Shalom Life | July 30, 2014

York Region Launches "Water Cafe" Series

Community members gather to "listen to the water speak," and share ideas about sustainability.

By: Bev Spritzer

Published: September 26th, 2010 in News » World

York Region Launches "Water Cafe" Series

Saturday marked the first of several “water cafes,” a part of York Region’s "Open Water" campaign, a holistic initiative to create a long-term water conservation strategy.

A water café is a venue that allows the sharing and gathering of ideas about visions for water, bringing together many perspectives from various members of the community.

Saturday’s water café dealt with how water is celebrated among various cultures, and we were lucky enough to have several members of Georgina Island’s First Nations community attend. They led an opening prayer emphasizing water’s importance from an indigenous perspective, involving the burning of sage as a mind-cleansing start to what turned out to be a very productive seminar.

York Region’s long-term water conservation strategy involves research into the best practices for water conservation, special reports based on this research, and public events including water cafes such as this.

The water café allows for more intimate conversations and discussion on the issue of water sustainability, and what York Region can do as part of a 40-year plan to change our way of thinking about and relating to water.

"You can’t take action if people aren’t speaking,” said Eric Warner, a Thornhill native who has been working with York Region to organize its campaign for sustainable water. “We take for granted how available our supply of clean water is. The goal is to get people to stop and think about water, its importance, and how they can help preserve it. Hopefully it will get people talking.”

Indeed, it’s so easy for us to forget about how lucky we truly are to live in a country where clean drinking water is seemingly infinite. Many parts of the world do not have this same luxury.

Israel’s freshwater supply, for example, is scarce, which is why the country is constantly developing water-saving strategies, including the desalination of the nation’s seawater.

Saturday’s water café proved to be quite the learning experience, with a diverse mix of attendees from all walks of life, and therefore assorted perspectives. We closed the seminar in the same way we opened – in a circle, with some final words from members of the First Nations community.

There are still three more water cafes, which promise to be both educational and eye-opening, and, at the very least, a means to get people talking.

To learn more about York Region’s water conservation initiative, or sign up for a future water cafe, visit www.openwater.ca.

Ex-Hasidic Jew Has “Divine Intervention” Over Sexy Photos Ex-Hasidic Jew Has “Divine Intervention” Over Sexy Photos TrendingPenelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Other Spanish Celebrities Call Israeli Operation "Genocide" Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Other Spanish Celebrities Call Israeli Operation "Genocide" TrendingWill Rising European anti-Semitism Lead to a 'New' Holocaust? Will Rising European anti-Semitism Lead to a 'New' Holocaust? Trending
 

Six Israeli IPOs to Watch in 2014

July 30, 2014 | By Michael Lefkoe, NoCamels
Six Israeli IPOs to Watch in 2014

A look at those Israeli companies that plan to go public on either NYSE or NASDAQ by the end of the year

Read More

Magic Johnson, Other NBA Players Call Off Visit to Israel

July 30, 2014 | By Peter Herriman
Magic Johnson, Other NBA Players Call Off Visit to Israel

Were originally scheduled to play at the opening of Jerusalem's new arena

Read More

Jewish Hall of Fame: David Rosen

July 30, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Jewish Hall of Fame: David Rosen

The American businessman served as CEO of Japanese video game company SEGA from 1965 to 1996

Read More

Ex-Hasidic Jew Has “Divine Intervention” Over Sexy Photos

July 30, 2014 | By Peter Herriman
Ex-Hasidic Jew Has “Divine Intervention” Over Sexy Photos

After Brenda Rosenberg was injured in a car accident, members of her former community called it a "message" from God

Read More

Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Other Spanish Celebrities Call Israeli Operation "Genocide"

July 30, 2014 | By Peter Herriman
Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Other Spanish Celebrities Call Israeli Operation "Genocide"

The Hollywood couple signed a letter in Spanish condemning the IDF

Read More

Survey: Twice as Many Americans Blame Hamas Over Israel for Conflict

July 30, 2014 | By Shalom Life Team
Survey: Twice as Many Americans Blame Hamas Over Israel for Conflict

A new Pew survey shows, yet again, that Americans side with Israel regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza

Read More

American Groups Give Back to IDF's Lone Soldiers

July 30, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
American Groups Give Back to IDF's Lone Soldiers

Friends of Israel Defense Forces and other groups unite to support non-Israeli soldiers fighting in Gaza

Read More

Simon Cowell Is Being Harassed on Twitter Over His Donation to the IDF

July 30, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Simon Cowell Is Being Harassed on Twitter Over His Donation to the IDF

The British reality show judge's Twitter account has been plastered with photos of dead children in Gaza

Read More

More Headlines