Water: A Life or Death Issue

Course Code: SCIE 209

Academic Year: 2023-2024

Water is essential for life, but the world's supply of clean fresh water is threatened by growing levels of pollution and rapidly increasing demands by individuals and industry. The UN reports that nearly one billion people lack access to clean drinking water and nearly four million people die each year from water-related diseases. In Ontario, we live under the myth of water abundance, but nearly one third of the municipalities with water systems reported water shortages over the past ten years, and this number is increasing. Events such as the Walkerton tragedy bring home the importance of managing our local water resources carefully while knowledge of international water issues has become essential both to defend national water interests and to operate as a global citizen. This course brings together concepts from biology, geography, geology, ecology, public policy, history and ethics. The course will provide a basis for understanding and exploring water through units, such as the water cycle, watersheds, groundwater, the Great Lakes, water use and abuse and international water issues.