Canada's Fresh Water BY: Mohammad khan

Information on Canada's Water Supply

How much fresh water supply does Canada have?

Over 70 percent of the Earth is covered in water, about 3 percent of that is freshwater. 1.69 percent of that freshwater is accessible for human use. As the other 1.71 percent of the freshwater is locked up in icecaps and glaciers. Canada holds over 20 percent of the world's freshwater supply ranking it third worldwide for the country with most accessible freshwater. Most of the Canadian freshwater is located in The Great Lakes. This sector make up 1% of Canada's GDP.

Canada's Water supply and Great Lakes Picture 1: Picture 2:

Canada’s renewable water source

As Canada holds a large amount of the world’s freshwater, the amount of water extracted should be tracked to make sure we do not lose more water than we can gain back. It is estimated that annually 2,435km3 of freshwater is returned to Canada water supply which is almost the amount of water in Lake Huron. The water supply is renewed by the water cycle. The water above ground is renewed when precipitation occurs and the water flows above ground creating runoff, as the runoff travels on the ground most of the water ends up in lakes or rivers thus recharging its supply. The groundwater is also recharged by the precipitation but instead of making runoff the water percolates moving to recharge the aquifers underground. In 2011 it was estimated that Canada had received 5,352km3 of precipitation more than half of which was added back to its water supply. The Canadian government had stated that less than 1 percent of the great lakes water is renewed annually.

Picture 1: Picture 2:

How Canada's Water Supply Being Used?

Canada's large water supply is distributed to different sectors, in 2005 it was recorded that 56% of Canada's freshwater extracted was used for residential use, 18% is used for commercial use, 19% industrial users, 7% of that was wasted. According to the national post 349 liters of water is consumed by a person every day. The Canadian government exports its water mainly to the U.S this mainly used for factories, farms, power plants, and homes. This water is usually distributed near the U.S and Canada border. This has provided water for places facing droughts, as many parts of North America is facing depleted ground water, droughts and shrinking reservoirs. Much of the water is also bottled and sold as profit.

A hydroelectric plan in Niagara Falls, On; Pie chart of industrial water usage. Picture 1: Picture 2:

Envoronmental Affects of Water Extractions

Ways Water Bottling Companies are Affecting the Environment

Water bottling companies produce some of the most pollution in the world as only Toronto uses more than 100 million bottles a year. 35% of which are not recycled and mostly end up in our oceans. This is also polluting our fresh water supply and oceans killing thousands of animals. Just to produce a billion plastic bottles they need to use 90 million litres of oil. Due to water companies removing water from Canadian land many cities are facing droughts as more water is being taken at a time than can be restored. The droughts are causing it to be more difficult to grow crops and raise animals. These are ways that water extraction companies have affected our environment.

Lake Erie Pollution and Cities in Ontario Facing Droughts Picture 1: Picture 2:

Ways water bottled companies are affecting people

Nestle alone has been extracting million of litres of water everyday. This is causing droughts is many of the suburban areas. This is causing people to drink unsanitized water which is giving diseases to people. People have also been suffering from dehydration due to no fresh water for them to drink.

Extraction of Fresh Water by Water Bottling Companies and Other Industries

How Much Water is Extracted by Water Bottling Companies?

Water Bottle companies are taking millions of liters of Canadian freshwater, bottling then selling for a profit. In 2009 Statistics Canada reported, 2.29 billion liters of water year was produced in that year. Canada permits that only 5.2 billion liters a year is extracted by water bottling companies. In Canada, there are over hundreds of a water bottling plant , most of which belong to Nestle. Per water bottling company Ontario allows Nestle Canada company to extract 8.3 million liters a day but have given Nestle Waters Canada which is a division of Nestle Canada over a dozen permits which allows them to take an additional 12 million liters a day. Other companies that have been given a permit to extract water are Gold Mountain Springs at 6.1 million liters a day, Gott Enterprises at 5.8 million liters and St. Joseph Natural Spring Water at 5.5 million liters. Mining companies and Golf Courses have been given an additional permit which allows them to extract 1.3 trillion liters of Canada's groundwater a year.

Nestle Water Bottle Plant in Aberfoyle, On (On left), and Larger Plant Located in California. Picture 1: Picture 2: Picture 3:

Cost and Revenue of water rexports

The Canadian Government does not charge much for its water as its high availability. In 2000, it was recorded that a domestic water use in Canada costs about $1.14 CAD per 1000 liters used. For water bottling Companies the Canadian government charges $3.71 CAD for every million liters extracted. Water Bottle Companies must also pay a permit fee for low or medium risk of water extraction which costs about $700, or for high risk they must pay $3,000. Water for farming uses is free as the farmers do not pay anything.

Water Sanitation and Water Extraction Methods

Once water is extracted it must go through testing to make sure it is safe for human consumption. Groundwater is extracted through aquifers which are rocks underground that are saturated with water that can be brought to the surface through natural springs or by pumping. Natural springs are when the aquifers fill to the point where water overfills onto land. The pumping method is when wells are built on aquifers and extract the water in them.

Groundwater wells Picure 1: Picture 2:

Canadian Water Sanitation methods

To keep our water supply safe for human consumption the water extraction companies must take them to a water treatment facility. This is where they are tested by machines and trained workers so they can be consumed safely. Once the water is taken to the treatment facility they usually go through 5 stages until it is considered safe for consumption. Firstly the water is screened in a plant this is called Mixing this is where it removes the large solids and litter from the water This called Clarification. Then the water goes through a sand or gravel filter where algae, bacteria, and other particles are filtered out This is called Rapid Sand Filtration. After that, the water enters a holding tank where chemicals are added to the water to remove bacteria, mud and sticky flocs once removed the water passes through settling basins sinking the bacteria, this is called Ozonation. Lastly, Chlorine is added to the water to kill microorganisms and in some cities, Fluoride is added to prevent decay this process is called Activated Carbon Filtration. After this process, the water is ready for human consumption as it is pumped out of water towers and underground reservoirs where they are bottled and sold or transferred through pipes into homes.

Water Treatment Process;
Water Treatment Plant in Ontario;

What are groups doing to minimize water used

Advocacy groups have tried to put a stop companies from bottling the water. To do so several websites have created petitions to put a limit on the amount of water taken from lands. These petitions have received over 150,000 signatures.

What is government doing to minimize water extracted

To decrease amount of water sold by water bottle companies the Canadian government has proposed a 2 year hold on any creation or expansion on any bottled water companies. They have also said they will also impose stricter requirements for water taking companies. Doing so will allow the government to decrease amount taken from cities in drought. It will also help keep the Water source stable.

Ways that the Government is managing the Water to Make it Last Longer

In order to make Canada's water resources stable for the next generation, the Canadian government has started to implement new policies to stop an excessive amount of water being lost. Firstly the Canadian government has imposed to make policy which prohibits any new water taking permit to be signed until 2019. This will put a temporary hold on any new bottle company to take Canadian water and sell it. Thus keeping the water used for bottled water stable. The Canadian government has also put caps on how many litres of water can be extracted per day. This prevents companies such as Nestle from taking too much of our water supply which could cause droughts and other environmental issues. Even though there is much more that can be done to manage this resource better for the future generation, many people have spoke out about this issue and have requested that the government does more.

Created By
Mohammad Khan

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.