Canada’s water, written by Martin O’Malley and Angela Mulholland, mainly talks about how Canada has the most fresh water in the world and contemplates whether they should sell it to other countries. The writers give many examples throughout the text such as other countries water limitations and how it is a luxury for them to get to drink fresh water, “The desert of Jordan is one such place, where water is severely rationed, where villages get water once a week, for a day. It is a cause for celebration when this happens.”(Canada’s Water, 2005, O’Malley & Mulholland) Also how Canadians take water for granted, stating that we average 326 litres per person, per day. “Water is more than a precious resource. Water is life itself. Unfortunately, too many Canadians think it’s limitless.”(2005, O’Malley & Mulholland) It also talks about how Canada has the most fresh water in the world and that there have been wars fought over water before.
With Canada having so much fresh water and not wanting to sell much of it, it could possibly be a problem in the future. “War(s) have been fought over water since biblical times.”(2005, O’Malley & Mulholland) Also, “And if wars of the future will be fought over water. Canada will be in the thick of the battle.”(2005, O’Malley & Mulholland) Canada seems to be a pretty peaceful country in the sense of war so I think that something would be worked out between countries that would allow them safe drinking water while leaving Canadians with plenty for themselves and also enough for the ecosystems to stay healthy. Also, desalination could possibly be a great way for people everywhere in the world to have huge supplies of drinkable water with 97% of the world’s water being undrinkable because of the salt. Seeing how we have lasted for thousands of years with 3% of the Earths water then imagine how long we could last with 97% of it. “She (Maude Barlow) cites a United Nations study that says by 2025 – only 25 years away – two thirds of the world will be “water poor”.”(2005, O’Malley & Mulholland)
This is less than 14 years away now and fresh water is potentially the most important natural resource in the world and there are not unlimited amounts of it. The article goes on to answer the questions of whether Canada should be obliged to share its water with the rest of the world, could we do it without harming our ecosystems, and who would profit from the sales of selling fresh water. Canada could definitely make a lot of money by selling their water but CELA says that even selling large amounts of water will still not help thirsty countries. “Even large-scale water exports cannot possibly satisfy the social and economic needs of distant societies.”(2005, O’Malley & Mulholland) It explains this buy saying that water sold to poor countries across the world would only be affordable to the wealthier people and would deepen inequities between rich and poor allowing the “elites” to ensure the quality of their water while not caring about the bigger population.
There also doesn’t seem to be a very huge want for the sale of water from the public, at least between the years 1999-2002, as they show in the example of Ontario when they were planning to transport up to 600 million litres of water to Asia from Lake Superior before the deal got called off. “There was such a public outcry on both sides of the border that the permit was withdrawn and the deal never went through.”(2005, O’Malley & Mulholland) Although it does say we will export to the states a lot. In 1989, Canada sold 23 million litres of water to the states and by 1998, just 9 years later; we sold them 272 million litres of water. This is a huge increase and has most likely increased a lot since then as it reads that “The consumption of water is doubling every 20 years, twice the rate of world population growth.” (2005, O’Malley & Mulholland) Canada could possibly have to sell their water up to the states if we don’t act strong and resist selling it. Although we aren’t making bulk exports of water to the United States right now there might be pressure on us to do so as they are losing water at a pretty fast rate.
“The underground aquifier that supplies one-third of the water for the continental United States is being depleted eight times faster than it is being replenished.”(2005, O’Malley & Mulholland) The continental states is not just 3 or 4 states either, its 48 of them! That a hell of a lot of water to be losing especially at that pace. If it does get to the point where they are in extreme need of water and we still resist they’ll probably just bomb us and take it all instead of us just selling it to them but it probably won’t come to that point.
The United States is not even close to the worst of countries with water problems but if all countries were first world and had water availability like we do then we probably would have ran out already. Water shortage is a real big problem in the world and it’s not something we need to worry about in 10 thousand years, it’s something that needs to be realised now. In the text, it says that the first severe impact of water bankruptcy will hit China whose water use is expected to jump a huge amount from 52 billion tons to 269 billion in the next 30 years due to a population increase. And Saudi Arabia is expected to waste there water reserves in 50 years. People can’t survive without water so this is a huge problem that needs to be solved or the world’s population will take a hit.
I thought that this article was very interesting and provided good facts that were easy to understand. It was clear and therefore made it a lot easier to summarise and also review. I like how it stresses that water is not unlimited. My opinion on Canada selling its water is that we should sell the amount that will not affect our society at all or our ecosystem. If this means continuing to just sell bottled water, then I think that’s a good idea. I believe that the best way is to find a cheap way to desalinate ocean water so that everyone in the world can drink. I think it would be a nice but not a smart gesture to sell a lot of water because the world will run out much faster than and we want to stay water-rich for as long as possible.