Share your thoughts on the creation of a Canada Water Agency
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Welcome to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s PlaceSpeak platform—this is a place for you to share your thoughts and ideas about current and future freshwater management challenges in Canada and the role a new Canada Water Agency could play in protecting our water.
The Government of Canada is creating a new Canada Water Agency to work together with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists and others to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean and well-managed. Environment and Climate Change Canada, with support from Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, is leading this exercise on behalf of the Government of Canada, and will be working with other federal departments and agencies over the coming months to explore current and projected future freshwater management challenges. We will also be engaging with provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, and others, through a variety of mechanisms, including the use of this PlaceSpeak site.
The mandate letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, dated December 13, 2019, directs the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson to: “With the support of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, create a new Canada Water Agency to work together with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists and others to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean and well-managed.” How you can help
We want to hear your thoughts and ideas about the role a new Canada Water Agency could play in protecting our waters.
Initial thoughts are welcome. Visit our Discussion page https://www.placespeak.com/en/topic/6321-protecting-canadas-fresh-water/#/discussions
to give us feedback.
We will also be posting detailed discussion aids in the future and posing specific questions – stay tuned!
In addition to providing your feedback through this PlaceSpeak site, you can also contact us directly at ec.water-eau.eccanada.ca at any time.
The importance of fresh water in Canada
Canada has the third largest renewable supply of fresh water in the world, spread across our vast country in lakes, rivers, aquifers, and glaciers. No resource is more important to Canadians than fresh, clean water—to our economy, health, and well-being. It is key to our national identity.Some of the uses of fresh water in Canada:
Fresh water from lakes, rivers and groundwater is our primary source of drinking water and is essential to human health and sanitation.
Fresh water is essential to the well-being of ecosystems including wetlands, which are among the most productive ecosystems in the world.
Fresh water plays a special role in Indigenous harvesting, culture, and society.
Fresh water is critical for nearly all industrial sectors, including agriculture, mining, energy, and manufacturing.The challenges with fresh water
Challenges to fresh water—both water quality and quantity—can differ vastly between regions and communities across Canada.
Freshwater quantity is generally acceptable. However, local changes in temperature, rainfall and snowfall can cause surface water levels to change throughout the year, sometimes resulting in flooding or droughts. The increasing recurrence of floods and droughts resulting from climate change is a growing cause for concern in different parts of the country. Freshwater quality in Canada is also considered generally acceptable, with some significant regional and local concerns. Water quality tends to deteriorate where there are pressures such as high population density, and intensive industrial and agricultural activity. Over the past three decades, there has been increasing stress on Canada’s freshwater quality due to climate change impacts, population growth, and changes in land use.
In Canada, roles and responsibilities for freshwater management are shared between federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, and Indigenous peoples. At the federal level more than 20 departments and agencies share responsibility for fresh water. Effective coordination is essential.Did you know?
Canadians have ranked water as Canada’s most important resource over the last decade.
Canada has the third largest renewable supply of fresh water in the world—about 7% of global renewable supply.
A significant amount of Canada’s renewable freshwater supply is not easily accessible, since 60% is stored in ice, or flows north into the Arctic Ocean, away from the majority of the population.
Agriculture is the number one consumer of water in Canada.
Many Inuit, First Nations, and Métis communities face significant freshwater challenges.
“Water challenges are top of mind for Canadians. We are going to work collaboratively with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, municipalities and stakeholders to ensure we can better manage and protect our precious freshwater resources. A new Canada Water Agency can play a key role in making that happen.”
Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Changehttps://www.placespeak.com/en/topic/6321-protecting-canadas-fresh-water/