Monday, 22 March 2010

It's World Water Day!

In celebration of World Water Day, take a look at this excellent video called, The Story of Bottled Water. It's made by the same folks who brought us the similarly excellent piece called The Story of Stuff.

Take a few moments today to be mindful of the water you drink and use, and be thankful for your glass of clean tapwater. Clean safe water is a human right, not a commodity to be sold only to those who can afford it!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Drought Thyme?

It's been really warm around here lately, and the snow is melting really quickly. When I went outside this morning I noticed that a lot of my herb/flower garden was uncovered, even though I have been moving snow on top of it when I get the chance. When I scrunched down to take a closer look today, lo and behold the thyme was greening up already. Usually the chives are the first things to get growing, but not this year.

Seeing green this early in the year - it's not even technically Spring yet - is a relief to the eyes, which have seen just white, brown and gray for so many months. But I'm worried actually. Because we have had so little snow this Winter. So little precipitation of any kind for much of the past year. Last year's growing conditions were tough, and I worry that we're in for yet more drought.

Last week we got another batch of propaganda from the local MP, and in it was something useful for a change: a link to Agriculture Canada's website on drought monitoring. I checked it out and came across several disturbing maps, showing just how dry its been and for how long. Here's one that shows data for this past Winter. You can see that everywhere in the prairies has had lower than average rain fall, and in the Edmonton area (where it's brown on the map) we have had between 40 - 60% of the average. Areas further north are even worse off.

World Water Day is coming up on March 22nd. I'm going to see how little water I can use on that day. We do fairly well around our house for conserving water, but we could still do better. Canada's per capita water consumption is quite dismal. I think we have the false perception that we have an abundance of fresh water in this country. But maps like this one show that appearances can be deceiving.

How much water does your household use? Could you use less?