on water.

November 20, 2006

when i was in grade 9 or so, i remember that my science teacher, mr. collins, told me that our grad banquet was already in jeopardy; since it would fall at the same time as an important conference in vancouver regarding fresh drinking water in canada, it was very possible that every banquet hall of suitable size would already be booked. everything ended up working out in the end (mr. collins was a bit neurotic, though with the best intentions), but i wondered how serious an issue that canadian drinking water could possibly be. after all, didn’t we have a huge chunk of the world’s freshwater supply?

earlier, i remember watching an episode of james bond, jr. on television. our hero was in the middle east, speaking to an oil tycoon, when he comes up with the brilliant thought, “in the desert, the only thing more valuable than oil…is water!”

fast forward to today. half of metropolitan vancouver is under a boil-water advisory. one million people. granted, this is not a result of any cataclysm or whatnot. it’s merely been overly rainy and windy lately, sending too much muck into our water supply (greater vancouver gets most of its water supply from the capilano, seymour and coquitlam rivers).

this is ridiculous. people are kicking up such a fuss over this relatively minor thing…including me. the bottled-water thing is really hard to swallow.  you drink the tap water, you get a case of the runs. with the exception of those with weakened immune systems, that’s likely the worst that would happen if you were to chug from a fountain.

but what about our water supply? it’s thrown a city into chaos. and this is because people are at risk of a stomach-ache. what happens if we run out of clean drinking water?

people deal with this every day in so many developing countries. clean water is a basic necessity of life. this isn’t rocket science, really. everyone knows this. so, why is this a shock to people? don’t they know that they still have it pretty good?

today, i make a pledge. i vow to never take water for granted. i vow to stand up for my right to clean drinking water, as well as the rights of others (particularly those who, for one reason or another, have insufficient access).

comments, please: how about a 5-cent levy on bottled water to go toward protecting our water supply and developing access to drinking water in developing nations?

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