Letter: Say no to bottled water

I support Janine MacLeod’s viewpoint [“Water is Life,” June 11,] as it concerns Toba Inlet water bottling and the interaction of sweet water and saline waters.

Important ecosystem energy/nutrient transfer processes occur here. Further, the sweet water pulse is an important “homing beacon” supporting the life-cycle completion of anadromous fishes.

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In a time when we need to be restoring and protecting nature we seem intent on coming up with schemes to further exploit it under the guise of “what's one more barge transiting the waters of Desolation Sound”; “if we don’t do it, someone else will”; and the ultimate insult hurled at those seeking to conserve and protect aquatic ecosystems and natural system functioning: “perfection is the enemy of the good.”

As [City of Powell River] councillor CaroleAnn Leishman indicated, the commodification of drinking water is counter to the matter that potable drinking water is a right. I further assert that supports and oversights for publicly accessible potable water could suffer unintended negative consequences from it being for sale as a “luxury consumable” outside of a regulatory framework.

Most concerning is that water, under various trade agreements, is considered a “tradable good” and therefore restrictions on its trade are prohibited. Breathtaking isn’t it? For some sobering detail on these matters: canadians.org/sites/default/files/publications/waterforsale.pdf.

It is also notable that interactions between surface water and groundwater are yet to be fully understood, and so any oversimplified go/no-go policy framework that considers them as separate entities is flawed from the very beginning.

Abstracting groundwater or surface water resources and then exporting them outside of the watershed of origin is an egregious act no matter the method of packaging.

Say no to bottled water, period, and ensure your government provides the necessary services and source water protections that ensure you and your family can open the tap and not feel you have to open the cap.

Michael N. Demuth, P.Eng, P.Geo, emeritus research scientist in glaciology and cold region environments, Geological Survey of Canada (retired), is a Lund resident.

Copyright © Powell River Peak


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