Water is fundamental to human life and the ecosystems that support that life. The importance and value of water becomes especially significant in semi-arid southern Saskatchewan. As Saskatchewan grows and the climate changes, water availability will be a limitation for meeting social and environmental needs. Reliable access to safe freshwater will be one of the biggest challenges we will face in the prairies in the 21st century.
SES also has a northern water monitoring program, the Boreal Watershed Monitoring Program, in which work was done with students and teachers in many northern Saskatchewan schools to sample and monitor water quality in their region.
SES conducted a pilot program for the City of Saskatoon to help businesses increase their water efficiency. Learn more about the Be Water Wise program. Water conservation produces many benefits, including utility savings for water users, enhanced business image, and community-wide benefits such as reduced energy use in water treatment and deferred capital costs for municipal infrastructure.
SES is pressing for cleanup of northern Saskatchewan watersheds contaminated by the operation of uranium mines. Even though some closed over 30 years ago, their legacy of contamination continues to this day.
SES has successfully encouraged the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment to improve acid rain monitoring in Saskatchewan’s northern lakes. SES is now urging governments to better regulate the oil sands industry in Alberta in order to reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, which ultimately form airborne acid rain that settles on Saskatchewan lakes, rivers, and especially the forests, which are the most acid-sensitive in all of Canada.
The Saskatchewan Environmental Society continues to play an important role in planning and education around water issues.