Statistics Canada confirms we’re losing water
Guest blog by Blair Eveleigh, Associate Editor, Cottage Life
This can’t be good: Looks like we’re losing our water supply. According to a new study just released by Statistics Canada, every year from 1971 to 2004 the southern part of the country—where many of us live, work, and cottage—lost 3.5 cubic kilometers of renewable freshwater, the equivalent to the water contained in 1.4 million Olympic-size swimming pools. Overall, we’ve lost 8.5 per cent of the total water yield—gone, vanished, giving us that much less each year to play around in, to drink, to farm with, to do all the things we do with water that we take for granted.
The StatsCan report doesn’t mention any reasons why the water yield (the supply of freshwater made up of precipitation and melted ice that flow over and under the ground, eventually reaching our lakes and rivers) is lower every year, but the trend is disconcerting, especially with parts of the U.S. experiencing perennial drought and talk of pipelines and wholesale drinking water transfers from Canada. Our mindset has always been that freshwater is renewable and we’ve got tons of it (an estimated several hundred thousand lakes in Ontario alone). Do we?