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Carry a research on the ‘Imbalance of water of level in Canada.’

Introduction

This report aims at carrying out a research on the ‘Imbalance of water of level in Canada.’ The continued population growth in Canada is intensifying consumption of water which is negatively affecting the region's water balance. Hence, it might lead to scarcity of water in Canada one day. There is high need of adopting policies and measures that can change the behaviour of people of using water for their personal and professional needs. This report will aim at analysing the future sustainability of water consumption in Canada and also providing recommendations to conserve water in future. The key focus of the report is to analyse, ‘How to change the demand and supply of Water-by changing people's behaviour to use water?’  

Water is crucial to sustain on this planet. Canada is blessed with abundance of water but this has led to misuse of water. On an average, a household toilet in Canada uses 20 litters of water while only 6 litres of water is appropriate (Vickers, 2002). Also, the industries in Canada uses water bodies as sewers leading to their pollution which ultimately impacts the aquatic life of those water bodies. As per ‘Environment Canada’, the contribution of water to the economy of Canada is between $7.5 billion to $23 billion every year. The misuse and abuse of water in Canada is mainly due to careless behaviour of people while consuming water (Geerts, 2009). If this misuse keeps continuing, the day is not far when people in Canada will no more having access to fresh water.

The sole solution for this problem is to conserve water. By this, it is meant that using water wisely. In other words, using less water for same purposes for which it is used and protect the water resources for future generations. This water conservation will ultimately help to minimise pollution level and health risks. It will also reduce the water cost and extending the life of water supply and treatment facilities (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2002).

 

Overview of the Issue

Water is the most important element necessary for survival of life of different species on Earth. As the population of the world grows, the requirement of water increase, which in turn adds to the pressure on the limited water resources of the world. The definite amount of people living on earth in the coming century is unknown, but it is certain that the population will definitely grow and is sure to impact the availability of water resources (Taylor, 2009). Around the world there are several efforts being undertaken to slow the population growth rate, among the various listed benefits of it, water availability is one of the major ones. In spite of being blessed plenty of forest, natural resources such as metals and agricultural produce, energy resources, the most valuable resources of Canada is Water. In a recent survey the people of Canada ranked water as its number one resource, ranking above agriculture, oil, metals and other natural resources. Water is considered to be an important element in the development of the economic and social welfare of the country (Environment Canada, 2009).

Negative effects of Population Growth on Water resources

The situation of world’s Water Resources may appear infinite, but the fact that only about less than one percent of the world’s water is available for use often goes unnoticed. Also the said amount of world’s water is to be shared by different countries throughout the world (EPA, 2010).

The increase in population puts additional pressures on freshwater resources by increasing the demand and leading to scarcity of water resources. Water scarcity is calculated in different ways, such as the per capita availability and percentage of water resources used.

While access of water resources is determined by the political, social, and economic factors, one of the ways to measure present and future water scarcity is by measuring the physical water availability. The population living in a country verifies the per capita availability of water resources of that particular country (Pimentel, 2004).

Taking about the water resources of Canada it is a misconception that its water resources are plentiful and secure and would last infinitely. The population of Canada makes up only the ½ of 1% of the world population whereas its water resources comprise of up to 20% of world water resources. The 60% of Canada’s fresh water resources are located in north Canada while population and most civic actives are undertaken in the southern part of it. Thus it is certainly a negative point that its water resources are not available where they are required the most (UNEP, 2011). This leads to a lot of water related problems which included difficulty in transpiration as well high financial cost of supply water throughout the country. But one of the major problems this creates is that it leads to water scarcity in some regions of the country. Clearly since its abundant water resources, water scarcity is not a national problem, but there are definitely some remote regions which face that problem. The plains of Alberta and Saskatchewan and to British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley need to be considered as they are the most likely regions which can or do face water scarcity.

If Canada’s future of water availability is to be estimated it can rightly be said that by 2050 The population of Canada is said to grow by 25%, where as the Canadian economy is predicted to develop approximately at 55% by and thus this will also lead to the increase in temperatures and climate change, change rainfall, and increase the occurrence of intense weather calamities such as floods and droughts (Kulshreshtha, 2009). Therefore these will lead to additional pressure on Canada’s water resources in the future. Also the ecosystem of Canada’s cannot survive properly and deliver the balance in the ecology with its existence without sufficient, consistent, and clean sources of water.

