Celebrating Canada’s building water movement
Our reflections may be as disparate as childhood memories catching frogs in a local creek or taking a dip in the lake on a hot summer day to a drought that caused crops to wither in the fields or helping to put in place a new technology to clean up water supplies. And that gets to the heart of the matter: water connects us all – it binds together or our economy, communities, personal health and, of course, our environment.
Like all of my friends and colleagues in the water community, I have spent much of this Canada Water Week participating in events and sharing perspectives in the media, like this one here which went live this morning as part of the Canadian International Council’s “Untapped Value” series.
Now, as we celebrate World Water Day, I am reflecting on people and the work they do to protect and sustain the health of our waters each and every day. I am thinking about the amazing team of “Freshies” I have the pleasure of working with at WWF Canada: Mathieu Lebel and Rob Powell and their persistent efforts to ensure water for nature is protected in the Athabasca River; Linda Nowlan and James Casey who are playing a big role in the movement to see a modern Water Sustainability Act for BC, including getting a certain Canadian hockey star on the cover of a water policy report; and Simon Mitchell’s effort to bring together a new vision for the health of the St. John river, which just happens to run past his front door.
I am also thinking about the many, amazing colleagues we work with beyond the WWF freshie fold: my great friend and co-conspirator Lindsay Telfer of the Canadian Freshwater Alliance with whom we co-hosted last year’s Living Waters Rally; Anthony Watanabe and the rest of the Canadian Water Summit crew; Allen Curry at the Canadian Rivers Institute who is always willing to share his solid science advice with our team; and Waterkeeper pals across the country who are looking out for Lake Ontario, the Ottawa River, the North Saskatchewan River and others.
So as we wind down Canada Water Week I am left inspired – inspired to work alongside this amazing group of people, and the many, many more across the country, who are sowing the seeds of a new water movement in Canada. The best, my friends, is yet to come!