Tue 22 Mar 2011Today, Canadians join people from all around the globe in observing World Water Day.
We’re lucky – most Canadians have access to clean drinking water in our homes and communities. Nevertheless, Canadians still face serious water problems, especially those of us living on First Nations’ reserves. This World Water Day, there are 116 First Nations communities living under Drinking Water Advisories in Canada, up from 115 last year. This is a national tragedy of neglect – one that has continued unnecessarily for decades.
We must recognize other water challenges: tar sands developments continue to release deadly contaminants into watersheds that thousands depend on, while governments shirk their responsibilities to monitor and control pollution. Municipalities across the country are struggling to build needed waste water treatment infrastructure. And our changing climate will make many these, and other water issues, worse, while posing new ones.
Globally, water scarcity already affects four out of every 10 people, with one in three lacking the water necessary to meet their daily needs. The consequences of increasing global water scarcity will be especially acute in arid and semi-arid regions, in rapidly growing coastal areas and in the biggest cities of the developing world. Population growth, urbanization and increased water use for industry all put more of a strain on water resources.
Clean water is essential for life. We must recognize that the serious water issues we face are not just a resource issue, but a health issue, an economic issue, and a humanitarian issue.
Donate to the Abbotsford campaign: https://secure.ndp.ca/riding/index.php?riding=59001&language=e