On March 22nd, 2022 we were involved in two events focused on groundwater:
What's Beneath Our Feet? short films & insightful conversations about groundwater hosted by POLIS
At this webinar, we screen the award-winning short film 26 Years, which calls attention to the lack of safe drinking water on Indigenous reserves in Canada, as well as Finding Balance Below and an excerpt from Pumped Dry, which illuminate the layers of complexity and the obstacles that California is experiencing with depleting groundwater sources. The moderated conversation turns to the B.C. context, where we feature insightful conversations with three change-makers working to protect groundwater, focused on hydrology, groundwater law and policy, and Indigenous health and well-being.
A Cross-Country Checkup on Canada’s Groundwater: Perspectives on the Future of one of Canada’s most Valuable Resources hosted by University of Waterloo
When I was young, my mom told me stories of well witchers. Of people who seemed to come out of a fable but truly wandered the prairies where I grew up only 30 or 40 years before I was born. These people who could feel the pull of water below their feet, sometimes deep within the earth. Farmers pinned their hopes on these people because water was they key to a successful season and would ultimately make or break them. So that’s where I started.
Then I moved far away and learned that groundwater wasn’t caverns filled with the thunder of raging rivers flowing under my feet but a creature of a much different kind. It moved slowly, more like a sleeping giant and only humans were in a rush to take it from one place and use it in another. I also learned that no one asked where it came from, they just kept asking for more.
Groundwater is old and it’s had years or often eras to come to terms with the changes of the world. I am young. I am young and I am angry. I don’t have millennia to accept and forgive injustices wrought on a resource that is invisible to most and overlooked by many. As the Lorax speaks for the trees, we need to start speaking for the water we walk on.
That’s why I’m here.
- Kristina Disney
Well, we're certainly in remarkable times and the way we engage with each other may never quite be the same. We acknowledge the extreme damage that COVID-19 is causing in so many lives, and rather than bury our head in the sand (even though we study groundwater!), we think now is an important time to step back, reassess what is truly important, and reflect on how the pandemic should change what we do as a research group by: