Clean water is a basic need for human life, and for many of us it is not something that requires a lot of thought or effort. As Canadians we have the good fortune to be recipients of one of nature’s most generous water supplies due to our many glaciers, lakes, rivers and streams. We know this is not the case everywhere. For example, we don’t have to look far to see California is experiencing its fourth year of severe drought. Filling swimming pools, watering gardens and yards may have to be regulated to deal with shortages. These are all activities done regularly by many of us in other locations of North America. As individuals, we should do everything possible to conserve water since it is our best way of ensuring we will have enough to go around. However, avoiding massive shortages of clean water will take concerted action at all levels of society. As well as individual responsibility, at the policy level we need legislation to protect natural assets such as forests and wetlands that purify and store water and reduce flooding – especially in light of expected increases in natural disasters as the world continues to warm.

Lisa James.

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