was successfully added to your cart.

Wonderful Water, Weighty Concerns

Please follow and like us:
Facebook5
Facebook
Google+2
Google+
http://www.hikebiketravel.com/17004/water-water-canada/
Pinterest0
Pinterest
INSTAGRAM0
Stumbleupon

Today is World Water Day. And in Canada we’re lucky to have so much fresh water.

But we take our wonderful water for granted.

Canadians use an average of 329 liters of water a day per person (at least in 2009). That is nine times greater than that in the UK! and second only to the US in the developed world.

Today’s photos are all of lakes or rivers and just a reminder of how beautiful they make our world. And hopefully it’s a wake up call, that we all have a role in reducing water consumption.

"Fresh water stored in ice form - Canadian Rockies"

Fresh water stored in ice form - Yoho National Park

"Birkenhead Lake - north of Whistler"

Birkenhead Lake - north of Whistler

"The Bowron Lakes in British Columbia"

The Bowron Lakes in British Columbia

"The Northwest Territories from the air -dotted with lakes"

The Northwest Territories from the air - dotted with lakes

"Garibaldi Lake and glacier, British Columbia"

Garibaldi Lake and glacier, British Columbia

"Lake Superior - it has the largest surface of any lake in the world"

Lake Superior; it has the largest surface of any lake in the world

"Lake Okanagan"

Lake Okanagan - wine country with dry hills

"Surrounded by Lake Ontario - at the southern tip of Point Pelee Island"

Surrounded by Lake Ontario - at the southern tip of Point Pelee Island

"Lillian Lake, Kananaskis Country"

Lillian Lake, Kananaskis Country

"Chain Lakes and snowfields, Kananaskis Country, Alberta"

Chain Lakes and snowfields, Kananaskis Country, Alberta

The Rio Grande is the fifth longest river in the United States. The river was anything but grande when we saw it last year. In fact you could have jumped across a six foot section and landed in Mexico. You can still canoe it but rafting the Rio Grande is becoming a much less viable option.

"This dribble of river is the Rio Grande on the Texas-Mexico border"

This dribble of river is the Rio Grande on the Texas-Mexico border

"Victoria Falls, from the Zambia side"

Victoria Falls, from the Zambia side

"Lake Como, Italy"

Lake Como, Italy

"Mountain runoff in Chamonix"

Mountain runoff in Chamonix, France

Last fall we biked through Spain’s Andalusia region and observed the lengths the Moors went to back in the 8th century to develop irrigation. A trip to the Alhambra Palace in Granada showed us just how sophisticated they were. But unfortunately in the last six years rainfall has been dramatically diminished (not when we were there mind you) and in fact parts of Andalusia have masqueraded in movies as Saharan locales. Head over to the Costa del Sol, an area with pools and golf courses, and the water consumption is twice the national average per person per day! In fact people in the Costa del Sol region consume more water per person per day than any other European. That should give us all pause for thought.

"Lake Bermajales, Andalusia, Spain"

Lake Bermajales, Andalusia, Spain

"The city of Buffalo sitting on the shores of Lake Erie"

The city of Buffalo sitting on the shores of Lake Erie - one of the five Great Lakes

 What will you do today to lower your water use?

Here is this week’s submission to Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox a website where Nanci offers a chance every Thursday for fellow travelers to post their favourite photos.

Leigh McAdam

HikeBikeTravel

Author Hike Bike Travel

Avid world traveler. Craves adventure - & the odd wildly epic day. Gardener. Reader. Wine lover. Next big project - a book on 100 Canadian outdoor adventures.

More posts by Hike Bike Travel

Join the discussion 44 Comments

  • Definitely something to think about on World Water Day.
    I never really thought too much about water until I came here, where even though we’re surrounded by water, have rivers running all over the place and abundant rainfall in most places, we have occasional water lock off. So now, I’ve been doing what a lot of people here do, use and reuse as much of the water we can and use it as sparingly as possible. Thanks for this reminder, Leigh. Fabulous!

  • Definitely something to think about on World Water Day.
    I never really thought too much about water until I came here, where even though we’re surrounded by water, have rivers running all over the place and abundant rainfall in most places, we have occasional water lock off. So now, I’ve been doing what a lot of people here do, use and reuse as much of the water we can and use it as sparingly as possible. Thanks for this reminder, Leigh. Fabulous!

  • Michael says:

    Who knows? In the next decade, wars might be fought for this essential resource.

    • @Michael – Sure hope it doesn’t come to war but water is going to become a hugely political issue I think in our lifetime. Hope the scientists are working hard on large scale desalination plants.

  • Michael says:

    Who knows? In the next decade, wars might be fought for this essential resource.

    • @Michael – Sure hope it doesn’t come to war but water is going to become a hugely political issue I think in our lifetime. Hope the scientists are working hard on large scale desalination plants.

  • Dick Jordan says:

    Nice shots. I’ve been to Birkenhead, Okanagan, and Como.

  • Dick Jordan says:

    Nice shots. I’ve been to Birkenhead, Okanagan, and Como.

  • Bob R says:

    Great collection, obviously perfect for today. There really are some beautiful lakes in North America.

