WC129 MarApr2023 - Flipbook - Page 5
PROJECTS l POLICY l INNOVATION
MARCH/APRIL 2023 • VOLUME 23 NUMBER 2
John Tenpenny, Connie Vitello
ART DIRECTOR AND SENIOR DESIGNER
Melissa Dick, Megan Kennedy, Peter Koutsoubos,
Bita Malekian, Rob Miller, Jen Smith, John Tenpenny,
Steven van Haren, Tyson Wagner
WATER CANADA ADVISORY BOARD
Stephen Braun, Melissa Dick, Gregary Ford,
Jon Grant, Robert Haller, Linda Li,
Michael Lywood, Eric Meliton, Ranin Nseir,
Terry Rees, Emily Stahl
Jackie Pagaduan firstname.lastname@example.org
DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER
DIRECTOR OF EVENTS
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MY DAUGHTER RECENTLY had her first debate at school.
While the expectation was for her to have a few arguments in
favour of her position and to be prepared to offer rebuttal, she, as she so often
does, went entirely to the beat of her own drum. Instead of a well-rounded
argument with concessions and compromise, her debate went something like
this: Factories shouldn’t be allowed in Canada because they’re bad for the
environment and they get all sorts of pollution in the water. The end.
No room for compromise. No semantics. No middle-of-the-road ideology
for this kid–the rebuttal to every argument was simple and effective: Factories
pollute the environment. And to stop polluting the environment, factories have
got to go.
It’s hard to argue with that logic.
If only solving our biggest ecological problems were that simple. But the
world and its machinations aren’t as clear cut as my daughter’s attempts at
debate. Even in my own life where I continually aim to shrink my carbon
footprint–taking short showers, using biodegradable products, and eating
local–I’m still a consumer. I drive a car. I order online. I sometimes eat
chocolate with palm oil, buy questionable stuff from the dollar store, and own
at least one item of clothing that I’m 99 per cent sure is made with petroleum.
My goal is to tread lightly, but I'm also embarassingly aware that I sometimes
fall into that murky place of not always doing so.
I thought about this as I watched Water Canada’s most recent webinar
on the value and cost of water (page 27). The ways so many of us take our
abundance of water for granted without thinking about what’s involved
in getting the clean stuff to our taps or the work that goes into saving us
from ourselves (think: flushable wipes, fatbergs, and PFAS). We are so rich
with water in Canada that it’s easy to pass down the responsibility, and
ultimately the financial cost, of ensuring the loop of water from tap to toilet
to our waterways and back is sustainable and resilient. Abundance makes
us undervalue. And undervaluing compounds the risks Canada’s waters are
Although my daughter will be disappointed as she gets older to know that
her sensible cause and effect arguments won’t always win the day, her position
is still necessary. We need people to stand up. Just like we need organizations,
industries, and governments to work in tandem to educate, reprioritize,
organize, engage, and innovate the way we see, use, and care for water. It’s a
grown-up, complex, all-hands-on-deck thing where everyone plays an active
part in protecting, conserving, and ensuring the future of our water resources.
Jen Smith is the editor of Water Canada., email@example.com
COMING UP IN THE NEXT ISSUE: MAY/JUN
LANDSCAPE INTERVENTIONS TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE • AI AND MACHINE LEARNING
INTEGRATION FOR DRINKING WATER • CALGARY’S WATER CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY
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WAT E R C A N A D A . N E T
WATER C AN ADA • M ARCH/APRIL 2023