Thursday, March 20, 2014

World Water Day: The importance of maintaining water quality and availability

OTTAWA, Ontario March 20, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - In recognition of the upcoming World Water Day, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and Minister for the Arctic Council, with the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, issued the following statement:
"On March 22, World Water Day, we have an opportunity to reflect on the importance of water and what we can all do as individuals and governments at all levels to work together to protect this fundamental, essential resource.
"Maintaining water quality and availability is one of four key themes in our Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. Environment Canada collaborates with the provinces and territories to monitor aquatic ecosystem health and the quality and quantity of our water resources. These efforts help to sustain our municipal drinking water needs, protect Canadians from flooding, and ensure jobs and economic growth, particularly in the transportation and tourism sectors.
"As part of our government's comprehensive overall approach to protect Canada's water, we are taking targeted actions in a number of key watersheds, including the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin, the Lake Winnipeg Basin, and the Lower Athabasca River. Last month, for example, we celebrated our achievements under Environment Canada's Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund, recognizing the accomplishments of 59 community projects which received federal funding of over 5 million dollars over the past six years.
"Under this approach, Canada is taking a number of concrete and measurable actions and working to reduce pollution, toxic and harmful substances, enhance monitoring and research, and develop new regulations.
"These measures, combined with additional, collaborative provincial and territorial water efforts, ensure that all Canadians have access to clean, safe, reliable, secure and healthy water. Water resources will continue to be used wisely, both economically and ecologically," Minister Aglukkaq added.
"Our health and that of our environment, aquatic life, fisheries and economy, are deeply tied to the health of our waterways, and water management is a shared responsibility, said Minister Shea. The viability and sustainability of our waterways for future generations are always a priority.
"Through our government's investments, we have advanced our network of Marine Protected Areas, which serves to protect and conserve important fish, marine mammals, endangered marine species and their habitat in our oceans."