Celebrate and Know Your H2O during Canada Water Week

Wade Istchenko, MLA for Kluane

As submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, March 20th, 2014
by Wade Istchenko, Minister of Environment

Canada Water Week is a celebration of water from coast-to-coast-to-coast, held annually in the third week of March to coincide with World Water Day on March 22. Across the country, events are taking place to raise the profile of water and its importance to Canadians.

This year, Water Week overlaps with Yukon’s school spring break period, so events in the territory are being held during the entire month, to allow more people to participate.

In our part of the country, we recognize how critical water is, as we continue to strive to make Yukon the best place in which to live, work, play and raise a family. We are very fortunate to have an abundance of fresh, clean water on our doorsteps, and we recognize the important role we must play in its stewardship to ensure water for nature and water for people.

This year’s Canada Water Week theme is “Know Your H2O!” A majority of Canadians consider fresh water to be one of our country’s most important natural resources. “Know Your H2O!” reminds us of the importance of this resource, which we all need to care for. It also encourages us to be better informed about the role of water in our lives, the health of our local sources, and the people who work to manage and protect this valuable natural treasure.

In Yukon, at least 20 “Know Your H2O!” school presentations are scheduled this month, with topics focusing on watersheds, glaciers, placer mining, erosion by water and water turbidity.

Specialists from a number of Yukon government branches (including Water Resources, Environmental Health, Yukon Geological Survey, and Compliance Monitoring and Inspections) are sharing their knowledge and passion for water resources with students from grades one to 12.

These educational events give students an opportunity to learn and reflect on the importance of water to the health of Yukon’s environment, people and economy.

The Yukon Water Strategy and Action Plan that we introduced last year will help the government manage Yukon’s water. The strategy reflects our government’s vision that the quality, quantity and overall health of waters flowing through Yukon lands are sustained for all living things now and in the future.

Canada Water Week gives us all an opportunity to understand, appreciate and celebrate this essential resource. I encourage you to “Know Your H2O!” and to learn more about the intrinsic value of water. Visit yukonwater.ca or canadawaterweek.com for more information.