Also with the population increase the increase in industrial development is certain. Industrial and the manufacturing sector depend on water for dispensation, cooling, and discarding of waste material. Thus the demand for water for industrial use is growing with the development of industrialization in order to fulfil the demands the growing population. Thus for successful working of the industrial sector water availability is necessary. With the looming water scarcity problem in Canada the successful function of industry is also at stake.

Link between Population and Water

Population growth is known to be a major reason for water scarcity. The increase in population leads to an increase in demand and struggle for water resources. Water resources of any country are used for domestic, industrial, and civic purposes (Baroni, 2007).

They are required for agricultural and industrial utility. Another important use of water resources is for the disposal of waste materials. The increase in Population of a particular country limits the amount of water which can be used by an individual as the country water resources have to be divided for utility among various sectors. Thus many countries are promoting ways of population control to deal with the alarming problem of water scarcity.

Around the world, one of the most water consuming industries is Agriculture, it approximately accounts for almost 70% of global water use. In the agricultural economies it uses around 90% of the water resources approximately (Braun, 1993). Along with requiring large quantities of water for its effective output, agriculture is also one of the most inefficient uses of water.

It all basically depends upon the population growth itself, as more the population of any country the more food it requires and thus the agricultural activities are increased which in turn leads to increase in water resources, thus it’s a rhythmic cyclic event where the increase in population leads to many other causal effects.

Agricultural productivity is known to an important element of in maintaining the global food security and thus, water scarcity could lead to hunger in the future.

It has been estimated that the by 2050 the increase in Population and development, would increase the global food consumption by double global (Campbell, 2006). Thus this in turn would increase the stress on water resources which can lead to water scarcity.

In the coming few decades most of the world’s population growth will be in urban areas, mainly in the slightly less developed area of the world.

Urbanization again leads to added stress water resources as individuals become more populated in a particular area. The water consumed by civic and municipal sources barely makes a dent in the water resources of the world, with the increase in the population the use by civic and municipal activities steadily increasing.

 At the domestic level, the demand for water can be known by demographic factors such as the family size and age structure. Increase in Population directly leads to an increase in the main water demand. Also with the growth of population and income gives rise to an increase in the amount of water which is used by an individual. Rapid increase in population and urbanization could lead to water scarcity in several countries which can have several negative effects on the livelihoods, health, and security of the people (Kotz, 2005).

Though the current water scarcity problems in Canada are regional, rising demands due to population growth along with the climate change could change them into national issues if they are not  resolved quickly as well adequacy. The Governments of Canada still has many opportunities on hand for them to address the problems in the most efficient and proficient approach, before water sacristy and ecological degradation become alarming national problems.

Study objectives and working definitions

The objective of the study is to examine the negative effects of the growth in population on the water resources of Canada.

Definitions

1.      Water Scarcity: Water scarcity is the lack of adequate accessible water resources to meet the requirements of water utility of a country. Water scarcity entails water pressure, water shortage or deficit, and water crisis. While the concept of water stress is comparatively fresh, it is the trouble in acquiring fresh water resources for use at a particular period of time and may result in further exhaustion and worsening of accessible water resources (Roberta, 2011).

 

2.      Water Resources: Water resources are sources of water which can be used directly or has a potential to be used directly useful. Uses of water include agricultural, industrial, domestic, civic, municipal, leisure and ecological activities. Most of the human uses need fresh water (Ball, 2007).

 

3.      Per capita: Per capita is basically a Latin phrase which literally means “by heads,” and is usually translated as “for each person.” It is a commonly used unit of measurement and expressing data in various statistics (Ball, 2007). For example a country's per capita personal income, is the standard individual income per person.

 

 

4.      Ecology/ ecological: Ecology can be defined as the technical analysis and study of relations between organisms and their surroundings, such as the relations organisms have with each other along with their retention with the biotic environment (Ball, 2007).

 

5.      Industrial Development: the planning and development related to the staring of new industries or the development of the existing industries in specialized areas of a country (Ball, 2007).

 

6.      Civic Uses: Uses pertaining to the general public consumption. These uses usually are the daily basic necessities of the people (Ball, 2007).

Future sustainability of water in Canada

By definition, sustainability is defined as the process of how biological processes and environment remains productive (Ball, 2007). For the survival of human beings and other living organisms, sustainable development is crucial. Similarly, sustainable development of water in Canada is crucial to ensure that there is no water scarcity in the country in coming times.

