Water is too precious to waste

After decades of treating lakes and rivers like toilets, it's time we cleaned up our act.

Welcome to the first day of Spring (March 20). If the weather is consistent with what we’ve been getting so far this year, it’s probably snowing.

But that’s okay. My snowdrops have been in bloom since March 4 and the crocuses can’t be far behind. Hopefully they’ll be up before the dandelions.

This is Canada Water Week (March 19-25). If you didn’t already know that, it’s okay. We suspect there are at least four national, international and/or provincial “weeks” claiming every week of the year. Some of them can be pretty silly.

In Canada we are used to having an over supply of fresh drinking water.

Or not so fresh, but with the right amount of chemicals, even the tap water from the Detroit River could be drunk safely. The fact that I am still alive is proof of that.

I’ve also seen, first hand, what we have done to this treasure of fresh water. In the form of the Great Lakes, our governments have allowed industry to line the banks to use the water for cooling, and for “burying” their chemically-tainted waste.

We think twice about letting that happen these days, but those industries were built before the second World War, when we didn’t concern ourselves with things like that. Nowadays, we may wish we had.

Water conservation has become a common term. Our towns ask us to be conscious not to waste water and we can buy all sorts of products to help us save water in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room.

There is more good drinking water used in our area to water the grass and flowers every day during the growing season than most arid countries see in a year.

Last year I started to put in a drip irrigation system. (This year I’m taking it all out and re-doing the whole mess, but that’s another story.) It’s just one way to save water in towns like Ashcroft and Cache Creek where the water drains quickly through our sandy soil, and the winds carry away any moisture that’s left.

Our generation of environmental visionaries has a lot of wasted years to make up for if we’re going to save our water sources.