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Earthgauge Radio March 22: World Water Day and the Green Budget Coalition

On Earthgauge Radio this week, we’re commemorating UN World Water Day and Canada Water Week, and we’re looking ahead to next week’s federal budget. We have 3 interviews on the show for you today.

  • George Yap, executive director of Watercan – a charity that builds water supply and sanitation systems in Africa
  • Brian Stratton, Co-Manager of the Mississippi-Rideau Drinking Water Source Protection
  • Andrew Van Iterson, Program Manager of the Green Budget Coalition

Earthgauge Radio is broadcast every other Thursday morning at 7:00-8:00 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa. Right click here to download today’s full show.

International World Water Day is 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 theme of this year’s WWD is Water and Food Security. There are 7 billion people to feed on the planet today and another 2 billion are expected to join us by 2050. Statistics say that each of us drinks from 2 to 4 litres of water every day, however most of the water we ‘drink’ is embedded in the food we eat: It takes about 1500 liters of water to produce 1 kg of wheat, but it takes 10 times more to produce 1kg of beef! it’s estimated that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population could live under water stressed conditions. So dietary choices are hugely important. Less meat, more grains and vegetables and we need to stop wasting food.

Of course, in addition to our increasing global demands on water, climate change is expected to further exacerbate the problem with expected severe reductions in river runoff in some highly populated parts of the world such as as the Mediterranean Basin and in the semi-arid areas of the Americas, Australia and Southern Africa, affecting water availability and quality in already stressed regions.

Coinciding with World Water Day, March 19-25 is also Canada Water Week. Individuals, organizations and governments across the country are encouraged to get involved by organizing or participating in fun and educational events. Did you know that per capita Canadian consumption of water is nearly 6,400 litres of water every day? Much of that water – over 90% – is embedded in the food you eat, the clothes you wear and the products you use every day.

For more info on this important issue, you can check out:

http://canadawaterweek.com/: Find out your own personal water footprint, event listings, ideas about how to get involved and easy ways to reduce your water consumption.

To mark World Water Day, Rosanna has 2 interviews lined up for today’s show. Engineers without Borders Ottawa will be screening the film One Water tonight at 7 PM at Raw Sugar Cafe. One of the other organizations that’s supporting the event is WaterCan Ottawa. It’s a charity that builds water supply and sanitation systems in Africa. She spoke with the organization’s executive director, George Yap, about this year’s World Water day theme, water and food security, and some things we can do here in Canada to help people who face problems with water and food security in other parts of the world.

In the second interview, we hear from Brian Stratton. He is the Co-Manager of the Mississippi-Rideau Drinking Water Source Protection program and civil engineer with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. As a supporter of WaterCan, Mr. Stratton recently travelled to Africa as part of a study tour to evaluate some of WaterCan’s projects there. Rosanna spoke with him about what he saw and how the experience affected him.

Finally, Mark speaks with with Andrew Van Iterson who is the Program Manager of the Green Budget Coalition. As the federal Budget is set to be released next week on March 29, Andrew will tell us about the green policy recommendations his coalition is making for Budget 2012 and the likelihood of these suggestions being implemented given that the government is expected to make deep spending and job cuts.

We’ll also have our usual segment Ecology Ottawa who will be updating us on local environmental events and campaigns. We’ve listed some of the upcoming events below or you can click here to see a complete list with full details. And we have international environment news courtesy of Deutsche Welle’s Living Planet podcast. For more environmental content, check out their web site where you’ll find TV materials and projects like like Global Ideas, which provides ideas on solutions to environmental challenges.

Contact us at . Please get in touch if you have story ideas, a comment on something you’ve heard or want to get involved or contribute to the show. You can also download our podcasts on iTunes. Just type “earthgauge” into the search bar and you’ll find us.

Upcoming local environmental events (courtesy of Ecology Ottawa)

One Water Film Screening
Engineers Without Borders/Canadian Water Resources Association
22 March 12 – 8 March 12
Raw Sugar Cafe – 692 Somerset St. W
[email protected]

Walk for Water, Canada- India Unite for Water / Marche pour l’eau, Canada-Inde Unis pour l’Eau
22 March 12 – 22 March 12
Canada – Inde

Canada Water Week / Save the Gatineau River Celebration
Save the Gatineau / Sauvons la Gatineau Coordinator
25 March 12 – 25 March 12
blacksheep inn, 753 Riverside Drive, Wakefield Quebec Canada J0X 3G0

March 19 to the 25th is Canada’s 2nd Annual Water Week
. Happenings will continue taking place for the remainder of this week to mark the event. To learn more about upcoming events, visit www.canadawaterweek.com

On Saturday March 24th, from 6:30 to 10:30 pm, CPAWS Ottawa Valley is having its annual Moonlight Snowshoe Challenge in Gatineau Park. Participants are asked to raise at least $100 through sponsorship for the event, and all of the money raised will go towards CPAWS’ efforts to protect forests and wildlife in Canada. If there is not very much snow or if the snow is packed for the event, snowshoes won’t be required, so it will just be a hike.

On Sunday March 25th, the fourth annual Spectrum conference organized by graduate students in Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) will take place. This conference is a great networking opportunity for students and professionals as time will be given to meet with speakers and other attendees.

On Monday March 26th, City Council’s OTTAWA FORESTS AND GREENSPACE ADVISORY COMMITTEE will be meeting at city hall from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

On Tuesday March 27th, the Transition Ottawa Peak Oil Discussion Group will be meeting at the Montgomery Legion on Kent Street from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

On Thursday March 29th, Ecology Ottawa’s Orleans team will meet at 6:30 pm in the lounge of the Orleans United Church. The team is working on solar energy initiatives, protecting the Ottawa River, urging sustainable urban design, and encouraging sustainable transportation.

On Wednesday April 4th, the first in a series of Organic Gardening Workshops will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. Soil cycle, soil composition, structure, mixture; plant nutrients pH factor, soil amendments/renewal will be discussed, and various speakers will present.

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