Canadians who view the world through blue-tinted glasses need to remove their shades, suggests Toronto Star columnist Carol Goar. Goar pits one expert against another in her coverage of a working breakfast on water resources hosted by the Canada Institute on North American Issues, the Canadian arm of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.
In a world of looming water shortages, we’re lucky – but not as lucky as many Canadians think. Canada has 7 per cent of the world’s fresh water. But nearly half of it drains into the Arctic Ocean or Hudson’s Bay, too far north for most of the population. Three-quarters of our lakes and rivers are, likewise, in uninhabited regions.
“Our purported abundance in water is a myth – yet it becomes part of the reason governments believe they can ignore the need for a water policy,” says David Brooks, one of Canada’s leading resource economists.