Fractured Water: Can urban Ontario reconnect its watersheds?
Note to Reader:
A team led by the Great Lakes Commission is working with communities in the United States and Canada to identify and test the ecological and financial rationales for pursuing water conservation and green infrastructure practices, and pilot how this information can drive better water management throughout the Great Lakes region.
The team is approaching this work from the viewpoint that water conservation, to be effective in the Great Lakes region, must include municipal supply, storm- and wastewater, and engage a different set of stakeholders than traditional water conservation strategies.
The post below is extracted from an article written by Nina Ignaczak as part of a series in partnership with the Great Lakes Commission.
Towards Healing Fractured Water: Integrated Management
“Urban Ontario’s water resources have been heavily altered by human development. Traditional engineering methods have left the region with a water system that is disconnected and fragmented; surface water is separated from groundwater, streams and lakes are dammed and overloaded with polluted stormwater, basements flood with alarming regularity, and communities struggle to maintain affordable municipal water rates,” wrote Nina Ignaczak.
“But forward-thinking citizen advocates, conservationists and government officials are working together to chart a new course, one that is turning the dominant water management paradigm on its head. They are transforming how cities think about drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, evolving from a mindset that views each system in isolation toward a more holistic, sustainable and efficient municipal water system, one that can restore urban ecosystems while saving money.”
“Municipal water supply officials are not communicating with sewerage or stormwater officials,” says John Jackson, a longtime citizen advocate and project manager with the Great Lakes Commission. “We need to work hand-in-hand with engineers, planners, and operators in municipalities and utilities, as well as our Conservation Authority partners.”
“Better coordination among the multiple agencies and individuals who manage water across the region is critical to making better decisions,” according to Jackson.
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To download and read the complete article, click on Fractured Water: Can urban Ontario reconnect its watersheds?