    And while on the topic, the water numbers for here in Slovenia (2010): 125mil m3 of water, average 42 m3 p/person. Each person in Slovenia consumes 117 lit of water/day.

    • @Bob It looks like we in Canada use almost double what you use. Part of it stems from growing up and really never giving water a second thought. Lakes were and still are everywhere and there was lots of precipitation. Now we see the water levels in the Great Lakes falling, changing weather patterns and many of us are on metered water. I know at least I am trying to pay more attention and do my bit to conserve. I think I should have a timer outside the shower and start cutting those short.

  • Bob R says:

    Great collection, obviously perfect for today. There really are some beautiful lakes in North America.

    And while on the topic, the water numbers for here in Slovenia (2010): 125mil m3 of water, average 42 m3 p/person. Each person in Slovenia consumes 117 lit of water/day.

    • @Bob It looks like we in Canada use almost double what you use. Part of it stems from growing up and really never giving water a second thought. Lakes were and still are everywhere and there was lots of precipitation. Now we see the water levels in the Great Lakes falling, changing weather patterns and many of us are on metered water. I know at least I am trying to pay more attention and do my bit to conserve. I think I should have a timer outside the shower and start cutting those short.

  • Lisa says:

    Beautiful photos and definitely food for thought on World Water Day. I think the positive news is that children are far more aware of the need for conservation than people of our generation or of our parents’ as it is an essential part of many school programs. My younger daughter’s school has been designated a “Green School” and she constantly reminds us if we are being wasteful with our water consumption, electricity usage etc.

    • @Lisa Wonderful to get such a positive comment and great to hear they’re doing something in the schools. That’s usually what it takes; educate the younger generation so water conservation becomes second nature to them. And nothing like kids pressuring parents to get some action around the house. The downside, at least from what I read in the papers, is that the greatest use of water is industrial. Perhaps one day we’ll get labeling on every purchase we make – telling us how much carbon and water go into making it.

  • Lisa says:

    Beautiful photos and definitely food for thought on World Water Day. I think the positive news is that children are far more aware of the need for conservation than people of our generation or of our parents’ as it is an essential part of many school programs. My younger daughter’s school has been designated a “Green School” and she constantly reminds us if we are being wasteful with our water consumption, electricity usage etc.

    • @Lisa Wonderful to get such a positive comment and great to hear they’re doing something in the schools. That’s usually what it takes; educate the younger generation so water conservation becomes second nature to them. And nothing like kids pressuring parents to get some action around the house. The downside, at least from what I read in the papers, is that the greatest use of water is industrial. Perhaps one day we’ll get labeling on every purchase we make – telling us how much carbon and water go into making it.

  • Thanks for the heads up about World Water Day. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t know that. I try to be conscious about water consumption, but I know I can do better. It should be a big concern for us all. I’ll be sharing this post to help spread the word. Great photos, Leigh.

  • Thanks for the heads up about World Water Day. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t know that. I try to be conscious about water consumption, but I know I can do better. It should be a big concern for us all. I’ll be sharing this post to help spread the word. Great photos, Leigh.

  • John says:

    Love your pictures and message. Don’t know where you get your UK figure from. The average consumption according to the BBC is 150 litres per day. The hidden factor is that most of the water we use doesn’t come through our tap or out of a bottle of water. About 3% is seen by the consumer. The rest ins embedded water in the products we use. So when we make a cup of coffee say 250ml it actually has used 140 litres of water to grow and process.
    It has been estimated that each Briton is responsible for 4645 litres per day! http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/aug/20/water.food1
    It is a very weighty issue. Four and a half tonnes per day per person in fact but the real cost is far higher.

    • @John – First off thank you so much for taking the time to leave a detailed comment. I got my figure from one of the Canadian newspapers – but wonder where they got their figure from. I agree that we don’t see the water that gets used and that is one of the major points that needs to hit home with people. Industry is the biggest consumer of water. We all need to be more conservation minded but if industrial usage continues to grow, we won’t actually make progress. Businesses and governments have to be on board. Further down in the comments section Lisa with Gone With The Family mentions that her daughter’s school is very focused on all things green. Nice to see some positive news.

      Your number is alarming. I don’t believe my numbers were taking into account the magnitude of what happens on a day to day basis with embedded products. But when I’m in England I definitely feel like people monitor the water usage a lot more – especially with things like showers, than we in North America do. I can only imagine that our Canadian numbers are that much higher! It’s a lot of work to get real, objective numbers but that’s the only way in the long run we will be able to do any comparison with confidence.

  • John says:

    Love your pictures and message. Don’t know where you get your UK figure from. The average consumption according to the BBC is 150 litres per day. The hidden factor is that most of the water we use doesn’t come through our tap or out of a bottle of water. About 3% is seen by the consumer. The rest ins embedded water in the products we use. So when we make a cup of coffee say 250ml it actually has used 140 litres of water to grow and process.
    It has been estimated that each Briton is responsible for 4645 litres per day! http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/aug/20/water.food1
    It is a very weighty issue. Four and a half tonnes per day per person in fact but the real cost is far higher.

