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As Canadians, we all have a personal connection to water. It touches every aspect of our lives, and sustains our economies, cultures, and communities from coast to coast to coast. Watersheds—areas of land where all water naturally drains to the same place like a stream or lake—are a vital part of our ecosystems, from the headwaters that serve as the source of water and spawning grounds for fish, to the lakes and rivers in towns and cities where people have gathered for millennia.
The perceived abundance of water in the world means that it is easy to take this resource for granted. Yet we see lakes accumulating with algae, water laced with toxic chemicals, struggling fish populations, boil water advisories, and some rivers overflowing their banks while others are in peril of drying up completely. With these issues and the complex challenges of climate change and a growing population, developing new ways of safeguarding the health of our watersheds is increasingly important.
Water supply and quality affects every corner of the country and all parts of Canadian society, including food, energy, climate, and health. We support holistic solutions that consider how water connects with ecological, human, economic, and cultural well-being. Watersheds span the artificial boundaries defining cities, provinces, and countries. We facilitate leadership in water from the grassroots to the national level, including marine planning on the Pacific Coast, developing binational coordination in the Great Lakes, and supporting First Nations and Inuit communities in sustaining livelihoods and cultural sustenance that depend on their rapidly-changing waterways.
Boating, fishing, swimming… with summer around the corner, it’s safe to say many Canadians will …