For the first time in history, fresh water has become a finite resource. Many experts agree that, without significant changes in water policy, wars of the 21st century may be fought, not over oil, but for control of clean water. We Are Water is an imaginative, entertaining, and enlightening documentary, illustrating the fragile relationship between our planet’s endangered fresh water resources, and the ever increasing needs of our expanding population.
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HOW TO HELP

IN THE BATHROOM

  • Turn off water while brushing teeth – save 360 liters per week
  • Fix a dripping tap – save 300 gallons per year
  • Reduce shower form seven to four minutes – save 60 liters each time
  • Install low flow shower head – save 11 liters per minute, 750 gallons/month
  • Install dual flush toilet – save 50% each flush
  • Put a plug in basin while shaving – 9 liters per minute
  • Capture shower water for the garden
  • Flush less – save 2 to 7 gallons each time
  • Put a brick in the toilet tank – save a liter each flush
  • Turn off water while you shampoo and condition your hair – save 50 gallons a week Pee while you shower!

IN THE KITCHEN

  • Turn off water while cleaning up the kitchen – save 100 gallons per week
  • Buy a water efficient dishwasher – save 50% each time
  • Only wash a full load of dishes – save 120 gallons per month
  • Use economy setting on dishwasher – save 4 liters
  • Compost instead of using your garbage disposal – save 9 liters per minute
  • Catch running water while it warms up
  • Plug the sink to rinse dishes or veggies
  • Defrost the night before instead of using running water 
  • Use a wash basin in sink, then recycle water to the garden
  • Fix a drip – save up to 75 liters a day
  • Save cold water in the fridge instead of running the tap
  • Become a part time vegetarian
  • Eat less meat Install a low flow faucet – save 50% of your water use
  • Buy WaterSense appliances
  • Use veggie rinse water on plants
  • Reuse the same drinking glass all day
  • Soak and scrape pots and pans rather than running water
  • Reuse veggie cooking water for tasty soup stock

IN THE LAUNDRY

  • Use a water efficient washing machine – save 30 gallons every load
  • Only wash a full load of laundry – saves 10 liters
  • Consider installing a grey water system to recycle laundry water
  • Pretreat stains so they only get washed once
  • But EnergyStar appliances
  • Use natural soap nuts instead of detergent
  • Attach a hose to your washing machine outlet pipe for use in the garden

AT HOME

  • Use old fish tank water on plants
  • Teach kids to turn off faucets properly
  • Reduce the distance from the water heater to the sink
  • Try on-demand water heaters for the shower or kitchen Insulate hot water pipes to retain heat
  • Look for EPA WaterSense labels
  • Drink tap water
  • Avoid putting medications in the toilet
  • Avoid putting chemicals in the toilet or down the sink
  • Don’t put fat and grease down the sink
  • Mix it with bird seeds and invite birds to your garden
  • Buy a used car. It takes 120,000 to make a new one
  • Reuse clothing. It takes 1800 gallons to make a pair of blue jean
  •  Drive less. It takes 70 gallons of water to produce one gallon of gas.
  • Give $15 to CharityWater.org so someone in the developing world can have a clean water supply.
  • Ride your bicycle instead of driving.
  • Think before you buy. Is there something you can recycle or reuse?  

IN THE YARD

  • Irrigate early or late but not in the sunny part of the day
  • Avoid irrigating on windy days
  • Use less fertilizer
  • Create more shade in your yard to retain moisture in your plants and lawn
  • Use rain barrels
  • Eliminate herbicides
  • Pull weeds instead of using RoundUp
  • Replace part of the lawn with pebbles
  • Plants more shrubs Mulch and compost your garden
  • Use old blankets, carpet or cardboard in between crop rows for weed barriers
  • Group veggies in your garden by water needs
  • Mulch the garden to reduce evaporation – reduces watering 70%
  • Aerate and spike lawns in the spring for deep roots and drought tolerance
  • Check the pool for leaks – 500 liters per day
  • Cover the pool or hot tub (or just get rid of it)
  • Don’t trim the grass too short – longer needs less water
  • Plant drought resistant native plants
  • Direct rain gutters to plants that need it
  • Pee in the yard
  • Cover rain barrels
  • If you irrigate on a timer, install a rain shutoff
  • Pee in your compost pile
  • Direct the air conditioner drips to plants that need it
  • If you have to water, use drip irrigation
  • Check outdoor taps for leaks – save 1000 liters per year
  • Water the garden with a trigger nozzle not a sprinkler
  • Use a bucket and sponge to wash the car
  • Go to a car wash that reuses water
  • Wash your car on the lawn 
  • Collect rainwater for the garden
  • Sweep the driveway instead of hosing it down
  • Look for leaks – check water meter for two hours during no consumption period
  • Add walkway pavers and patio areas and let them runoff to garden
  • Plant more shrubs and ground cover to reduce the lawn
  • Water plants deeply but less often to improve drought tolerance
  • Learn where your master water shutoff valve is located
  • Let your lawn go dormant Wash the dog on the grass  

