2B - North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton; Rian, Maddy, Sankalp, Nabila, Hassan

Environment   Oct 16, 2018 by Rian Hoyle

In Edmonton we have only one river, the North Saskatchewan River, and it’s very special to the city. It acts as a popular site in the summer for canoeing, swimming, fishing, & other recreational activities. However it isn’t there solely for human pleasure, the river and it’s banks are home to a good portion of Edmonton’s flora and fauna. One group member, Hassan had a good point when discussing the river; “It also is Edmonton’s source of water which keeps every living thing within the city alive.”

The treatment of our water is so critical to the future of the planet, if mankind continues to abuse the freshwater available then within the next century there won’t be any available.  Our river in Edmonton isn’t the same as most, since Alberta is land locked the North Saskatchewan is sourced from the Rocky Mountains and makes its way through Alberta and Edmonton, it ends up turning into the South Saskatchewan River and dumps into Lake Winnipeg. The lake actually flows into a series of small rivers and lakes and finishes its journey in the Hudson's Bay.

Since the North Saskatchewan River goes through 3 provinces, that is a lot of treatment centres and a lot of pollution going into the water. Nabila shared something very true about our water; “In Edmonton the water we use is one of the first stops the river takes so we’re lucky, however somewhere further away like Winnipeg doesn’t have it so good.” The toxic pollutants that are put into our water can’t always be removed, although some are cleaned out most never leave meaning as the North Saskatchewan River progresses through Western Canada any animal that uses the water ingests some amount of pollutants, the build up of these toxins can lead to death and sickness in all beings including humans.

Plastics work the same way as pollutants, except plastics will never break down and the only way for plastics to be removed is by humans or is eaten by an animal. One group member, Maddy, had a good response to plastics in our river; “Realistically a plastic bag would most likely not flow from the Rocky Mountains to the Hudson’s Bay however the bag can still cause damage no matter what. Plastic can end up killing animals and interfering with the natural ecosystem.” Something I think is most important to emphasize is; “It doesn’t matter what is done by individuals, if the people of Canada as a whole don’t do their part then the water will only become more polluted and the negative effects will be irreversible.”

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