March 22 is World Water Day. That gives us a pretty good reason to stop and reflect. In Canada we have some of the most plentiful, cleanest water sources in the world. Let’s give thanks for that and to all of the individuals and organizations who are working tirelessly to keep it that way.
At the Victoria Foundation we're proud to say that we've eliminated all bottled water from the office. We traded in our water cooler for an under-the-sink filtration system by Canadian Springs.
The big advantage of the water filter is that it hooks directly into the cold water intake, so we don’t need a water cooling station for the bottles and we don’t need delivery of the bottles. This saves electricity on the cooling station, fuel and manpower to deliver the bottles, and saves all the water and energy that went into making the bottles! We had around 4-5 bottles delivered and removed each week. Each bottle is 5 gallons which meant we were going through 20-25 gallons of water a week in the bottles. We are still going through the same amount, but now we don’t have a cooling station, bottles to lug around (also a safety issue with WCB), delivery to worry about, and there is more space in the kitchen. As a bonus, it costs less for the filters then the bottles!
Other Water Resources:
The Government of BC has its very own blog – Living Water Smart. It's all about British Columbia's water plan.
Canada Water Week is a week-long coast-to-coast celebration of water. It started on March 14th culminates with World Water Day on March 22nd. Visit their website to learn how to get involved in fun and educational events happening across the country. Their goal is to raise the profile and understanding of water and its importance to Canada's prosperity.
World Fisheries Trust is a local NGO that works to foster socially equitable and environmentally sustainable use and conservation of aquatic and marine resources. The Victoria Foundation is pleased to support their latest initiative, the EcoLearning Hive, a growing network of environmental education providers. The Hive was developed to connect the over 40 organizations in the Greater Victoria area who are working hard to create meaningful learning opportunities for youth and the public. This EcoLearning hive will allow these community educators to connect and partner, making environmental education more meaningful, synergistic, and easier to access.
Garth Homer Society – After looking at creative ways it could reduce operating costs, the CRD's Water Department did an assessment on the water use at the Garth Homer Society's facility. With the help of a grant from the Victoria Foundation, Garth Homer Society recently was able to replace 24 of their toilets with low flush toilets. This simple change will account for an annual water savings of 1,755,500 liters per year!
Habitat Acquisition Trust helps people understand and care for natural environments in the Capital Region. Their recent project – Our Backyard, Our Climate – will demonstrate how communities can reduce the effects of climate change locally. HAT will focus on the Albert Head, Metchosin and Westshore regions where they'll plant over 800 native plants, and consult with area landowners, schools and conservation groups about ways to improve their land practices to reduce nutrient pollution of stream beds. HAT will also monitor water quality to help preserve the ecological integrity of one of the areas most popular beaches, Witty's Lagoon.
Peninsula Streams Society works to develop and organize environmental projects on the Saanich Peninsula and surrounding areas. These programs will monitor, preserve and restore flora and fauna, monitor, preserve and restore rivers, creeks, watersheds, marine and near-shore environments, conserve, reuse and reduce water and waste, and improve the urban and rural/agricultural environments. The organization also offers workshops and training seminars to increase the understanding of the public, environmental organizations, government and the press about environmental preservation and restoration. Peninsula Streams also conducts research relating to the environment and disseminates these results. Visit their website to learn more about the work they do or to see how you can get involved.
SeaChange Marine Conservation Society is a local nonprofit that has been working since 1998 towards the conservation and restoration of marine ecosystems in British Columbia. They affect change by engaging and involving youth and communities in direct actions that bring hope close to home. They are currently working ot restore the natural eelgrass beds once native to Saanich Inlet, that were destroyed through past damage to the environment. SeaChange has completed 7 restoration projects in the Inlet, planting 14,000 m2 of eelgrass! The process is labour intensive but the results are rewarding; the presence of spiny dogfish in the area is indicative of a healthier ecosystem. Please visit their website for more information about their projects.