AT SCHOOL

  • Report leaking taps and toilets to teachers – save 300 gallons
  • Nominate a water monitor to look for leaks
  • Put up posters to remind each other to turn off taps
  • Wash art supplies in a recycled ice cream container
  • Learn how to monitor the water meter
  • Ask your science teacher to help locate your watershed
  • Use less paper
  • Learn how to read a water meter

AT THE OFFICE

  • Wash dishes once at the end of the day
  • Appoint a daily dish washer
  • Upgrade to dual flush toilets
  • Talk about water conservation measures in staff meetings
  • Use less paper
  • Determine if there is a way to reuse water at your business
  • Conduct a water audit of your company
  • Use a refillable water bottle for drinking

ON VACATION

  • Reuse hotel towels
  • Drink tap water if safe
  • Use a refillable water bottle
PROTECT OUR FUTURE

DRINK TAP WATER – Be an example for others. Disposable water bottles waster water and money. It takes 5 quarts to make one bottle of water and a quarter of a bottle of oil to make, transport and dispose of the water. Refill a water bottle and drink safe, clean tap water. You’ll save money.

REDUCE YOUR WATER FOOTPRINT – Click on this site: Water Footprint Calculator to learn about how much water is needed to support your lifestyle. The average American needs 1800 gallons of water per day, twice as much as the rest of the planet. This will help you reduce your use.

REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE – Basic conservation helps save water. Turn off running taps. Shop at a thrift store. Stream movies. Download music instead of buying CDs. Shop at bulk stores with less packaging. Carry re-useable shopping bags.
EAT LOW ON THE FOOD CHAIN – Plant based nutrition requires less water than meat to bring to market. Consider being at least a part time vegetarian. A simple hamburger takes over 600 gallons to produce. Support your local farmer’s market.

THINK ABOUT THE WORLD BENEATH YOUR FEET – Everything you do on the surface of the land will be returned to you in drinking water. Dispose of things such as household chemicals and prescription drugs properly or you will be drinking them later.

Download cool activities for kids aged 7-14!

Junior-Ranger-Booklet

Diving into Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet, NU)

By | All Posts, Arctic, We Are Water | No Comments

In 1931, famed Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris painted a series of canvases of Arctic landscapes that captivated the attention of Canadians. Landscape Photography of the time was either monochromatic or hand-painted in a pastel wash of color. It was Harris who brought the North to life in vibrant graphic brush strokes. His paintings of Bylot and Baffin Islands were some of the earliest representations that helped people build a visual impression of the mysterious wilderness of the Arctic. While studying his work in art school, my mind often wandered. Would I ever have the chance to experience the purity of such an incredible place?

Now standing at the very location that captivated Harris’ imagination, I am awed by the majesty of the snow-covered peaks, whose glaciers connect with the sea ice in Eclipse Sound. Misty clouds pour down the valleys in swirling masses of white that blend into the tableau before me. I can see that the connection of people, snow, mountains… the environment of the Arctic is one harmonious organism. The Inuit call the sea ice “ The Land,”  and when they are out on the land, you can sense a palpable joy that animates their day.

I have been drawn to this place to share a story of ice. Elder Sheatie Tagak tells me that the time they have on the land is limited these days. He recalls that the sea ice used to set earlier, spread farther, and last longer. Now he waits until February for the ice to harden enough for his Skidoo and notes that the turning point, when the sea begins to melt, now comes in March. He also sees running water all year long. It is bleeding into town from beneath the glaciers and snow cover. The fresh water vaporizes from streaming rivulets that furrow the muddy road and pour down into the sea. Things are changing, and he and his people are trying to adapt.

Nobody can predict with certainty when the Arctic sea ice will be gone, but scientists agree that we are on a precarious downward slope. Professor Jason Box, a glaciologist with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland declares that “the loss of nearly all Arctic sea ice in late summer is inevitable.”

I feel compelled to document this rapidly changing landscape both above, below and within the ice. During my “Arctic on the Edge” project, I will be following the journey of ice from glacier calving grounds in Greenland, across Baffin Bay and down the coasts of Baffin Island, Labrador, and Newfoundland, where large bergs finally melt into the ocean. I’ll be sharing stories of shifting baselines, transforming geography and societal impacts of our warming world.