Considering the issues discussed above, it has become very crucial to put Canada on the path of sustainability in order to ensure that water resources are protected. It is also crucial to make sure that the eco-system of Canada is able to protect the natural environment. For this, several steps have been identified as very important. These steps include assessing the approach for water allocation, analysing collaborative governance approaches and investigating strategic approaches (Clavin, 2011).

Approach for water allocation: To assess the approach followed across Canada to allocate water in order to examine whether the approach is effective. With this, it will be easy to examine future opportunities to improve water allocation in Canada.

Analysing collaborative governance approaches: Secondly, it is crucial to analyse collaborative governance approaches for effective water management.

Investigating strategic approaches: Thirdly, it is able to build effective water management strategies by investigating strategic approaches to collect and manage data related to water consumption.

These steps can help to build effective future sustainability of water in Canada.

Taking above steps into consideration, some of the water conservation steps that can be taken in Canada are:

Formulating new statues and policies: As of now, the policies and statues related to water use and conservation in Canada are complex and are not effective as much as these should be. Hence, it indeed crucial for the government to formulate new statues and policies related to the water conservation in Canada.

Water Allocation Systems: The water allocation systems that are used in Canada are different in different cities. There is no centralised water allocation system put into place. Hence, there is high need to modernise the water allocation systems used in different cities and centralise it so that uniform system can be used across entire country.  For instance, southern parts of Alberta had been suffering from water shortages and hence, this has compelled authorities to reformulate water allocation policies for the city.

Adopting efficient policy instruments: Reports claim that in previous few years, water management in Canada has been achieved by efficient policy instruments. However, as per the current situation and rising challenges related to water conservation, there is high need of flexible and more adaptive water conservation policy.

Efficient knowledge base required: As of now, there is high need of efficient knowledge base in Canada related to ground water, surface water, water consumption and accurate measures of water use. The information is required in order to take wise decisions about water conservation in Canada (Staff, 2011).

These are some of the steps that can be taken in order to conserve water and for future sustainability of water. The water conservation cycle is demonstrated below:

Fig 1: Water Management Cycle

Source: Staff, 2011

The water management cycle comprise of four stages; Plan, Implement, Monitor and Review. The plan is implemented which is consistently monitored and reviewed frequently in order to ensure water is being efficiently used.

Policies and implementation measures

In order to ensure water remains conserved and protected, some of the policies and implementation measures are:

Revising Landscape watering schedule: One of the methods to recommend for water conservation is revising the schedule of watering to crops. For example, authorities must order to allow farmers to carry sprinkle irrigation for fewer days. They can limit outdoor-watering of crops and give orders to encourage manual-irrigation to limit the water being used. It is also crucial to make farmers provide information about how much water is being used. It also includes limiting the watering of crops to one day per week only. The maximum watering time of crops should be minimised from 30 minutes to 15 minutes only (Solanki, 1994).

Making people aware about the methods to conserve water: Second step which can be adopted for water conservation is awareness. When people will be aware about using limited water and using it efficiently, misuse and abuse of water will be significantly reduced. It can be achieved by effectively informing citizens about the measures being taken for water conservation such as examining water system conditions, detecting leaks, appropriate fire prevention methods, deep root watering and home winterisation methods.

Efficient planning of water management at all stages: Third step which can prove beneficial is the efficient planning of water management at all stages. In a project where water is a key resource, planning of water consumption is crucial. This can be effectively achieved by considering the planning at all stages such as planning, design, construction etc. Authorities must incline towards adopting upgraded water use systems and also making existing systems efficient (Solanki, 1994).

A diversified approach of water management is demonstrated below:

Fig 2: Diversified approach of water management

Source: Solanki, 1994

The above figure has demonstrated different system and behaviour methods that can be adopted to conserve water in Canada.

Conclusion

In nutshell, water conservation is a rising concern in Canada. The misuse and abuse of water in Canada will lead to scarcity of water in coming years. As discussed above, Canada has significant amount of water and water resources but the careless behaviour of people towards water consumption is one of the key concern which is leading is water deficient. Hence, strict measures and actions are required to cope up with the situation and conserve water for future generation. Some of the ways discussed in this research report include spreading awareness among folks in Canada about water management, upgrading systems for efficient use of water in industries and households, putting up a centralised water management system at place and following a uniform approach of water allocation. This report has effectively taken up the problem, analysed it using facts and figures and subsequently examined the future sustainability of water consumption in Canada and provided recommendations to conserve water in future. Towards the end, the objectives of the study and working definitions have also been provided.

 

 

References

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