Letter: Be responsible stewards of watershed

We all need to ramp up our efforts to become responsible stewards of our watershed, writes Margaret Steele.

Hearing the news this morning about low water levels in Arrow Lakes and possible drought conditions in the Fraser Valley reminded me again how fortunate we are to live in Grand Forks. Not just because we have two beautiful rivers flowing through our valleys but because we are deeply committed to protecting our watershed.

Thanks to the hard work of citizens, experts, stakeholders and local politicians, we have our own Kettle River Watershed Management Plan based upon solid knowledge of hydrology and water cycles in our area. We have effective and engaged non-profit organizations like the Granby Wilderness Society and the Christina Lake Stewardship Society working hard to protect our lakes and rivers and restore damaged riparian areas.

We have a local council deeply opposed to commodifying water as evidenced by their recent resolution against the commodification or privatization of Grand Forks water. This strong policy statement was followed up with a second resolution banning the purchase of bottled water in single-serving bottles by the City of Grand Forks.

Those of us concerned about the commodification of water by private interests and multinational corporations are grateful for the leadership shown by council in passing these two resolutions with unanimous support.

In the face of changing weather patterns, low snowpack and low water levels in our rivers, we all need to ramp up our efforts to become responsible stewards of our watershed. Future generations and wildlife are depending on us to do so.

– Margaret Steele, Grand Forks