By Kevin J Sabo
For the Advance
Water is the life-blood of our world.
About 70 per cent of our planet is made up of water, but of that only 2.5 per cent is fresh water that can be used for human consumption, with the rest being composed of saline and ocean water. Water has such importance to our species that on July 28, 2010, the United Nations recognized it as a human right.
Knowing this importance of water, the County of Paintearth council voted unanimously on Oct. 3 to sign the Red Deer River Municipal Users Group Charter for Protecting Source Water Quality in the Red Deer River Watershed.
The county draws its water from the Red Deer River via a pipeline operated by the Shirley McClellan Regional Water Services Commission.
While the charter is aimed at the Red Deer River watershed, it will serve as a template for the county in protecting the Battle River Watershed which runs through the North side of the jurisdiction and create three protections that the county will begin to build into regulations and Land Use Bylaws.
While the county had wide latitude in choosing the protections it would focus on, the three key points they have chosen are: 1. Education and supports to ratepayers, 2. Creation of Firesmart Community Plan, and 3. Identification of natural aquifers where water distribution systems are not an option.
Water is the life-blood of our world and without it our species, all species, will come to a halt. Recognising the need for a safe, stable water supply, the County of Paintearth is leading the way in protecting this vital commodity.