March 22 is World Water Day; a day to raise awareness about the importance of fresh water and its proper care.
Living close to the Great Lakes might lead us to believe that our fresh water is an endless resource. Unfortunately, this seems to lead to waste. Think back to the summer months when you saw your neighbour washing their driveway or overwatering their lawn. While water in our part of the world seems to be abundant, did you know that there is a limited amount of water that is constantly being reused?
Our water’s journey
Water is drawn from the lake, cleaned at a water treatment plant, piped to our homes, used and piped to a wastewater treatment plant and cleaned before going back into the lake. Making sure we have clean, available water is a rigorously tested process. It seems to be taken for granted that when the tap is turned on, the water will flow. Learn more about this process in Halton at www.halton.ca/water.
We’re a Blue Community
No, we’re not sad. Did you know that in 2012, Burlington City Council endorsed that Burlington become a Blue Community? So, what does this mean? Water is recognized as a common good shared by everyone and is the responsibility of all. The city met the criteria for becoming a Blue Community by:
- Recognizing water as a human right,
- Restricting the sale of bottled water in most public facilities and at municipal events and
- Committing to publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services.
Thirsty? Try the Tap
In 2010, Burlington City Council endorsed the Thirsty? Try the tap! campaign to promote tap water and introduce restrictions on the sale of bottled water in city facilities. As part of the campaign, Council approved a plan to update and/or replace water fountains with bottle fillers at indoor and outdoor facilities, including two water bottle refilling stations now used for outdoor city events. Floor and wall decals were created to guide patrons to water fountains with bottle fillers at city facilities.
The Blue W program is a water bottle refill network “dedicated to promoting municipal tap water as a healthy, easily accessible alternative to purchasing bottled drinks.” There are currently over 26,000 locations where one can refill a water bottle for free at public places, restaurants or shops. Of course, not all 26,000 are in Burlington. Thanks to Healthy Kids Community Challenge Burlington which is committed to growing this number locally. Participating shops and restaurants display the easily recognized “Blue W” decal on their window. Check out bluew.org to find locations currently registered.
Take Action Burlington! Collectively, we can protect our most valuable resource – water. Thirsty for more info? Check out these posts:
- Empty your pool, spa or hot tub the right way
- Paint the city yellow!
- Help keep our creeks and lakes clean
- Splish, splash … it’s time for outdoor learning and fun!