Witnessing the shortage of water in Malawi, and experiencing people's pure relief in turning on the taps after days without water, I realized how loose our relationship with water is in the West; we turn on the tap, and out comes crystal clear, drinkable water. Returning to Canada, I took - and continue to take - baby steps in conserving at home.
Just as human activity is upsetting Earth's carbon cycle, our actions are altering the water cycle. Water is our most precious resource, but we waste it, just as we waste other resources, including oil and gas. When we use so much that the system can't renew itself, we create shortages and drought. When we pollute it, we make matters worse.
Canada has a unique opportunity to lead in the water economy of the future. We can do this by showing the world how we respect this natural heritage through good policies, governance, ambassadorship and innovation. The goal: to conserve our country's resources by providing the expertise and tools to water-scarce regions so they can regenerate, protect and restore their own watersheds.