Cameron Wigmore, Green Party Member: Water, Water, Everywhere

March 17, 2007

Water, Water, Everywhere

New Trail Magazine
University of Alberta
Spring 2007
by Kim Green

Alberta development, drought, and ongoing climate change could transform an oasis of prosperity into a future mirage.

Full Article here

There is no such thing as new water. The Earth is a closed system and the water that quenched the thirst of dinosaurs is the same recycled water we’re drinking today. In fact, it’s been estimated that eight people before you have consumed every glass of water you drink so the same molecules of H2O that passed over the lips of Napoleon, Columbus, Joan of Arc or Shakespeare could be snaking their way through an underground labyrinth of pipes to a faucet in your home or office...
...Alberta, like much of B.C. and Saskatchewan, lies in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains and the southern portions of these provinces comprise the driest large area of southern Canada. And although in recent years precipitation in Alberta has been sufficient to sustain growth, there’s no reason to believe that this circumstance will continue. Research conducted at the U of A by David Schindler and William Donahue, ’87 BSc, ’90 BSc (SpecCert), ’00 PhD, found that the region’s climate has been unusually stable and moist in the 20th century and that the drought that occurred in what is commonly known as the Dirty ’30s was mild in comparison to earlier centuries where several droughts per century were common, often lasting as long as several decades.

David Schindler - Thinking Globally

“It amazes me,” says Schindler, “that there are people who still think that the glaciers that are at the headwaters of all the major rivers in this province don’t provide any discernable flow quotient to the rivers. It’s clear that about 15 percent of the water in the rivers is coming from these glaciers, and they’ve all experienced significant decline in recent history, some of them retreating up the mountainsides by almost two kilometres during the last century.

“We also think that the 20th century has been normal in the province in terms of our precipitation patterns. But nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s been unusually moist and stable compared to previous centuries and we could be facing a drought in the future that will make the one we experienced in the so-called Dirty ’30s look pale by comparison. I think sometime, probably in the next quarter century, we are going to find ourselves in a several-year drought and then we’re going to know what water scarcity is all about.”

I've been watching the Drought Watch maps at Ag Canada and I'm a bit concerned. It's been a dry winter, and the 30, 60, & 90 day rolling maps show just how dry. Less glacial meltwater for the rivers, increased water usage by the oilsands operations, possible water table damage by CBM fracing, megamall proposals proposing to draw water from one river and dump their wastewater in another... it all smells of mismanagement and impending water shortage.

If we want the government to step in and ensure that our resources are used in a sustainable fashion, then we have to ask ourselves what sort of government will do this for us. If we want a government that will consider the well being of the people and the stewardship of our land, rather than just the industries competing for our land and water, then we have to ask what the track record of our previous government has been.

The information I wish to convey most of all is that the Green Party has a plan to conserve our ecology while preserving our economy. The Green Party has an economic plan that considers our health, our land & our children. It is head and shoulders above the other parties. Check it out here, here & here.

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