World Water Day

Think global, drink local on March 22

You can make a difference


water pouring into glass
photo © Radekwojnar

• To mark World Water Day, the Council of Canadians is encouraging everyone to take action for water in their community. There are few things more important than clean, safe water, but the lack of federal government legislation, damaging and polluting industries and water privatization efforts are putting our water sources at risk.

You can make a difference. The fight to reclaim water as a commons – a public resource available to all – is happening now. Across Canada, people are working together to get protections put back on lakes and rivers in Canada; they are fighting massive projects such as pipelines and fracking that endanger waterways and they are standing up for public water in their communities.

Join us and help protect water by organizing or participating in World Water Day events in your community. Let us know what you are doing so we can highlight it on our website. E-mail your event details to and don’t forget to check out our water publications, which you can use to help inform people and raise awareness.

Source: The Council of Canadians,

Save Shawnigan water

Shawnigan Lake is located on Vancouver Island, approximately 48 kilometres north of Victoria. Three years ago, the people of Shawnigan Lake were informed of a proposed plan to turn a quarry, located on Stebbings road at the top end of the Shawnigan watershed, into a contaminated soil site.

The proposal would allow South Island Aggregates (SIA), a gravel company, to bring in 100,000 tonnes of contaminated soil each year for 50 years and dump it on their site, while still operating as an active quarry. The contaminants listed in the permit include dioxins, furans, phenols, hydrocarbons, arsenic, lead, chlrorides and a myriad other toxins and chemicals known to be harmful to human health.

The people of Shawnigan have been united and vocal in their resistance to this plan, but their opposition has been consistently and steadfastly ignored.

The Environmental Appeal Board hearings lasted 32 days and a significant volume of evidence was presented from experts, including geologists, hydro-geologists, engineers and a water treatment specialist. The experts agreed the information presented by SIA’s engineers, Active Earth, was inaccurate, insufficient and, at times, misleading. One expert, on the record, commented, “This is crazy.”

The Environmental Appeal Board – despite the lack of testimony from Active Earth and the numerous errors and flaws in Active Earth’s Technical Assessment Report – chose to uphold this permit. The people of Shawnigan Lake do not accept this decision with its risk and will continue to fight until the permit is revoked. The Provincial Cabinet has the jurisdiction to overturn this permit and protect the drinking water of 12,000 people. They must do the right thing.

Sign the Save Shawnigan Water petition at

Source: Sonia Furstenau is the Shawnigan Lake Area Director.

Salish Sea Marine Sanctuary & Coastal Trail

North America’s First Bioregional Marine Sanctuary

It’s time for a new paradigm. The time has come for the people and governments of Coast Salish Nations, British Columbia and Washington State to come together in unprecedented, unified action to protect and restore the Salish Sea Marine Sanctuary. By working together, and accomplishing the core objective, we will protect and restore this rare paradise we have been given. The core objective is to restore natural animal populations throughout our bioregion to more than 50% of historic levels as soon as possible.

By doing what is necessary to accomplish the core objective, we, and future generations throughout the Salish Sea Marine Sanctuary, will freely enjoy an abundance of pure water to drink, clean air to breathe, healthy, natural foods to eat, old growth forests and an abundant diversity of land and sea animals.

Join the movement, spread the word and take action at


Our Living Waters

Our Living Waters is about amplifying the influence and impact of the many, diverse organizations – from foundations and companies to cottage associations and environmental groups to indigenous communities and fishing clubs – that comprise Canada’s water community.

Our Living Waters has developed into an open platform for positive change that is driving collaboration, strengthening networks, uniting voices and providing a common basis to mark and measure progress toward the audacious goal at the heart of it all: all waters in Canada in good health.


Join the Blue Dot Campaign

by Sophika Kostyniuk

Because of Blue Dot supporters, more than 110 municipalities have passed environmental rights declarations. When we started this campaign, we aimed to pass five declarations in the first year. We never imagined this movement would ignite so quickly, right across the country.

Please help us continue to build on this incredible momentum. Join us March 22 for World Water Day when we’ll come together to call on the federal government to recognize one of our critical environmental rights: the right to clean water.

Today, more than 11.5 million people (one-third of the population) live in a community that has declaired the right to a healthy environment. And now we have a federal government promising that “Canada is back!” as an environmental leader.

On World Water Day, we’ll call on the federal government to recognize our right to clean water. We’ll also talk with our friends and families about protecting water through environmental rights legislation. Join us at: Email:

Sophika Kostyniuk is the National Organizing Manager for the Blue Dot movement.

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