NEM Celebrates #WorldWaterDay


Today is World Water Day! This celebration has been held annually on March 22 “as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.” The day as been observed since 1993 and each year World Water Day focuses on a specific aspect of water. (World Water Day website) This year’s theme of Nature for Water “explores how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century”, an interesting thought when you overlap that with our passion for engineering. How can we find natural and sustainable solutions to water issues considering society’s impact on the environment and climate?

Water in Ontario

Engineering plays a huge role in all our water needs and we are lucky enough to have an abundant source of fresh water in the Great Lakes. In addition to having a large source of treatable drinking water, the water also plays a key role in electricity generation and transport.

Below are specific examples of how engineers are making a difference everyday through water.

  • As mentioned above, water is used to generate electricity and it makes up almost a quarter of generated energy in Ontario. A great example of hydro generation is at Ontario’s own Niagara Falls at the Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations. Water is also used in nuclear power generation in Ontario and is done through Canadian-made CANDU reactors. Here’s a video briefly explains how they work and how water is extremely important to the process.
  • The St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes Waterway make up a crucial trade trade route for Canada and the United States. It is a combination of locks, canals and channels that enable larger boats to bypass obstacles such as the Niagara Falls and the rapids of St. Mary’s River. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is a sponsor of NEM 2018.
  • The tragic contamination of Walkerton’s water supply in 2000 has shown how vigilant those working on drinking water systems must be, even in Ontario.


Water for the World

Every National Engineering Month, the Toronto Chapter of Engineers Without Borders runs a workshop series called Water for The World (W4TW). The workshops are designed for middle school students in grades 5 to 9. These interactive workshops generate discussions on local and global water access issues, allowing students to test their creativity and problem-solving skills in a filter-building activity.

We look forward to the day when we can report no human being lacks access to clean drinking water or sanitation. Thank you to all those who support the W4TW campaign and Water World Day!

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