COLUMN: Rain gods finally smile

City councillor Janice Morrison on water conservation and unique opportunities at the Mir Centre for Peace.

by Janice Morrison

A quick review of Facebook this weekend indicates that many local residents are thankful to see that the promised rain has finally arrived! Our lawns, flowers and gardens will be gratefully soaking up all the refreshing rain. It has also helped with dampening the smoke, a relief for all of us, especially those with respiratory conditions. Unfortunately it does not mean the end to local water restrictions.

S.T. Coleridge wrote in his famous poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink”. When you can see Kootenay Lake (the fifth largest lake in BC) from everywhere in Nelson it is hard to imagine why we need to have water restrictions in place. Restrictions are in place because our city water originates in the mountains above the city, not the lake below us.

This long dry spell has stressed two of our three sources of water — Selous Creek and Anderson Creek. So while a little rain has fallen we need to continue to be vigilant with our water use both outside as well as inside our homes. I have grown used to my brown grass and that of my neighbours.

This has an upside — less mowing with our gas mower reduces our carbon footprint. Inside, I turn off the tap when brushing my teeth and keeping a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of running the water until it gets cold. We have also replaced our toilets with higher efficiency low flow models.

The city is committed to water conservation and is a participant in the Columbia Basin Water Smart initiative. For additional helpful tips and advice and to see the current water restriction level (currently 3) check out cbt.org/watersmart. This coming fall and winter’s forecast is for a continue drying trend, so we all need to consider ongoing conservation strategies.

 

FROM LOCAL TO GLOBAL: This past week at my Rotary lunch the guest speaker, Randy Janzen, spoke about a new program that Selkirk College is offering starting this January that will be the first of its kind in Canada.

Selkirk is offering a one-semester Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping Program that will prepare students to work in volatile situations around the globe in an effort to reduce violence using strategic tactics of nonviolence. Hannah Arendt, a political philosopher, is attributed with writing “the reason war is still with us is that no one has put forth a viable alternative.” Perhaps it will be educational opportunities such as this course that will change the future.

The MIR Centre for Peace is holding a very creative fundraiser with the intent to provide financial support for an international student who otherwise could not afford the program. With the goal to raise $10,000, 144 people will be invited to a traditional borscht dinner and lecture by Parfaite Ntahuba. Each person will draw a number between one and 144 and be asked to make a tax deductible donation in that amount. What a great fundraising idea! For more info on this upcoming local event visit selkirk.ca/mir.

One last note: I would like to remind drivers, motorcyclists and bicyclists to be on the lookout for children returning to school in the next week. Especially around elementary schools where the excitement of returning and meeting up again with friends makes the little ones a little less mindful. School speeds zones with be back in full force.

As always, I am keen to hear your thoughts and concerns. My email is jmorrison@nelson.ca

 

Nelson city councillor Janice Morrison shares this space weekly with her council colleagues.

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