WATER ISSUES IN ONTARIO

Water is an absolute necessity for life on earth, but reckless consumption and mismanagement has created a global crisis. This course will focus on the complex issues, dynamics, and techniques of managing water as a finite resource on a global and local scale. 

Jan 10: Ontario’s Hydrology 

This introductory lecture will provide an overview of the course- the why, what, when, where and how of global water issues. Special focus is on the science of hydrological cycle, cryosphere- snow and ice, impacts of climate change and a case-study of Southern Ontario.

Guest Lecturer Dr. Ellsworth LeDrew, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo.

Jan 17: Surface Water

 A look at how we use surface water in municipal, agricultural, and industrial sectors. We will also learn about the pathways of pollutants, water filtration and wastewater treatment facilities. Our focus will be on the lakes and rivers of Ontario.

Jan 24:  Groundwater and Aquifers- Are they at risk?

Groundwater is an essential source of freshwater for Ontario residents especially in rural areas. To understand the complexity of groundwater, we will examine the hydrogeological systems, policies, governance and management with the case-study of Nestle water takings.

 JAN 31: The Legal Framework for Water Management and Governance.

 Water governance and management is a complex system of infrastructure, legislations and policies.  A look at Ontario’s Clean Water Act, Source Water Protection Act and other legislations.

 Feb 7: Hydrometereological and Biological Events

 Weather, water and disease related disasters will be examined especially in the context of climate change.  Issues include drought, flooding, contaminants and health impacts. A case-study of the Grand River flood management will be discussed.

 Feb 14:  Water issues in the Georgian Triangle

 Collingwood harbour was listed as one Area of Concern (AOC) by Environment Canada. In 1994 this area was the first one to be delisted. Are the problems resolved? What are the major concerns of this region now? We will look at problems such as declining lake levels, pollution, invasive species and fishery changes.

Dr. Romila Verma is an innovative teacher, researcher, speaker and author. She is one of the leading voices on global water issues. She lectures on water and environmental issues in the School of the Environment and Department of Geography at the University of Toronto. She is the Founder of the non-profit organization, Water Speaks. She is also the Co-Founder of Trans Africa Pipeline, an infrastructure project that will build and connect desalination plants on the East and West coasts of Africa to the Sahel desert region of central Africa.