Water — Nature's Magician
Water's Magical Properties
Did you know?


Back to

Amazing Water Treatment

Want to know more?
Try these links

Environmental Priority - Clean Water

Getting Environmental Results on Clean Water

Canada is often called a "water-rich" nation, as we are the stewards of 9 % of the world's renewable fresh water supply, and we have the longest oceans coastline of any country, as well as the second largest continental shelf along our coasts. The fact is, however, in a global context, Canadians are the second-highest users of water in their day-to-day lives. Our high per capita water usage, coupled with other stressors such as population growth, introduces pressures on Canada's freshwater resources. Also, while we enjoy one of the highest standards of clean water in the world, pollution also remains an important problem in some of our waters. In some areas, people cannot swim or eat the fish they catch.

What Causes Water Pollution?

The quality of Canada's freshwater and marine areas is affected by three important water pollution problems: toxic substances, excess nutrients, and sedimentation.

Toxic substances from industrial, agricultural and domestic use are some of the main pollutants in our water. These include trace elements, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury, petroleum hydrocarbons, dioxins, furans and some pesticides. Some of these substances accumulate through the food chain rather than break down in the environment.

These substances enter our water in a variety of ways, including:

  • industrial sources such as mining, steel production, the generation of electricity and chemical production;
  • accidents such as oil or chemical spills and contaminated sites such as the Sydney Tar Ponds in Nova Scotia;
  • municipal wastewater effluents;
  • Atmospheric deposition from Mexico, the United States, Europe and Asia, which is deposited in Canada through rain and snow; and agricultural run-off.

Toxic substances in the food chain

Excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous compounds come mainly from municipal sewage and farm run-off containing fertilizers and animal waste. These nutrients can cause excess growth of aquatic plants, which then die and decay, depleting water of dissolved oxygen and killing fish.

Sedimentation is an increase in the amount of solid particles in water, caused primarily by human activities such as forestry, farming and construction. When sediment settles, it can smother the feeding and dspawning grounds of fish and kill aquatic organisms.

Why Should We Be Concerned?

Water pollution has wide-ranging impacts on our health, our environment and our economy. Some toxic substances in our water are known to cause cancer. Others are harmful to reproductive and immune systems and have been detected in the breast milk of mothers. While all Canadians are affected, the greatest health risk is to small children, the elderly and to Aboriginals in the north who rely on local wildlife as a source of food.

Toxic substances and acid rain are damaging our environment: beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River have blood levels of pesticides and PCBs 10 times higher than belugas in the north, and acid rain is threatening 15,000 lakes and forests in eastern Canada.

In addition to pollution concerns, governments are involved in a wide range of water issues ranging from the predicted impacts of climate change, to flooding, droughts, bulk water removals, and interbasin water diversions. Population growth has also accelerated pressures on our water supplies, and on the natural water and wetlands systems upon which our freshwater supplies depend.

Conserving our natural legacy

Public opinion polling has consistently shown that an overwhelming majority of Canadians view freshwater as a «special» and precious resource. A resource that requires special attention and protection. Freshwater is, after all, necessary for life itself. In addition to sustaining human life and health, the value of freshwater goes well beyond this role in our society, and there is almost no facet of our lives that is not dependent in some way on how we handle freshwater. The agricultural and industrial communities, our transportation links, our cities and towns, and our recreation activities, are all linked to Canada's freshwater resource. Indeed, water is an integral element of our natural ecosystems and the renewable resources they sustain.

With the diversity of freshwater issues that exist, interests in freshwater are many and varied, and the interplay of jurisdictional responsibilities are very complex, both domestically and internationally. A diverse array of federal, provincial, territorial and municipal authorities and agencies, industrial and commercial interests, the research and academic communities, environmental, health and consumer advocacy groups, Aboriginal communities and their representatives, the recreational and cultural sector, and individual Canadians all have a stake in how our freshwater resources and watersheds are managed. For its part, the Government of Canada plans to initiate a dialogue with Canadians on a broad range of freshwater issues. The focus for this initiative will be a discussion document which outlines some of the key challenges and opportunities for freshwater management in Canada. We want to ensure that our efforts are properly directed towards achieving a Canada where freshwater resources and ecosystems are clean, productive and secure for present and future generations.

Canada has significantly reduced the flow of pollution into its waters. But the future continues to hold tremendous challenges as environmental issues become larger and more complex. Global demands for pesticides, manufactured chemical goods and products are rising. The number of substances known or strongly suspected to be toxic continues to grow.

The challenge for Canada is to continue to build international cooperation, in particular, on the issue of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants. Domestically, we must continue to build and encourage partnerships with communities, industry and provincial and territorial governments.

To be successful, we must recognize the value of water to the health of Canadians and the integral role water plays in our economic and social structures. Canadian businesses will play a key role in the development of new environmental technologies that protect our citizens and our renewable resources. All Canadians should protect our lakes and rivers from pollution, and work to conserve this precious natural resource for future generations.

Want to know more?


call us at (519) 942 - 9721
Fax at (519) 941 - 0033
or contact us at




Check Out Coral Calcium Again
The amasing mineral impacting the water supply on Oganawa a small island of the coast of Japan where people live to an average age of 130 years old