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Artist: Tony Biddle, 2001

Eau Canada – The Future of Canada’s Water

Are you looking to learn more about water issues in Canada? Then check out Eau Canada – The Future of Canada’s Water a book that I was involved in while a Master’s Student at the University of British Columbia. It is a great overview that helps to bust many of the water myths that we have in Canada – including that we are a country that is water abundant! The book also tackles issues around water governance, transboundary water, public vs private water management and the politics & ethics of water in this country.

I encourage you to check out the book website and to learn more about how water governance in Canada impacts your life.

Canada has long been seen as a land of natural bounty — a country of lush forests, abundant agriculture, and pristine lakes. Even as the sustainability of many of our resources has been questioned, Canadians have remained stubbornly convinced of the unassailability of our water. Mounting evidence suggests, however, that Canadian water is, in fact, under threat.Eau Canada assembles the country’s top water experts to discuss our most pressing water issues. Perspectives from a broad range of thinkers — geographers, environmental lawyers, former government officials, aquatic and political scientists, and economists — reflect the diversity of concerns in water management. Arguing that weak governance is at the heart of Canada’s water problems, this timely book identifies our key failings, explores debates over jurisdiction, transboundary waters, exports, and privatization, and maps out solutions for a more sustainable future.Water is arguably the most important resource of our time. How we govern it today has critical consequences for our future. Eau Canada provides a powerful discussion of the most controversial and pressing water issues facing Canadians today.

As I mentioned in my first post, I am interested in bringing awareness, change and courage to the right to water. Recently, I have focused on the conditions of water provisions on First Nations reserves in Canada. However, my other great interest is water issues around the world.

This is a link to an article in Spanish, written by a fellow blogger, about the significance of water conservation at home and need for political will at the municipal and provincial level to preserve this precious resource especially in desert areas such as in Mendoza, Argentina.

To read article please follow link:

http://ideasparamendoza.blogspot.com/2011/08/mendoza-y-el-oro-azul.html

Suzanne Moccia was invited to speak during the Ignite Change Talks at the Global Youth Assembly (GYA) conference in Edmonton, Alberta. She presented a program she is working on with colleague Emily Savage which aims to foster and improve partnerships between municipalities and adjacent First Nations, particularly when it comes to water agreements. She shared stories of how she came to do this type of work and what she has learned in terms of the importance of breaking down historical, cultural and political barriers that exist between First Nations and municipalities in order to work toward healthy sustainable communities. Inspiring stories as well as the challenges many communities are still facing will be discussed.

Suzanne Moccia works at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) on an innovative program called the Community Infrastructure Partnership Program (CIPP). The program is reaching out to municipalities and First Nations across Canada, helping to build capacity on relationship building between municipalities and First Nations, particularly when it comes to water and wastewater partnerships.

Suzanne has a Master’s Degree in Geography from the University of British Columbia and an Undergraduate Degree in International Relations and Environmental Politics. She also brings with her experience on water governance and community participation from her over 8 years of work experience in Canada and overseas in Argentina, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Jordan.

Together with her colleague Emily Savage she is visiting communities across Canada, listening to municipal and First Nations concerns and stories about the successes and barriers of cross cultural relationships when it comes to partnering together for healthy communities.

Watch Video Now!

The status of water in Canada is not exactly what the world imagines. This is a documentary about  life on a Canadian First Nation reserve and the inequalities of access to adequate water. Filmed in Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay).

This documentary brings up questions and concerns that both non-aboriginal and aborignal Canadians should be talking about.

Description of Film…

Life on the Reserve is a documentary that follows a few members of the Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay First Nation) community as they take us through what their daily life consists of. Life on the reserve was different from what I was expecting, although certain stereotypes were somewhat accurate, if any outsider had taken the chance to get to know the people living in this community, they would know that they are hard-working, humorous, down to earth people. This community also has quite a bit of development happening, they have a new band office, they have a brand new health centre and they are currently building a hockey rink arena for the kids to play hockey in the winter.Life on Gull Bay Reserve is difficult compared to living in a big city. They don’t have clean drinking water, so they have to get bottled water shipped to the community. The school is not big enough to have adequate space for the students and they don’t have a gymnasium. And despite being a small community of 400 on-reserve members, they have deep family conflicts that affect everyone’s daily life.The aim of this documentary is to introduce you to what living on a reserve is really like. Although Gull Bay is only one reserve in this great country, it has similarities to them all. I hope this trailer intrigues you to check out the film once it comes out in Fall 2010 and my hope is that after watching this movie you will see First Nations in a different light and begin to understand their struggle.

I recently saw this film, by students from Little Buffalo Alberta. Illustrating their water story … which is a story of lack of water on First Nations Reserves in Canada. I encourage you to watch the short film and spread the word!

“Our Water is a documentary produced by Lubicon Cree youth at the Little Buffalo School in northern Alberta as part of a video training workshop. The school has the only running water in the community. Community talk about what it’s like to live without clean, reliable drinking water. The film project was sponsored by Amnesty International, which has a campaign for Lubicon

 

Information from 2nd United Nations World Water Development Report, Water, A Shared Responsibility.

In most urban areas in low-and middle-income countries, between 25% and 50% of the population lacks provision for water and sanitation of a quality that greatly reduces the risk of human contamination with faecal-oral athogens.

As the urban population increases, many major cities have had to draw freshwater from increasingly distant watersheds, as local surface and groundwater sources no longer meet the demand for water, or as they become depleted or polluted.

In 2000, more than 900 million urban dwellers (nearly a third of all urban dwellers worldwide) lived in slums. A slum dweller may only have 5 to 10 litres per day at his or her disposal. A middle- or high-income household in the same city, however, may use some 50 to 150 litres per day, if not more.

In many places of the world, a staggering 30 to 40% of water or more goes unaccounted for due to water leakages in pipes and canals and illegal tapping.

An analysis of provision for water and sanitation in urban areas of different sizes in 43 low- and middle-income nations showed that in almost every case, the smaller the size-class for urban centres, the worse the provision. It was found that the percentage of households with piped or well water on the premises or with flush toilets generally declined with city size, and that generally the worst served urban populations were those in urban centres with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants.

More than one billion people in the world live without access to clean water! I live in Canada,and for many this is hard to believe since we are privileged with clean, lakes, rivers, streams and ponds. However, this image is quickly becoming a romantic idea of the past, as climate change, pollution, trans-boundary water conflicts and population put a great strain on our water resources. There is also an untold water story which is that of access to water on First Nations reserves.

I started my passion for water working overseas in Argentina and soon found myself in other countries who were also struggling with similar issues around water security, privatization and access for the poor. My work has brought me to Tunisia, Sri Lanks, Indonesia and Jordan, providing me with the ability to see that water is not an isolated issue, but something that impacts all of us.

Countries in the Global North and South are already suffering from the consequence of limited or no access to clean water. This is an important issue since “Water is Life!”

The purpose of this blog is to provide a form to learn and share ideas and courage when it comes to the right to water.

Thanks for caring even if its just drop by drop….

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