SS4.11 Water and Society - Science and Management in a Social and Economic Context
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Time: 9:30:00 AM
Location: Sidney
 
MazumderA, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada, mazumder@uvic.ca
Liang, Y, , University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada, 
Davies, J, M, Unicersity of Victoria, Victoria, Canada, 
Nowlin, W, , University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada, 
Furey, P, , University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada, 
Matthews, B, , University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada, 
 
LOSS OF ECOSYSTEM AND WATERSHED QUALITY A SERIOUS THREAT TO SUSTAINABLE CLEAN AND HEALTHY DRINKING WATER.
image
Quality of drinking water is global concern. Most water quality problems originate at the source water ecosystems and watersheds. Yet, relatively little effort is given to the management and protection source water ecosystems and watersheds. The majority of surface water ecosystems and watersheds in Canada are facing multiple land- and water-use activities in an unsustainable manner because the science, policy and regulations needed for best land and water resource practices are not available. It is becoming more and more difficult to sustain clean water at the source as a result of wide spread environmental stresses. These include pollutants, changes in hydrology, changes in land-use practices and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. Currently, a major emphasis is on the filtration and disinfection of water. We must realize that more intensive treatments produce higher concentrations of treatment byproducts, some of which are known to be carcinogenic to humans. Furthermore, it is often less costly and less risky to sustain good water quality at the source rather than to install larger and more complex treatment facilities. Successful science and policy development for sustainable clean water is inter- disciplinary and falls under vastly different disciplines, funding systems and government jurisdictions. Ecosystem and watershed management and protection integrating environmental, health, economic and policy issues of sustainable clean water are yet to be fully developed in Canada. I will discuss the integration of science, policy and regulations needed to minimize the contamination and deterioration of water quality at the source so that the water quality degradation at the tap and associated risks can be minimized, and that the society benefits from added protection at modest additional cost.