    • @John – First off thank you so much for taking the time to leave a detailed comment. I got my figure from one of the Canadian newspapers – but wonder where they got their figure from. I agree that we don’t see the water that gets used and that is one of the major points that needs to hit home with people. Industry is the biggest consumer of water. We all need to be more conservation minded but if industrial usage continues to grow, we won’t actually make progress. Businesses and governments have to be on board. Further down in the comments section Lisa with Gone With The Family mentions that her daughter’s school is very focused on all things green. Nice to see some positive news.

      Your number is alarming. I don’t believe my numbers were taking into account the magnitude of what happens on a day to day basis with embedded products. But when I’m in England I definitely feel like people monitor the water usage a lot more – especially with things like showers, than we in North America do. I can only imagine that our Canadian numbers are that much higher! It’s a lot of work to get real, objective numbers but that’s the only way in the long run we will be able to do any comparison with confidence.

  • Nancie says:

    Stunning shots, Leigh. I know that we Canadians are so lucky to have such great water, and most of us do take it for granted. I had never purchased bottle water until I moved to Korea. I’m told that there are a lot of heavy metals in the water here, so I never drink from the tap. I don’t think I waste water, or at least I try not to. Being more conscious of what I am doing with water is not a bad idea.

    • @Nancie It’s such a shame that bottled water is a necessity in so many countries – especially when you see the pollution caused by the plastic. That at least is one area I think people in North America can change. Thank you for your comment Nancie.

  • Nancie says:

    Stunning shots, Leigh. I know that we Canadians are so lucky to have such great water, and most of us do take it for granted. I had never purchased bottle water until I moved to Korea. I’m told that there are a lot of heavy metals in the water here, so I never drink from the tap. I don’t think I waste water, or at least I try not to. Being more conscious of what I am doing with water is not a bad idea.

    • @Nancie It’s such a shame that bottled water is a necessity in so many countries – especially when you see the pollution caused by the plastic. That at least is one area I think people in North America can change. Thank you for your comment Nancie.

  • Your beautiful pictures are a great reminder of just how precious our water is. Some of your (and other commenters) statistics are just staggering and definitely food for thought.

    A huge source of water usage (at least in the U.S.) is raising cows and other livestock for food, so I’m proud to say that my contribution to water conservation is being a vegetarian :-)

  • Your beautiful pictures are a great reminder of just how precious our water is. Some of your (and other commenters) statistics are just staggering and definitely food for thought.

    A huge source of water usage (at least in the U.S.) is raising cows and other livestock for food, so I’m proud to say that my contribution to water conservation is being a vegetarian :-)

  • What a great post, Leigh, not only for the stunning scenic shots but for the underlying message of conservation. I had to mark this on my calendar for next year. I guess it’s no surprise that the US consumes the most water seeing how I always see people washing their cars on driveways among other wasteful things. Never mind that we’ve had a drought in California for years. Kids though are more aware than adults with conservation so there may be hope =)

    • @Mary It’s a minor thing but my husband and I have vowed to have much shorter showers – and we already do quite a bit on the conservation front but need to do more. I think I’ll be looking into collecting rainwater for my garden too. Again, a minor contribution but a long term one.

  • What a great post, Leigh, not only for the stunning scenic shots but for the underlying message of conservation. I had to mark this on my calendar for next year. I guess it’s no surprise that the US consumes the most water seeing how I always see people washing their cars on driveways among other wasteful things. Never mind that we’ve had a drought in California for years. Kids though are more aware than adults with conservation so there may be hope =)

    • @Mary It’s a minor thing but my husband and I have vowed to have much shorter showers – and we already do quite a bit on the conservation front but need to do more. I think I’ll be looking into collecting rainwater for my garden too. Again, a minor contribution but a long term one.

  • Sophie says:

    Interesting stats, Leigh. We tend to take water for granted here as well. as it’s copious, fresh and very, very cheap. Must admit I drew a sigh of relief when I saw we weren’t too bad, at least according to this map http://chartsbin.com/view/1455

    We do hear a lot about not letting water run when you brush you teeth, not showering for more than 5 minutes, etc.

    I’m afraid I agree with Michael that it’s not unlikely wars will be fought over water, especially in areas where one country can control the water supply of another, like the Tigris-Euphrates.

    • @Sophie I hope you and Michael are both wrong that water supply will come down to wars. Only time will tell. That scenario does make one think al ot more on how to get by with much less water.

  • Sophie says:

    Interesting stats, Leigh. We tend to take water for granted here as well. as it’s copious, fresh and very, very cheap. Must admit I drew a sigh of relief when I saw we weren’t too bad, at least according to this map http://chartsbin.com/view/1455

    We do hear a lot about not letting water run when you brush you teeth, not showering for more than 5 minutes, etc.

    I’m afraid I agree with Michael that it’s not unlikely wars will be fought over water, especially in areas where one country can control the water supply of another, like the Tigris-Euphrates.

    • @Sophie I hope you and Michael are both wrong that water supply will come down to wars. Only time will tell. That scenario does make one think al ot more on how to get by with much less water.

Leave a Reply