The Bog

The Bog is where thoughts, opinions, discussion pieces, and action converge. Influential thinkers from the water community are invited to share their insights on current or controversial water topics. Please note that the views expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Alberta WaterPortal.

KimSturgessUofC convocation

We are still buzzing with inspiration after Kim Sturgess’s convocation speech yesterday after receiving an Honorary Degree of Law from the University of Calgary. Kim provided the engineering graduates with a few words of wisdom as they start on their career paths, but professionals of all experience levels can benefit from her lessons.

1. Live where your heart is happy – For Kim, this is Alberta. From her first summer in mountains as a young summer student, she knew she was home. Find where your heart is happy and make this your home.

2. Follow your passion – Even when your ideas are met with discouragement or confusion, as many great ideas often are, find your supports and follow what you believe in.

3. Honor your profession – An engineer holds a great deal of responsibility and accountability. Be sure to follow the code of ethics and take all responsibilities seriously.

4. STEM starts at home – In the words of Kim, “when that little one comes home and says “I want to be an engineer”, say "fantastic, what can I do to make that come true for you”. Encourage children to follow their passion in STEM from a young age, and do what you can to support those dreams.

In the words of Aritha Van Herk, “with infectious passion, [Kim] has made water her inspiration and spirit … this woman who resonates water’s bright grace, its flow and murmur, and its wellspring importance.” Congratulations Kim.

by Nadine Evans

It is no secret that Canadians aren’t exactly great at water conservation. We are among the world’s largest water wasters, consuming twice as much water as Europeans, which may be in part due to the abundant supply of fresh water in Canada. In fact, nearly 10% of the world’s renewable water is located here, despite us housing less than 1% of the world’s population (Source). Water scarcity isn’t something that Canadians often worry about. 

However, with water utility prices continuing to rise and a global water crisis looming, many homeowners have begun to re-examine the practice of water conservation. 

First, let’s consider how water is used in a home. There’s obvious water wasting habits, such as running water while brushing your teeth, taking unnecessarily long showers, or watering your lawn when rain is expected. While these habits all add up to significant waste, did you know that one of your biggest water wasters is often hidden? Most homeowners are surprised to learn that 13% of a home’s water usage is lost due to leaks, many of which go undetected for some time, leading up to significant water loss. 

Busting the myths and concerns about what’s in our water: Alberta organizations team-up to improve public information on water quality in the Bow River Basin

CALGARY, ALBERTA, Jan. 19, 2018 –  How concerned should I really be about the fluoride in my drinking water? Why is water quality such an issue in many Indigenous communities? Do I need to worry about lead in my pipes? What is the level of harmful chemicals in my local river and is it safe to swim and fish? These, among others, are questions the public grapples with when thinking about the water they drink and enjoy, and which supports Alberta’s aquatic ecosystems.

WatQuality events Image sm

Join the Alberta WaterPortal at one of three interactive exhibits with games and activities about water quality in the Bow River. Test your knowledge of water misconceptions, learn about water treatment in your communities, and try out water testing to learn about what’s impacting your water. 

Family friendly and complimentary food and drinks will be available. 

Three exhibit dates and venues:

  • Calgary event, January 25th at the Alberta Wilderness Association
  • Canmore event, February 1st at Elevation Place
  • Strathmore event, February 8th at the Strathmore Civic Centre

To sign up for the free event visit the Eventbrite page here.

Stop by anytime between 5:30pm and 8:30pm for some fun activities for all ages.

For inquires please contact the Alberta WaterPortal

These events are made possible through the partnership and generous support of:

  calgaryfoundation small        rbc small        wid       BRBC logo small


By Therese Baluyot


On July 31, the Alberta WaterPortal held a workshop entitled “The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Which way? Right way?”. The workshop brought together stakeholders from academia, water management, food, energy and other sectors to stimulate the engagement and discussion on how to educate and inform Albertans about the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (the “Nexus”). The Nexus is the intricate link between producing enough food, meeting growing energy needs, and ensuring there is sufficient water for people. In recent years, the Nexus concept has been acknowledged in the domain of environmental science and natural resource governance. It has become the defining term for understanding the interconnections between water, energy, and food. [1] The anticipated outcome of the workshop was to gather ideas and feedback for the development and application of the Nexus concept in Alberta. 

The workshop was structured around the following activities:

Nexus System Map

Draw The NexusParticipants were provided with poster boards, markers, and printed graphic materials to create a system map of their conceptualization of the Nexus. A representative from each table presented their Nexus system map and how their team understood it.