Camping on the sea ice at a place the Inuit call Kuururjuat, I recognize I may be one of the last people to have this opportunity. In just a few days, the ice is breaking up into increasingly large leads. The hard surface transforms into melting pools of turquoise blue, and the floe edge creeps ever closer. What will happen to the traditional hunt that unites families in their most treasured time together? What will happen to the polar bear, ring seals, narwhals and eider ducks? When I ask Sheatie Tagak about the melting ice, he laments, “it is happening, and we can’t stop it.”

Top: Inuit guide Kevin Enook pulls the kamootik over Eclipse Sound. Lower: Lawren Harris painting of the same region of Eclipse Sound and Bylot Island.

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Visiting a Place of Inspirational Beauty

By | Arctic, Royal Canadian Geographical Society, We Are Water | No Comments
Lawren Harris 1931, the view from Pond Inlet

Lawren Harris 1931, the view from Pond Inlet

South Shore Bylot Island

In 1931, Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris painted a series of canvases of an Arctic landscape that captivated my imagination since my childhood. I will now have the privilege of visiting the very spot on the South shore of Bylot Island where he coaxed his oils into masterpieces that have netted as much as $2.43 million dollars. The Group of Seven is undoubtedly one of the most influential art movements in Canadian history. They captured the Canadian landscape in a way that nobody had done before. Franklin Carmichael (1890–1945), Lawren Harris (1885–1970), A. Y. Jackson (1882–1974), Frank Johnston (1888–1949), Arthur Lismer (1885–1969), J. E. H. MacDonald (1873–1932), and Frederick Varley (1881–1969) showed us the country’s landscape in a raw and colorful beauty that defined our perceptions of the wilderness. I have longed to visit the places where Harris brought the Arctic landscape alive with color. Now I have my opportunity.

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A World Without Ice

By | Arctic, Royal Canadian Geographical Society, We Are Water | No Comments
Have you ever wondered what our world would look like without ice?

The video assembled by Business Insider is based on the 2013 National Geographic story, “What the World Would Look Like if All the Ice Melted.” It shows a model that represents a sea level rise of 216 feet.

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The Importance of Sea Ice

By | Arctic, We Are Water | No Comments

aBerg2757sThe extent of the cover of sea ice at both poles keeps reaching new records. According to NASA, the Arctic sea ice reached a record low wintertime extent on March 7, 2017. It was the same situation on the other side of the world when Antarctic sea ice levels were documented to reach its lowest extent recorded since satellites began to measure these parameters in 1979. What is even more troubling is that what remains is even thinner than before. Sea ice plays many roles in the health of our planet. When sea ice melts, nutrients are released into the water stimulating the growth of phytoplankton in the summer. These microorganisms play a role as the base of the food web upon which everything else must feed. When too much sea ice melts and disappears, we lose a large white reflective base that would usually send light back into space. With larger expanses of dark open water, more heat is absorbed and the overall temperature of the planet increases.

A Place of Great Change

The Arctic is transforming more rapidly than anywhere else on our planet. Temperatures there are rising at twice the rate seen elsewhere. Many scientists agree that the Arctic could soon be ice-free. Extreme changes are in motion for the people of the North. Permafrost melting, sea level rise, erosion and an increase in stormy weather pose risks for a society that has lived in balance with nature. With the Arctic food web shifting from loss of sea ice, traditional hunts are disrupted, and the tenuous balance of food security is lost.

With the Arctic becoming more navigable and accessible, resource speculation is on the rise. Oil and gas and shipping industries are jockeying into position to snag new routes and drilling rights in the open water. These activities will indelibly change the complexion of the Arctic and bring new risks to an otherwise pristine sanctuary.

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LEARN

Projects of this nature take the hard work of volunteers, contributions from supporters and participation form people who are willing to carry the message. The following individuals and groups assisted in the creation of the We Are Water documentary film at the centerpiece of our mission.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS

  • Jill Heinerth
  • Robert McClellan

ORIGINAL SCORE

Xavier Fleuranceau

CO-PRODUCERS

  • Dan’s Dive Shop
  • Great Lakes Technical Divers
  • Light Monkey
  • Renata Rojas

SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Clark
  • Layne Fleuranceau
  • Brian Kakuk
  • Marc Laukien
  • Kristine & Murrey Olmsted
  • Tom Rae
  • Riana Treanor
  • Jan, Steve, Matt & Holly Jang
  • Bob and Mary Rabjohn
  • Gord, Kelley & Cori Rabjohn

