Wednesday June 23, 2010

Local News

 

Blue Gold

RBC global clean water initiative  

Craig Hill/Voice 

 

he Blue Water Project is a Royal Bank of Canada 10-year initiative where they have pledged to donate an astounding $50-million for global watershed awareness programs and provide grants to groups and organizations dedicated to helping protect watersheds and ensure that everyone worldwide has access to clean, safe drinking water.

"Visionary Grants" from the fund are available to proactive groups that are dedicated to protecting sensitive natural areas.

RBC began the Blue Water Project in 2007 to help foster water stewardship within communities with a goal to reducing stress on this precious resource.

Leadership grants of $1000-$5000 are available to local groups dedicated to preserving their community's water resources through awareness campaigns targeting sustainability.

Watersheds around the world are under increasing pressure and experiencing problems from human development and from farming runoff which that leak contaminants that eventually seep into local water supplies.

Last Saturday, reps from RBC were on hand at the Greg Clark Fishing Derby to talk about the Blue Water Project.

"Today we're here to focus on the grass roots," said RBC employee Stephen Pulham. "We have two partners that are here today that are grant recipients of RBC including the Fraser Riverkeepers Society who are based out of Chilliwack.

RBC donated $5000 to Riverkeeprs who led the Peg Leg River Cleanup earlier this year

"There is only 3% of fresh water on the earth that we can drink, 2% of that is locked into either icebergs or the Arctic and 1% humans have access to," said Pulham.

10 Ways That You Can Help

1. Lean about Chilliwack's aquifer and watershed.

2. Support organizations like Fraser Riverkeepers, Friends of the Chilliwack River Valley and the Fraser River Salmon Society.

3. Minimize impervious surfaces like pavement and asphalt to reduce harmful runoff into the water system. Try using paving blocks, grass driveways, wooden decking, wood chips and crushed rock for gateways, patios and paths around your home.

4. Don't dump toxic things into street storm drains or down toilets. Also avoid pesticides where possible for lawn care.

5. Pick up dog and cat waste. This ends up in drinking water.

6. Use gentle phosphate-free soaps when washing your car and it's a good idea to do this over grass or gravel surfaces to avoid contaminating the water supply as it runs down the storm drains over hard surfcaes.

7. Conserve water by taking shorter showers and avoid letting the tap run needlessly. Also water-saving showerheads and low-flow toilets are a good idea.

8. Try to use a rain barrel collection system for watering plants and gardens, clothing and car washing. Rain water is great for washing windows as well.

9. Use tap water instead of buying bottled water. Chilliwack has some of the finest drinking water in the world.

10. Grassed areas require more water to maintain so when planning and planting your garden, try to use native plants which are better adapted to the local climate and also require less fertilizer and pesticides.

For more information on how your group can apply for a grant or to learn more on what you can to visit: www.bluewater.rbc.com

 

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