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Writing Activity 2 - Informative Analysis
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Water Management through Water Conservation

Write an informative report that informs about Canadian-sponsored water-management initiatives in the developing world. Suggested essay length – 1200 to 1500 words and references. Use academic language and APA documentation format.

According to a 2004 CBC report, Canada is estimated to have up to 20 percent of the world's freshwater supply (depending upon how that is determined), making it one of the most water-rich countries in the world. The report continues, saying that while Canadians use approximately 350 litres per person of water per day, globally, most people need between 20 and 40 litres for personal use. With so much good, fresh water available, it may be difficult for us to realize how intense the struggle to obtain water may be for many people in the developing world. [See" In depth: Water - Selling Canada's water", CBC News Online, August 25, 2004 ]

In drought-vulnerable areas such as the Middle East and North Africa, acquiring useable drinking water is a constant struggle. In response, Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has been involved in water demand management (WDM) programmes to manage water so that it is conserved as efficiently as possible. Working on the premise that "Water saved equals water increased", the IDRC uses many techniques to protect water in water-impoverished countries. The picture below shows a community proudly displaying the results of one of the initiatives.

  Making the Most of Minimal Water
IDRC Photo: P. Bennett
Water Demand Management (WDM) Programmes in water-impoverished areas

"The IDRC-supported WaDImena project is helping countries in the parched Middle East and North Africa share lessons on how demand management can avert a looming water crisis". – Making the Most of Minimal Water

How can people, especially those living where water is dangerously scarce, manage their water more efficiently? Aside from simply accessing water, what other considerations must be taken into account? What are the roles of research, technology, dialogue, attitude, and culture in averting potential water crises?

Review the IRDC report to start your analysis of the issue. Continue to investigate, researching as you formulate a central idea. You may choose to give an overview of the main points – from this article and other sources – or to focus on a particular relevant aspect, place, or initiative. It may be helpful to formulate a guiding question to yourself, and structure your answer as your thesis statement. As you construct your essay, be objective yet informative, and support your thesis with appropriate subtopics, explanations and examples from your research. You may also wish to use an academic library's scholarly sources, and find out how to access appropriate academic journals.

Additional Resources: Selected Points from Environment Canada:

  1. The UN Declares 2005-2015 "Water for Life" as the International Decade for Action and sets the world agenda on a greater focus on water- related issues.
  2. The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/47/193 of 22 December 1992 by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water.
  3. About 70% of the earth is covered in water.
  4. Freshwater lakes and rivers, ice and snow, and underground aquifers hold only 2.5% of the world's water. By comparison, saltwater oceans and seas contain 97.5% of the world's water supply.
  5. African and Asian women walk an average of 6 kilometres each trip in order to fetch water.

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