Order your Rain barrel today at www.rainbarrel.ca/CSGpicton

The United Nations’ theme on World Water Day this year is water and energy, as both are so interconnected and vital to the survival of modern civilization. Humanity can’t exist without fresh drinking water, and our society requires energy to continue to function. It is crucial that we consider whether this energy is derived from clean or polluting sources, and how the methods for converting this energy impacts precious fresh water resources.

Below are some facts and figures from a report which are drawn from the upcoming edition of the World Water Development Report on Water and Energy that will be published in March 2014 and launched on the occasion of World Water Day celebrations in Tokyo, Japan.   www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/home/en

-Hydroelectricity is the largest renewable source for power generation and its share in total electricity generation is expected to remain around 16% through 2035.

-Most of the water used for hydropower generation is returned to the river though some evaporates and there are important impacts on timing and quality of stream flows.

-Roughly 75% of all industrial water withdrawals are used for energy production.

-For developing countries alone $103 billion per year are required to finance water, sanitation and wastewater treatment through 2015.

-Energy is required for two components of water provision: pumping and treatment (before and after use).

-Waterborne transit is one of the most energy efficient. Inland towing barges are more than 3 times more energy efficient than road trucks and 40% more efficient than rail.

-In Stockholm, public buses, waste collection trucks and taxis run on biogas produced from sewage treatment plants.

-In 2011, 768 million people did not use an improved source of drinking-water and 2.5 billion people did not use improved sanitation.

-More than 1.3 billion people still lack access to electricity, and roughly 2.6 billion use solid fuels (mainly biomass) for cooking.

-Wind power is the most sustainable source of renewable energy, mainly because of its low greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption.

-Approximately 15–18 billion m3 of freshwater resources are contaminated by fossil fuel production every year.

-China’s target to produce 12 million metric tonnes of biodiesel by 2020 requires an amount of water approximately equivalent to the annual discharge of the Yellow River.

-The demand for biofuels feedstock is the largest source of new demand for agricultural production in decades, and it was a major factor behind the 2007−08 spike in food prices.

-The installed worldwide geothermal electricity capacity could be increased from the current 10 GW to 70 GW with present technology, and to 140 GW with enhanced technology.

One of the groups marking this day, is the Council of Canadians. They are encouraging everyone to take action for water in their community. World Water Day is a great opportunity to send a message to governments and industry that we will protect our water despite fossil fuel projects, budget cuts and the attack on scientists and social movements.

There are 5 key areas that they are focusing on this year; Fracking. Great Lakes. Energy East. Blue Communities and Drinking Water in Indigenous Communities, which are elaborated on at www.canadians.org/event/world-water-day . You can help make a difference. The fight to reclaim water as a commons – a public resource available to all – is happening now.

You are invited to join them to help protect water by organizing or participating in World Water Day events in your community, and by practicing water conservation methods each and every day of the year. Awareness is the beginning, but action is where real change happens in our world.

CSG is doing its part by raising local water awareness and making rain barrels available with much of the proceeds going to an environmental scholarship fund for graduating PEC High school students.Order your rain barrels now at www./rainbarrel.ca/CSGpicton for May 17th pick up.

Submitted by Don Ross for County Sustainability Group

This and other CSG articles published in County Weekly News can be found by following the Resources link at our web page: www.countysustainability.ca