Our friends over at WWF-Canada have released a new report, Canada’s Rivers at Risk: Environmental Flows and Canada’s Freshwater Future (pdf here). The report claims that Canada’s fresh water is in jeopardy due to the effects of climate change and growing water demand.

The report uses a scientific approach that focuses on the importance of water flow to examine the health of 10 Canadian rivers and reveals that some are dangerously close to drying up. It concludes that we must value our fresh water differently and take immediate action to protect it.

“The combined threats of climate change and growing demand for fresh water by cities, agriculture and industry are converging on Canada’s rivers,” says Tony Maas, director, fresh water for WWF-Canada. “Even seemingly remote northern waters like the Mackenzie are at risk. As temperatures rise, and industrial water withdrawals and interest in hydropower increase, we must start planning now to protect river flows to ensure water security for the communities and economies that depend on them.”

The report recommends two points of action for restoration and protection of river flows. First, the federal government must play a much stronger role in Canadian water stewardship, including the implementation of the Mackenzie River Transboundary Water Agreement. Second, there must be a long-term plan to keep rivers flowing for people and nature, including strong federal leadership to address climate change—both at the UN Climate Conference this December, as well as in implementing a credible, national action plan to reduce emissions and put strategies into place for adapting to a changing freshwater future across Canada.


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