Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Earth Day Everyday ~ Week 5

Water Supply and Contamination Concerns

Once again I am weeks behind on this Earthday everyday project . Polly is already on to week 8 and here I am not done week 5 !
The issue of water is so dear to my heart I discovered . I always thought I was not very close to the element of water but in my love for lake Winnipeg I wrote last year .It became evident I am very connected to water . Water in Aboriginal teachings here is connected with women .Women are water keepers as men are fire keepers . 
Of course I believe all have their connections with all the elements in someway. Perhaps two spirited persons are more connected to all. 
People might think living in the center of the country , a prairie province etc. we don't have much water to view here . We have many beautiful rivers and so many beautiful lakes . we've vast areas of swampy marshlands too .
David Suzuki did a show all about Lake Winnipeg on his Nature of Things last yr. 
During the depression yrs my family were able to water gardens & catch fish for food . 
In the cottage my grandmother had built after her house burnt down she had rainwater as the water source .
She had two huge cattle troughs raised up on platforms under the eaves of the cottage . this water supplied water into the dwelling and we used it for washing . 
when I was a child drinking water still was brought up with a pail from the well my grandfather made . 
our water ways have gone from being sources of nourishment to water ways of pollution and destruction . 
Hydro raises lake levels when they need more power . Our province is now looking to build more dams in order to supply and sell to the USA . 
 I've written several times of the flooding of sacred ground and the contamination of fishing waters due to raising lake levels . 
Our rivers are no better off all the run off water goes straight to the river through street sewage drains , run off naturally would normally go through the ground via many layers of soils filters things out then filtering into rivers naturally . Now because of vast amounts of  cemented areas trees do not get enough run off , and the river gets direct flow from sewer drains . 
people do not realize by digging ditches and building roads it often has changed whole areas of water shed systems . these systems act as a filtering system for water . 
I recently read about the Ogala Aquifer  . This is a huge source of water for the central midwest USA . and it is being used to fast and therefore running dry ! 
Farming on huge scale and consumption of water by people over using water is the cause . 
I just don't get how when people have actually felt the effects of water shortage in CA etc. how on earth can they justify building swimming pools , water parks , showering everyday , washing a car every weekend ....  
which brought me to the latest stupidity of our city .
Winnipeg MB is built around an area that was a gathering space for First Nations peoples for thousands of yrs. It is a space where two magnificent rivers flow and meet. People call it The Forks . 
that the city didn't call it by its Aboriginal name just goes to show right off how sacred space is not honoured . 
Instead of the place being a sacred space to acknowledge and respect everyone , trade fairly etc. it is all about making money . The human rights museum almost finished is a farce and most lower -middle class know it is not a human rights museum . It covered up vast amounts of acrhelogical sites and once again is a building that is all about money nothing to do with respecting people . 
Now there is very little green space left and the city came up with a plan to build a water park and hotel on what is now a parking lot . 
again it made me think of the area before any buildings were built there . homeless people lived there in old boxcars , the trees and grass provide really great green space , bike & walking trails , you could actually see the stars at night when we'd lie in the grass at night . 
So a water park , one of the best examples of the abuse of water . 
to make money . The city was actually trying to promote this as a good thing for families ! How is a water park good for our children ? 
It teaches them nothing , it teaches them to exploit the element of water and focus on self satisfying .
In winter months instead of learning to ice fish , snow shoe , skate chop wood , read books they are encouraged to stay indoors and slide down plastic slides in chlorinated water . 
 Our city has a chance to do something , we've a beautiful natural water source right there , we could make a sustainable city farm where families , schools could partake in growing gardens to feed the families and homeless, people could relearn traditional skills , winter months so much could happen , the area is so rich in archaeological finds that should not be covered up with cement . We could have a great teaching center where people could visit from all over  to learn from us . How messed up is our society when we actually view big complexes full of plastic crap as the good for our future generations ? 
With the issue of privatizing water I can see issues like this will keep coming up regarding water . 
So as I pack up for our move once again out to my Mum's place I am well aware of the situations regarding our water consumption etc. last summer we suffered a drought here the renters could not handle not having running water as the well ran dry . We did just fine hauling water , using stored rain water to wash dishes etc. This spring I'm getting a wringer washer from my cousin . we'll hang our wash when we do it . Bath in the lake if need be . 
I'll keep praying for lake Winnipeg but the fact is unless people decide to consume less the lake and rivers will keep suffering dams being built & levels rising . It is really hard to have people change to use less when they are so used to adding more to their lives and consumption . 


Polly said...

Absolutely LOVE your post! You've touched on so many important points.

Don't feel bad about being behind. I haven't posted for last Sunday yet and having trouble keeping up on my "to do list" here at home!

Thank you SO MUCH for all you've put into this project. I do hope others will benefit and also jump on board in the weeks to come. Maybe they already have and are just doing their own thing. :)

AkasaWolfSong said...

As you well know Roxie Water is very near and dear to my heart...
I think all the issues going on in today's society and environment need to be addressed by our governments in huge ways and our peoples need to wake up.

And speaking of the Ogala Aquifer, this really raises my hackles as Canada wants to send its tar sands down our way right through the Midwest. I've signed every petition I can get my hands on. They even want to dump in our Lakes Superior, Huron, etc. I think what angers me most is they are not listening to our Indigenous Tribes and this is so wrong on a very human rights level.
Oh boy...I better hush up right here, lol... cuz I'd be on my soapbox all day long.
Yes, women are the Water Keepers...if you like email me and I'll send you the song we sing to heal the can sing it to your Lake Winnepeg and teach your daughters and Sisters...
I love you woman!
(((Blessings and Big Hugs)))