A recent warning by the Water Security Agency and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health advising people to avoid contact with surface water with blue-green algae blooms has prompted Ducks Unlimited to speak out.
Michael Champion is the Head of Industry and Government Relations with Ducks Unlimited Canada.
He says it takes warnings like this to remind people how important our bodies of water are for Saskatchewan.
“I think the awareness of the home owners and the cottage owners and their water quality is increasing,” said Champion. “So, they’re getting a better understanding of what’s happening in the lakes and also of where the nutrients that drive that are coming from.”
He says awareness by home and cottage owners about water quality is increasing. But he says there’s a reason why algae blooms are of worry to groups like his.
“And everyone. Everyone in Saskatchewan has a little bit of the blame for that,” Champion said. “It’s not just agricultural drainage. It’s the cities and the towns and the way they treat their effluent. That’s part of the problem as well. The largest driver though is what we’re seeing from nutrient runoff from farm fields.”
Champion says everyone in Saskatchewan has a little bit of the blame for water pollution.
“And we’re seeing these negative consequences which are 100-percent unintentional,” Champion said. “Just because they are unintentional, doesn’t mean they are not happening. And now that we are aware that they’re happening, how do we address it through program delivery? There’s numerous watershed stewardship groups out there. So it’s not just pointing the finger.”
He says it’s not just agricultural drainage but the cities and the towns and how they treat their effluent.