COURSE Code: SCIE 008
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 defend national water interests and 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.