On World Water Day, we’re asking, “Why are we squandering our water on dirty, inefficient industries, giving them a free ride on our invaluable water resources and leaving a toxic legacy in their wake?”

First, let us reflect on our illustrious tar sands, an energy and water-intensive – some might say wasteful – industry that uses up a gallon of water for every litre of oil produced, and creates kilometers of toxic wastewater tailings ponds. These ponds are not only killing the wildlife that understandably mistake them for natural, clean water bodies, but the pollutants that leach from them are being increasingly suspected as the cause of rare cancers in surrounding First Nations communities. This destructive activity is actively supported and subsidized by billions of our tax dollars, and by billions of litres of our fresh, clean water.

That tar sands oil leaching from their tailings ponds brings to mind another nasty industry on the Canadian frontier – bottled water.

Their single-use plastic bottles take 1/4 of their volume in oil and 3 times their volume in water to make, and their toxic plastic ingredient bisphenol-A (BPA) is leaching into the bottles’ contents – and will continue to do so for thousands of years, from landfills into our waterways.

These industries are wasting our water, wildlife and health, and today’s the day to reflect on how we either support or reject these water choices. We’ll continue to challenge these industries wasteful water ways and be the smart, strategic voice for change.