Submitted by Rena Woss
WHAT ABOUT THE SAFETY OF OUR WATER?
Opposition to Golden Key Oil drilling, fracking and flaring inside my city of Lethbridge, Alberta is legitimate and cause for REAL for concern. While frackers and their few supporters try to convince us that fracking is ‘safe’ – what they ignore is that water – the essence of what allows us to live in this semi-arid climate will not be safeguarded. Millions of gallons of fresh water will be used and destroyed for every well fracked! To compound matters, waters of our Oldman River and ground water could very well be polluted. Why would we take such a risk?
Water is not a commodity to be used and poisoned, but a living,
life giving, sacred, precious resource.
Lethbridge is situated in one of the driest parts of the province – the Palliser Triangle. Droughts are regular here. Records indicate that we’ve had 30 year droughts in the past; in 2007 we had a 2 year drought. Our average annual rainfall is less than 11 inches per year. This informs us that water is scarce and conservation hugely important. Our main industry is agriculture and its 100% dependent on water. Unlike oil and gas, agriculture returns unused water back to the Eco system. Agriculture also employs and plays a major role in our city’s retail, wholesale and service sectors – far more than oil and gas.
It should be noted is that Lethbridge is the Sun and Wind capital of Canada. We could be producing clean renewable energy without violating our water, polluting our air and soil and creating social and infrastructure problems for our community that are part and parcel of gas and oil operation.
In researching water and population growth, I’ve come upon reams of disturbing facts. A few basics: 97% of all the water on earth is salt water (undrinkable); 3% is fresh but LESS than 1% is fit for human consumption (much already polluted). Up to 4% of usable groundwater is already polluted. In 1900 there were 1.65 billion people in the world; today the thirsty numbers have exploded to over 7 billion; by 2025 that figure could increase by yet another billion. To feed and water the growing masses will result in competition for resources as we cannot imagine. In the future, water could feasibly become more precious than gold and destruction of it could well be viewed as the crime that it is. The fight we have on our hands is a noble one for at the heart of it is our lifeblood – our precious water.
• Lethbridge Facts:
• Precautionary Principal: