water the garden or boil potatoes.
We are so lucky to have such easy access to fresh potable water on a regular basis. Some people spend a significant portion of every day getting water to fulfill their basic needs.
And while it seems like our supply is abundant and never ending, we should still conserve it. I once had a friend who said, after I chastised him for running the tap while brushing his teeth, that we lived in the middle of the Great Lakes (I lived in Toronto at the time) and that we would never run out of water so there was no need to conserve. I was quite shocked by this statement - while we know that the water level in the Great Lakes ebbs and flows over time, we also know that over time, levels are indeed dropping.
Evalyn Parry, one of my favourite Canadian singer/songwriters, has a song called "Bottle This" (there's a link at the top of this page on her site to listen to the song) - protesting the incredible consumption of bottled water in this country. One of the most haunting lines from the song for me is ..
They say “water is the new oil!”
Water is the new oil!
And Canada’s got it, so this war will come to our soil.
According to a Water Security Risk Index from Maplecroft (a global risk analysis firm), Canada is currently at a very low risk for water security.
But our immediate neighbours are at a higher risk and other countries around the world at higher risk even still. We take the magic of fresh clean water for granted here in Canada. And it's time we stopped. We need to conserve what we've been given but also work to ensure that everyone has access to clean water.
Photo Credit: Aidan McManus