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Water Conservation

Grant MacEwan treats water conservation in much the same way he views resource management.  Problems associated with water management, including but not limited to shortages, are linked to human activity.  Rising populations, increased water demand, and expanding industry have all contributed to water shortages and water pollution. Humans are largely responsible for polluted water. What frustrates MacEwan is how easily pollution can be controlled through proper measures and accountability. Protecting water and ensuring that it is safe to use is fundamental in maintaining quantitative supplies.

Water was one of the first sources of power employed to aid society as it struggled to improve food supplies and living conditions. The earliest mills for grinding grain and sawing wood were located near streams. Pioneers quickly learned that water can be valuable to increase the output of power, specifically electricity.  At one point, approximately half of the electric power generated in the United States came from hydroelectricity plants. Clearly, water is one of the most valuable of any country's natural resources.

Water, according to MacEwan, belongs to everyone. Through thoughtful management, society can ensure that water is not wasted and is sustainable for future demands. There are no excuses for allowing contamination if everyone accepts responsibility for ensuring the water they use is returned clean to the environment. Pollution, in all forms, is a detriment to human health. Humans have a moral and practical responsibility to keep water clean.

Watershed: Reflections on Water was MacEwan's last book and effectively demonstrates his passion for the environment. The book emphasizes the importance of water to the world, and MacEwan draws from his vast knowledge as an agriculturalist and outdoor enthusiast to share his views on the importance of the world's most precious resource. The book contains a series of critical essays covering a wide range of topics including water management, water sharing, and contemporary issues like pollution and selling water. Throughout, MacEwan emphasizes the care and responsibility society should show toward proper water management to ensure a quality of life for future generations.


MacEwan, Grant. Entrusted To My Care. 1966; Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1986.

MacEwan, Grant. Waterhsed: Reflections on Water. Edmonton: NeWest press, 2000.

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