Water is one of the world’s most precious resources, and although Canada seems to have plenty of lakes and rivers, we need to be just as careful as every other country in conserving our share of this fast-depleting “liquid gold.”

Bob Sandford, an adviser to the Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy, said Canadians are among the world’s greatest water wasters and polluters — second only to Americans in per capita water use. Although we know we need to protect it, water remains one of our most undervalued resources.

Andre St Hilaire, member of the Canadian Water Resources Association, said it’s important to make conservation efforts on an individual and national level. If we don’t take the time to conserve water now, by 2031 we may be making some of these more drastic lifestyle changes:

Everyone will have to become vegetarian.

The amount of water it takes to raise animals for food is extraordinarily high compared to what it takes to grow food sources like vegetables, soy protein and rice. While a pound of beef requires about 2,500 gallons of water, a pound of soy only needs 250 to grow.

Turfgrass will be eliminated.

Turfgrass (which covers the lawns of thousands of homes in Canada) is potentially the single biggest waste of fresh water in Canada and the U.S. Indeed, a massive 30 per cent of the available drinking water in America goes to feeding turfgrass (a plant that isn’t a food source).


The population will have to shift north.

While Canada is perceived to be a water-rich country, almost all the available fresh water we have is directed north while the majority of the population is in the south. In order to make the most of the fresh water we have, people are going to have to head up to the territories along with the water.

No more plumbing.

Toilets, showers, baths, dishwashers and laundry machines are some of the biggest drains on the world’s fresh water resources. In order to conserve water, all this activity will have to take place without the use of plumbing — through septic tanks, sponge baths and cycling water.

Emily Rack, 21, is a fourth-year Journalism student at Carleton University.

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