Shalom Life | April 23, 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.

Missouri Mayor Resigns After Siding with Kansas Shooter Missouri Mayor Resigns After Siding with Kansas Shooter TrendingJewish Men Leave Synagogue to Save Family from Burning Car Jewish Men Leave Synagogue to Save Family from Burning Car TrendingDogs Stay Kosher for Passover Dogs Stay Kosher for Passover Trending
 

Chisel Used to Build Western Wall Discovered

April 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Chisel Used to Build Western Wall Discovered

The chisel, from the second Temple period, has been found by the Israel Antiquities Authority

Read More

Israel's Mobileye May Power Tesla's Driverless Car

April 23, 2014 | By Sophie Imas
Israel's Mobileye May Power Tesla's Driverless Car

Elon Musk's vision of driverless cars may come to fruition, reportedly in conjunction with Mobileye's collision avoidance technology

Read More

Mural, Mural on the Wall Brings Animations to Life for Your Children

April 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Mural, Mural on the Wall Brings Animations to Life for Your Children

We speak to cartoonist/animator Shannie Van Buren about the fantasy worlds she creates through her art

Read More

Israeli Wi-Fi Powers Russian Subways

April 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Israeli Wi-Fi Powers Russian Subways

Passengers aboard subways in in Moscow enjoy Wi-Fi courtesy of Israeli communications provider, Radwin

Read More

Israeli Comedian on 4.20: Let My People Smoke! [VIDEO]

April 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Israeli Comedian on 4.20: Let My People Smoke! [VIDEO]

Gadi Wilcherski and a group of Israeli pot advocates campaigned outside Health Minister Yael German's house early Sunday morning

Read More

Shalom, French Polynesia: A Jewish Culture Guide

April 22, 2014 | By Sarah Bauder
Shalom, French Polynesia: A Jewish Culture Guide

Approximately 130 islands comprise French Polynesia, with Tahiti being the most famous, largest, and most populated.

Read More

Katy Perry Impersonates Unfunny Rabbi in ‘Birthday’ Music Video [VIDEO]

April 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Katy Perry Impersonates Unfunny Rabbi in ‘Birthday’ Music Video [VIDEO]

The pop star takes on a number of the "World's Worst Birthday Party Entertainers"

Read More

Seth Rogen and James Franco to Perform ‘Bound 2’ Spoof at Kim Kardashian Wedding?

April 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen and James Franco to Perform ‘Bound 2’ Spoof at Kim Kardashian Wedding?

Franco shared some interesting intel about the Kardashian/West wedding on 'The View'.

Read More

More Headlines