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Report on Canadian freshwater resources receives mixed reaction

July 18, 2013

Few natural resources are as important to the overall well-being of a nation as its freshwater supply. For Canada, which is known for its considerable reserves of resources such as oil, freshwater is in abundance throughout the nation - according to a recent report by the Fraser Institute, a nonpartisan public policy organization. However, Global News reported that some advocacy groups are finding fault with this conclusion, and believe that the water situation is considerably more severe. Those with a passion for environmental issues are likely to discuss these findings on calls made with international calling cards.

According to the Fraser Institute's findings, Canada surrounds 20 percent of all the accessible freshwater in the world. Additionally, Canadian residents were found to only consume 1.6 percent of that freshwater, despite ranking 9th on the list of countries' with the highest per capita water use. Data compiled by the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) also states that as of 2011, Canada had the world's fourth-largest supply of renewable freshwater.

Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, activist and chair of Food and Water Watch - a separate environmental advocacy organization - told Global News that the Fraser Institute's report fails to paint the whole picture of Canada's water supply. She stated that the amount of actual freshwater that can be used without depleting it entirely amounts to only 6.5 percent of the world's available freshwater - significantly less than Fraser's number.

"If you were to drain us and deplete the stock, then yes, we have a lot," Barlow said. "This notion that everything is fine is very dangerous. It's part of this notion that water is an infinite resource and therefore we don't have to take care of it."

Joel Wood, author of the report, stated that freshwater isn't a pressing problem, saying, "At the current rate of decline, it would take over 300 years before annual renewable freshwater ran out. This is not something to worry about."

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