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Posted: March 19, 2019

Water expert presented ahead of World Water Day

The East Kootenay Humanity Network invited Bob Sandford to our communities in recognition of World Water Day – March 22.

The East Kootenay Humanity Network celebrated UN World Water Day with a number of presentations by renowned water expert, Robert Sandford, on March 11 and 12, in Kimberley and Cranbrook.

The 2019 World Water Day theme is ‘Leaving No One Behind.’ Today, billions of people are living without safe water, including Canadians.

Sandford holds the EPCOR Chair in Water and Climate Security at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, based at MacMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., and resides in Canmore, Alta. He is the co-author of the UN Water in the World We Want report on the global sustainable development goals relating to water, and is also the author, co-author, or editor of more than 30 books on the history, heritage, environment and landscape of the Canadian Rockies.

Sandford spoke to students and staff at Mount Baker and Selkirk secondary schools with his passionate presentation, Come Hell or High Water: Scientific Truth and Consequences in Hollywood Disaster Movies.

His “Cli-Fi” (climate fiction) discussion included films on climate cooling, sea-level rise, heat waves and catastrophic storms while balancing these films with research-based explanations of how “hydro-climatic change” affects water and food security and peace on our planet. “I’d rather be afraid now, than have our grandchildren afraid in the future,” explained Sandford.

In his public presentation at the College of the Rockies – Cranbrook Campus, Water in the World We Want, Sandford examined the question, “What does water mean to you?” within the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6, which includes a target to ensure availability and sustainable management of water for all by 2030.

Sandford claimed, “Canada needs to get its house in order. We need a national water ethic with the help of Indigenous peoples while moving from the concept of water ownership to water management.”

During the East Kootenay Humanity Network’s 2019 Round Table event, March 12, at the Royal Alexandra Hall, Cranbrook, Sandford addressed Learning from the Burning: Sustainability in the Wake of the Summer of 2018.

Sandford began by dispelling the myth of limitless water – even in British Columbia including our rapidly disappearing glaciers and recent fire seasons – and other Canadian water issues. “2018 was a threat – also in this area – and now there is a need to restore natural ecosystem culture. We need to respect, restore and rehabilitate natural earth system function. And we need to restore truth, restore place, restore common humanity, and restore balance in the world through fearless and relentless citizenship. The most capacity to affect change is locally. Your East Kootenay community is rich in traditional and local knowledge.”

The East Kootenay Humanity Network is a group of local partners, supported by Cranbrook and District Restorative Justice, who work together to promote unity in diversity among the citizens of the East Kootenay, and to connect local residents with citizens of the world.

For more information, contact Amy Cross, Consultant for East Kootenay Humanity Network at 250-581-2111 or [email protected]

East Kootenay Humanity Network


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