Water & Business in Canada Part I: Building A Case For Deeper Commitment

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Water & Business in Canada Part I: Building A Case For Deeper Commitment

In anticipation of March 22nd - International World Water Day - and in Canada March 19th to 25th - Canadian Water Week I will be writing one blog a week on Canadian water issues as they affect and are being affected by business.
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With International #Water Day approaching, @Justmeans looks into the water issues facing #Canada. http://bit.ly/A4lQjB #sustainability

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Friday, February 24, 2012 - 1:15pm

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Global water issues have been on the rise - terms like "blue gold" have been made popular in both the public sphere and in CSR discourse. In Canada, however, the prevalence of a myth of water abundance is still keeping many companies in the dark about how to sustainably manage their use of the resource. Whether its water in Canada or abroad, understanding a product's water footprint is essential to manage multiple risks. Water shortages and competing user rights are not exclusive to places such as the Middle East or Africa; they are found right here in Canada.

Water CAN discriminate - it's all about location

It may be unfair, but water is not always available in quantities to support growing population intensity. In Canada, the best example can be found in the Prairies - specifically the Southern Alberta region. As the Province's population grow so does the need for water to support people and business, which, unfortunately taxes local resources. In 2006, a moratorium - which is still in effect - on new water licences, was put into place for the Bow River, Oldman River and South Saskatchewan River Basin (SSRB) sub-basin. New developments like CrossIron Mills shopping centre in Balzac (north of Calgary) faced extensive delays in search for a new water permit.[1]

For businesses and cities, stressed water resources can mean limited potential for growth.

It's not just quantity - quality really does count

Ontario faces its own issues.

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Meirav Even-Har is a Justmeans staff blogger. She reports on Canadian CSR issues. Meirav is an independent sustainability consultant and writer working in Toronto, Canada.

Keywords: Environment | Canada | climate change | environment | resource management | risk management | water | water footprint

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