Nature for Water

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How much do you know about water?

I learn something new just about everyday.

Even though I work in the water industry for a water treatment company, I’m not an engineer or water technician. I’m in communications. I read and write about water ALL THE TIME.

No matter how much I read and how much I write, I never can and never will get bored with water. It’s fascinating because it extends so far beyond our simple definitions and perceptions of the miracle molecule, H2O.

The list of topics that are related to water is practically endless…oceans, lakes, rivers, glaciers, biodiversity, coral reefs, garbage patches, treatments, scarcity, industry, agriculture, plastic…

Doubtless, there could be a blog dedicated to each topic.

In writing for work, I’ve used the line “everything comes back to water”.

Because everything really does.

For example – forests.

More than just carbon sinks and oxygen producers, forests are natural water filters and they also control the flow of water back into nearby areas.

They’re what you call a nature-based solution, which happens to be the theme of this year’s World Water Day, Nature for Water.

Created in 1992 by the UN, World Water Day was first celebrated March 22, 1993.

UN-Water’s campaign, the Answer is in Nature, brings international attention to the nature-based solutions that are “a sustainable and cost-effective way to help rebalance the water cycle, mitigate the effects of climate change and improve human health and livelihoods” (pulled from their factsheet which you can find at worldwaterday.org).

I’ve been preparing my own World Water Day campaign for a social media page I manage at work for the past few weeks. As such, I’ve been doing a bunch of reading on green infrastructure, mangroves, forests, and wetlands.

I’ve learned a lot and the more I read the more passionate I become about the solutions we already have.

It’s been this sort of research that has finally brought me to where I am – which is attempting to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

In 2010, the UN General Assembly recognized the human right to water and sanitation.

The first influence was animals.

I love animals. I’ve loved them since I was a kid. I grew up watching the Kratt Brothers and among my many other dream careers were zoology and marine biology.

To this day, even after almost five years in school to get my PR degree, I wish I could go back to my younger self and tell her to pursue zoology or marine biology.

The second influence was the rainforest.

In my grade 11 World Issues class – for which I had a fabulous teacher – the assignment was to put together an in-depth and persuasive presentation about something. I don’t remember the guidelines but I chose the rainforest. A few years later in first or second year of college we had to put together a memorized “rant”. I turned mine into poetry and again spoke about the rainforest (maybe one day I’ll post it).

Goal 6 of the UN’s 16 Sustainable Development goals is “ensuring availability and sustainability management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

But it’s been this last year that the lightbulb’s come on. I have been reading, watching and writing about nature and water for over a year and with as much as I know now it seems impossible to turn a blind eye.

For those that didn’t need to read as much as I did before they decided to make this lifestyle decision – I salute you.

For those of you like me that needed a longer wake-up call, here are some resources that have been really valuable to me in the past year:

  • TedTalks
  • The Water Brothers: my heroes in the industry. Check out their website to watch all their episodes
  • Signing up for Google alerts: I subscribe to google alerts for water, green infrastructure and environment. I get relevant stories everyday which often connect me to other great resources

So this blog post hasn’t really focused on World Water Day, and that’s intentional. I’d rather direct you right to the World Water Day website where they’ve prepared resources for learning and sharing and instead offer my personal thoughts here.

Happy World Water Day everyone! I hope you find your own unique way to celebrate it.

MJ out.

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