Via: GLOBE-Net, OTTAWA, June 17, 2010
The world’s supply of freshwater is limited and finite. While Canada is blessed with an abundance of freshwater, an expected increase in the development of the natural resource sectors begs the question of whether our country has enough to support economic growth while also maintaining the health of our ecosystems.
This is the main conclusion of a new report from The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) that examines the sustainability of Canada’s water supply and its use by the nation’s major resource sectors.
The report, which reviews water use by the agriculture, forest, mining, electricity and oil and gas sectors, says that the time is now for Canadian policy makers, businesses, environmental groups and other concerned Canadians to look at ways to modernize outdated and inadequate water management practices.
The report, called Changing Currents: Water Sustainability and the Future of Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors concludes:
Data on precise water use and access to such data is limited, making it difficult to know the national supply of water and the amounts being used.
Approaches to allocating water in most of Canada are increasingly outdated and may no longer be appropriate given new environmental pressures and competing economic interests.
Several levels of governments share jurisdiction over monitoring and managing water, leading to potential confusion among businesses which need water for production purposes.
There is an overall lack of capacity and expertise across the country to effectively manage water resources. The impacts of climate change are expected to transform the way Canadians need to manage water resources.