If you have not read Publisher Dave Adsett’s opinion piece “Growth and Water” in the June 24 issue of the Wellington Advertiser, please do so. It is also available on their web site. As one of our community’s leaders, he addresses the need for sustainability and most importantly to avoid making poor decisions that will affect future generations. He speaks to the challenges facing our community today. Our elected leaders and we need to listen.
His article reminded me of seven-generation stewardship. It is an Iroquois philosophy about sustainability. Its practice ensures every decision made today benefits our children seven generations into the future. We take only enough for our current needs without jeopardizing the needs of seven future generations. Unfortunately, our culture today focuses on fulfilling immediate needs without any consideration for future generations. We naively believe we live in a land of unlimited water. This is narrow and non-sustainable thinking. The people of California held similar views and now are realizing their mistake as they run out of water. Closer to home, Elmira is relying on water from Waterloo since their ground water source is polluted.
The Province expects us to accept 22,425 additional people over 25 years. Yet, we are not prepared to do so. Our local government has started the process with their Centre Wellington Growth Management Plan and some preliminary water studies; but there remain many uncertainties especially with regard to our source of water. Even Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change expressed concern about the viability of Centre Wellington’s groundwater supply and requested further study.
Through the efforts of various local groups and the implementation of water rates, our community is becoming more adept at water conservation. This is a positive result that will extend our water supply but our efforts are threatened by a multinational water company intent on buying the Middlebrook well to take our water. Water conservation is not part of their vocabulary. There is no gain to our community with their arrival, only loss.
It is time to send a clear message to the Province asking them to buy or help purchase the Middlebrook well to preserve our future water supply. The Province is responsible for getting us into this mess. Their lack of foresight to enact more comprehensive water taking and transfer laws to protect our provincial groundwater resources attracted multinational companies to our province to take water. In addition, our Province insists we take 22,425 more people despite the Province indicating we have a water supply problem. Where is the logic in this line of reasoning?
Now, more than ever, we need our elected officials to stop remaining neutral on the issue and to step up and defend our water, our future. As Dave Adsett points out now is not the time for poor decisions.
Water is the foundation of life; we need to ensure it will meet our current needs as well as those seven generations from today.