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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.