Two out of every three nations worldwide will be “water-stressed” by the year 2025, according to the findings of a report being released at the Lake Winnipeg Water Summit this week.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and its Water Innovation Centre brought together creative minds from government, business, civil society and academia for a conference called Lake Winnipeg Basin Summit — Our Lake Our Solutions on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
The RBC Blue Water Project provided funding to support the “Water and the Future of the Canadian Economy” report, authored by the Innovolve Group. Dr. Anthony Watanabe, President and CEO of Innovolve, was the keynote speaker on Nov. 30 and presented the report. Watanabe discussed Canadian water technology and the long-term productivity of the Canadian economy in regard to water management.
“Water plays a huge role in the economies of many nations worldwide including here in Canada,” said Watanabe, who started the Innovolve Group eight years ago – a leading consulting firm that specializes in sustainability management. “We need to start looking at ways that we can leverage the resources we have globally, but also to improve the management of our own water supply.”
Other key findings of the report include:
—The nexus between water and energy, and between water and water quality, is especially prominent for nations that have a powerful claim on future economic development and for companies looking to stay competitive in a water-scarce world.
—Water’s annual measurable contribution to the Canadian economy ranges from $7.5 billion to $23 billion.
—The global water industry is projected to reach US$1 trillion by 2020.
—Canada has a burgeoning water-technology sector that can be leveraged to offer global solutions to local challenges.
Screening of a new documentary “Choking Lake Winnipeg” was shown to invited guests as part of the conference agenda. Production of the 25-minute video is a partnership project between several community foundations across the Lake Winnipeg watershed, including The Winnipeg Foundation, Community Foundation’s of Canada, and the University of Lethbridge’s Dr. Jim Byrne. Public showings of the video will take place at a later date. http://www.iisd.org/publications/pub.aspx?pno=1306
2009 Choking Lake Winnipeg http://scientiaproductions.com/choking/