Province of British Columbia has been introducing important changes to the way drinking water is managed. The RDCK is continually working towards incorporating those changes into our policies and operations.
We’ve compiled a short list of fun facts related to water. Much more information is available on the web.
- About 70% of the earth is covered in water.
- Freshwater lakes and rivers, ice and snow, and underground aquifers hold only 2.5% of the world's water. By comparison, saltwater oceans and seas contain 97.5% of the world's water supply.
- Fifty percent of the world's wetlands have been lost since 1900.
- Annually, Canada's rivers discharge 7% of the world's renewable water supply – 105,000 cubic metres per second.
- In Canada, there is more water underground than on the surface.
- With approximately 8% of its territory covered by lakes, Canada has more lake's than any other country in the world.
- Canada has about 25% of the world's wetlands – the largest wetland area in the world.
- Henderson Lake , British Columbia, has the greatest average annual precipitation in Canada – 6,655 millimetres. In contrast, Eureka, in Nunavut, has the least average annual precipitation – 64 millimetres.
- If all of the world's water were fit into a one gallon jug, the fresh water available for us to use would equal only about one tablespoon.
- The overall amount of water on our planet has remained the same for two billion years.
- The average single-family home uses 80 gallons of water per person each day in the winter and 120 gallons in the summer. Showering, bathing and using the toilet account for about two-thirds of the average family's water usage.
- During the 20th century, water use increased at double the rate of population growth; while the global population tripled, water use per capita increased by six times.
- On a global average, most freshwater withdrawals -- 69% -- are used for agriculture, while industry accounts for 23% and municipal use (drinking water, bathing and cleaning, and watering plants and grass) just 8%.
- Once evaporated, a water molecule spends about 10 days in the air.
- In nearly all the world's major religions, water is attributed important symbolic and ceremonial properties.
- One fifth of the world's freshwater fish -- 2,000 of 10,000 species identified -- are endangered, vulnerable, or extinct. In North America, the continent most studied, 67% of all mussels, 51% of crayfish, 40% of amphibians, 37% of fish, and 75% of freshwater mollusks are rare, imperiled, or already gone.
- At least 123 freshwater species became extinct during the 20th century. These include 79 invertebrates, 40 fishes, and 4 amphibians. (There may well have been other species that were never identified.)
- One billion people lack access to safe drinking water, 2.4 billion to adequate sanitation.
- Each day almost 10,000 children under the age of 5 in Third World countries die as a result of illnesses contracted by use of impure water.
- African and Asian women walk an average of 6 kilometres each trip in order to fetch water.
- One drop of oil can render up to 25 litres of water unfit for drinking.
- More than 23 000 different chemicals and substances are available for use in consumer goods and industrial processes in Canada.
- You can survive about a month without food, but only 5 to 7 days without water.
Environment Canada Freshwater Website – http://www.ec.gc.ca/water/e_main.html
Department of Fisheries and Oceans "Big Blue Bus" http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/canwaters-eauxcan/bbb-lgb/index_e.asp
This Page Last Updated: May 22nd, 2012