Nature Canada

Water – We Can’t Live Without It!

Without clean, abundant freshwater, life on Earth would not exist. The majority of the world’s population depends on freshwater environments to provide water for drinking, irrigation, food, employment and recreation.

Luckily, Canada is blessed with plenty of water:

  • Almost 9% (891 163 square kilometers) of Canada’s total area is covered by fresh water.
  • Wetlands cover an additional 14% (more than 1.2 million square kilometers) of the land area of Canada.
  • Annually, Canada’s rivers discharge 7% of the world’s renewable water supply – 105 000 cubic meters per second.

Balanced, healthy ecosystems, including freshwater rivers and lakes, perform many amazing services that cannot be replicated – and that we depend on for survival. In Canada, these ecosystems:

  • purify the air and water
  • maintain biodiversity
  • control agricultural pests
  • preserve soils and renew their fertility
  • pollinate crops and natural vegetation

These services are so fundamental to life that they are easy to take for granted, but we must remember that they are far beyond the ability of human technology to replace.

The way we treat our water resources can have an effect on healthy ecosystems. Runoff of pesticides, fertilizers and waste, introduction of non-native species and destruction of wetlands all reduce the ability of water ecosystems to perform their functions and provide these services.

We can all protect our freshwater resources through conservation action at home. Do your part to reduce global demand on our precious water resources – take the Water Conservation Pledge today! Join people across the country and around the world as we save more than 1 million gallons of water each year.

This post is a part of Blog Action Day, an annual event that sees blogs from around the world post about the same issue on the same day to spark global discussion and drive collective action.


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Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.