If someone asked you what watershed you live in, would you be able to tell them? How about if someone asked where your drinking water is sourced from? Or, if someone asked you where your nearest waterbody is located and the fish species you might find swimming in it?
If you could not answer these questions, you are not alone as the average British Columbian cannot and is unaware of the ways that they can make a difference. We have experienced a loss of our collective water knowledge and our connection to the water nationwide. A loss magnified by the awareness that Canada holds 1/5th of the world’s freshwater within its borders.
In order to remedy, this, Swim Drink Fish introduced the concept of “water literacy” on tour to help Canadians become water literate in 2016. To be water literate is to know where your water comes from, how you use and affect the water around you, and how you can recognize and report threats to swimmable, drinkable, fishable water.
After introducing the idea, we began carrying out Water Literacy Workshops in each of the watersheds where we work across Canada. Our workshops are designed to increase water literacy for all Canadians. We know that people can protect the waters they care about if they know the basics, have the right tools, and are supported by a strong network.
We’ve decided to bring our workshop content online to bridge Canada’s water-knowledge gap in more communities and inspire more people to work towards swimmable, drinkable, fishable water. Over the next two months, we will be sharing information about our watershed as part of Water Literacy Wednesday (#WaterLiteracyWednesday).
Together we will answer the following questions:
- What is a Watershed?
- Where does our water come from?
- Where does it go?
- How do we use the water?
- What lives in the water?
- What threatens our water?
- What can we do to protect our waters?
- How can we get down to the water?
Tune in next Wednesday for our first official #WaterLiteracyWednesday. We’ll dive into learning about our local watershed, one of 25 major watersheds in Canada.
Finally, if you’re interested in helping a school group or water recreation group in your community become water literate, contact me at [email protected]