State of the City Address- Guelph Rotary Club

I delivered my State of the City address to the Guelph Rotary Club last week.

I really enjoy speaking to this audience. They are sincerely interested in their local government and true to their motto – service above self – they put their money and time where their mouth is and make a big difference in our community.

One of the questions I received was to comment on the implication of future growth on our water supply – won’t we run out of water? 

I answered by speaking about our Water Management Master Plan, the addition of new water supply, the success of our Water Conservation and Efficiency Strategy and the role of our Outdoor Water Use By-law.

All fine and good but, upon reflection, my sense is that I had not answered the heart of his question.

I often hear the concern that our water supply will run out one day and that this will only happen sooner if we keep adding more people and businesses to our community. This is not surprising given we read about water sources in other parts of the world literally drying up.

In Guelph, we draw all of our municipal water from groundwater sources.

Unlike oil and gas, it is a renewable resource if used sustainably.  This means that as long as we don’t pump water faster than the natural environment can replenish it then the water will be there to meet our needs in the future.

So, how do we know if we are tapping our groundwater resource sustainably?

There is ongoing testing to continually increase our knowledge of our ground water system and to carefully monitor our water takings. The sole purpose of this testing is to be an exceptional steward of a vital public resource meeting the needs of our community while protecting it for future generations.

It is an important question and our unwavering commitment to responsible stewardship is the heart of the answer. 

Postscript:  In true Rotarian style, as a token of their appreciation for my time, they made a contribution to the Rotary International campaign to end polio.

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About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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