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Water, Water,… Everywhere?
Did you know that 80% of the Earth is covered with water, but only 3% of it is fresh water, and less than 1% of all water is good for human consumption? The rest of the water is salty ocean water, or fresh water that is frozen in a glacier. And of that small 1% of fresh water that we can use, an even tinier amount is used as drinking water.
Did you know that about 60% of our body is made up of water, 85% of our brain is water and 15% of our bones are water?
Water is SO important to LIFE! Sadly, there are many places in the world that are almost out of water supplies. As populations grow and the climate warms, more and more people will not have access to fresh water. In fact, it is predicted that 2 out of every 3 people will suffer from water shortages in the next few decades.
So, we MUST do what we can to protect it.
Here in northwestern Ontario, we are blessed with LOTS of water – Lake of the Woods, many smaller lakes and lots of rivers and streams. These all form part of the watershed in which we live – And LOTS of people drink the water in this watershed.
Here is what our watershed looks like
Did You Know? About 750,000 people drink water from our watershed including people living in northern Minnesota, Fort Frances, Atikokan, Kenora, over 20 First Nation communities, and the City of Winnipeg!
What is a Watershed?
A “watershed” is the name for all the land that drains into the same river or lake – all of the water in Lake of the Woods comes from the land around it called the “Lake of the Woods Watershed” – our watershed is HUGE – it goes from the Winnipeg River outlet near Huskie the Muskie, west to past Shoal Lake, south to Hibbing, Minnesota and almost as far east as Lake Superior! All the water, dirty or clean, in that watershed, ends up in Lake of the Woods and goes down the Winnipeg River to Lake Winnipeg and, eventually, to Hudson’s Bay – and part of that water comes from places in the United States! That’s why we need to take care of our watershed if we are going to take care of our lake. What someone puts in the water “upstream” always comes to us and what we put in the water here, always goes “downstream” to someone else…..we have to work TOGETHER to keep our water clean.