In Deep Water

Photo by anataman |


When you hear the word “water” or even see it, what do you think of? Some words that come to mind may be purity, mystery, and life. Words that you probably wouldn’t think of are danger, death, and catastrophe.

In Canada, we are very fortunate to have fresh water sources that supply our demand. Water is not a nuisance; it seems to be there for whatever reason we want to use it for.

Moving east on the map to places like Venice, Netherlands, and Bangladesh, it’s clear that all these areas have seen water cause death and disease. These areas have observed several flooding issues but nothing like the present time.  Moreover, they are being exasperated with the forthcoming of global warming.

Many politicians have stated that flooding problems are mismanaged due to the lack of government policy or that they are in fact by-products of a third world environment. Regardless, the lack of policy will lead to the immigration of a mass amount of people as the sea levels continue to rise.

Governments have even created artificial islands as a possible rescue. In turn, this means that people will turn to their governments for guidance which may compromise the idea and development of a democracy. People in desperation will turn to anyone with a plan.  And such a situation may lead to huge consequences.

Additionally, third world countries would dismiss local responsibility; after all, it is the common belief that the industrial world has induced the warming effect. Many of these countries claim that flooding is a global problem and therefore, it should have a global solution.

So are these “third world” countries canaries in the coal mine? Should North America start preparing for the inedible? I think that we can all learn from the Mayans when they underwent significant climate change 12 000 years ago.  It appears through the examination of the ruins that water floods caused the culture to perish.   Had they been more prepared, perhaps they would have been able to reverse their fate. 

Is the same fate for us? All countries need to examine their water supply and understand the cycle that occurs. All countries need to examine the future and pose policies to plan for the possibility for floods and droughts. Even a country like Canada is susceptible for water problems in the time of climate uncertainty.  And at this state, the only thing that we can truly depend on is change.