UNDERWATER TALENT

  • Graham and Lila Maddocks
  • Martha McCullough
  • Barbara Wynns

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

  • Megan Cook
  • Stuart Grinde
  • Daniel Tomosovich

ENVIRONMENTALISTS

  • Carlos Fonseca
  • Annette and Mark Long
  • Matt Mandziuk
  • Ocean Support Foundation
  • John Sapp
  • Joseph Sferrazza
  • Triangle Diving, Bermuda

DIVE SUPPORTER

  • Aquatica
  • Kenny Broad
  • Captain Don’s Habitat
  • Jack Chalk
  • Alberta Underwater Council
  • G&S Watersports
  • Hollis
  • Brian Nadwidny
  • ORIS Watches
  • Santi
  • Scuba Diving Magazine
  • Perry Smith
  • Ursuit
  • VR Technology
  • Waterproof
  • Chris Wickman

ADVOCATES

  • Stephanie Benincasa
  • Carmine Benincasa
  • Chris Corfield
  • Alex Djermanovic
  • Natasa Djermanovic
  • Kevin Frillman
  • MichaelAngelo Gagliardi
  • Zelda Gagliardi
  • General Ecology
  • Randy Kliewer
  • Lora Laffan
  • Richard Moccia
  • Beth and Jerry Murphy
  • Ocean Quest Dive Center
  • Gene Page
  • Pacific Pro Dive
  • Wendy Quimby
  • Jason Sapp
  • Lana Taylor
  • Wendy Thurman

SUPER HEROES

  • Aqua Sport Scuba
  • “Bear” Rae Olmsted
  • Dawn & April Bencze
  • Rich Best
  • Bird’s Underwater
  • Sharron Britton
  • John Buxton
  • Shannon and Ken Caraccia
  • John Cheeseman
  • Joel and Jacki Clark
  • Bill Coltart
  • Vlada Dekina
  • Delmont UMC
  • Dive Outpost
  • Luigi Di Raimo
  • JoAn & Derek Ferguson
  • Sam Gillis
  • Grant Graves
  • Richard Harris, MD
  • Adrian Hartley
  • Lee Ann Hughes
  • Eiko Jones
  • Larry Kalyniak, PhD
  • Marian Lane
  • Carol Lippincott
  • Cathy Lesh
  • John Minigan
  • Sharon Morgan
  • Bill and Tonya Nadeau
  • Niagara Divers Association
  • Lisa J Norelli, MD
  • Diana and Bill Oestreich
  • Renee Power
  • Luigi Di Raimo
  • Wendy J Richards
  • Jeff Rose
  • Stu Seldon
  • Dave Serafine
  • Sean Sexsmith
  • Suzanne Sferrazza
  • Jeff Shirk
  • Phil Short
  • Giovanni Soleti
  • Jim Stevenson
  • Sunken Treasure Scuba
  • Matthew Sypherd
  • Bonnie Toth
  • Wendy & Frank VanVliet
  • Lee Ann Waggener
  • Heidi Wallace
  • Jeanie Weimer
  • Tom Wilson
  • Cindy Wolff
  • Pam Wooten

HEROES

  • Sara Calvin
  • Cuyler
  • Eric Deister
  • Jeffrey Fossmo
  • Dmitri Gorski
  • Emily Greer
  • Wendy Grossman
  • Keene Heywood
  • Rick Kilby
  • Rita Lemgruber
  • Ken Mayer
  • Janine McKinnon
  • W Roderick O’Connor
  • Chris Parker
  • Karen Peist
  • Jim “Robbo” Robinson
  • Gerald Sliker
  • Mark Stringer
  • Julianne Ziefle

FRIENDS

  • Barbara Am Ende
  • Henrik Aronson
  • Kim Cavanaugh
  • Robert Cook
  • Kent Frazier
  • John Groff
  • John Hill
  • Robert H. Hughes
  • Jim Louvau
  • Jenn Macalady
  • Michael Myrick
  • Robert Osborne
  • Brian Rossman
  • Peter & Nancy Williams
  • Michael & Jennifer Wyman

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Marco Alvarez
  • Ronald Apple
  • Chris Clark
  • Jason Cook
  • Richard Dreher
  • Lesley Gamble
  • Matthew Harris
  • Gal Haspel
  • John Moran
  • Lance and Jessica Nelson
  • Luke & Ben Nelson
  • Matthew Pence
  • Janet Schmidt
  • Mary Slusarchuk
  • Christopher Stonestreet
  • Daphne Haspel Soares

THE FUTURE

  • Tzur Haspel Soares
  • Catherine Maddocks