Muskoka is fortunate to have so much freshwater and it is easy to take our clean, plentiful water for granted. Many people across the planet don’t have such easy access to safe water supplies. World Water Day, observed by the United Nations on March 22nd every year, is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis.
Today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home. The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015 by the United Nations, include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.
The 2017 theme for the U.N.’s World Water Day is “Why Waste Water?” Globally, the vast majority of all the wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature without being treated or reused – polluting the environment, and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials.
Instead of wasting wastewater, we can reduce and reuse it. For example, in our homes we can reuse greywater in our gardens. In our cities, we can treat and reuse wastewater for green spaces. In industry and agriculture, we can treat and recycle discharge for things like cooling systems and irrigation.
Muskoka’s water is kept healthy in part because of the excellent wastewater treatment facilities we have. Muskoka’s nine municipal sewage systems and nine hauled sewage lagoons protect source water for drinking water and the integrity of the surface water within Muskoka. Whether you use municipal services or not, all of Muskoka benefits from a healthy environment.
While water is scarce in many parts of the world, we are fortunate to have an abundance of it in Muskoka. In fact, 15% of Muskoka is covered in water, found in almost 680 lakes (over 8 ha in size) and 17 river systems.
During World Water Day, which falls during Canada Water Week (running March 20th until March 26th), take a moment to reflect on how important water is to Muskoka and pledge to protect it, whether by conserving water, preventing pollution, or encouraging its responsible use.
Connect with local environmental organizations, such as the Muskoka Watershed Council, to learn more about how you can play a part in protecting and enhancing Muskoka’s water. Our individual actions can add up to a big impact!