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How the U.S. Water Drought Impacts Canadians

The drought in California and other parts of America may seem distant to Canadians, but it not only is right in their backyard, it is also affecting one of the largest suppliers of food to the region. The lack of a substantial rainfall and snow pack over the past few years have taken a hard toll on many areas of the United States, and this has impacted Canada in different ways, especially when it comes to their own water situation.

American crops at risk

Because of continual droughts in the States, those who are supplied food from their different farms have discovered a decline in quality of their crops as well as a shift in prices. All types of harvests have shifted and changed due to the drought in America and that has trickled down to its partners with a significant rise in prices every year.

California is one of the largest suppliers of food to Canada. In 2013 alone, Canada imported $2.7 billion in food. With all the Pacific based state is going through to increase its water supplies, Canadians have had to take a hard look at what they need to consider about their own country’s water supply.

Becoming more aware

In 2015, 72% of Canadians didn’t believe they lived in flood-vulnerable areas, and an additional 81% didn’t believe they were at risk for drought. Canada has been water-rich for so long, the idea that this may not be eternal is worrying. A water crisis is the farthest thing from Canadian minds.

Interestingly enough, per the Royal Bank of Canada’s water attitudes survey, water crises have actually been one of the top five risks for five straight years. Staying on top of potential dangers to the water supply will be helpful in the long run. Water is a finite resource, even in a place as water-rich as Canada, and it’s important for the country to be more invested in staying aware of what may come in the future.

Making positive changes

Canadians have become more invested in water conservation are being more proactive. There have been several severe weather events that have caused people to stop and think about how to prepare for any sort of issues surrounding the water in the country. These include the floods in Calgary and Toronto in 2013 that cost over $6 billion in damage to Calgary alone as well as Ottawa experiencing some of its driest conditions on record. California’s drought has been instrumental in opening eyes to what may come for Canada or, at the very least, what to prepare for.

While there is more work that can be done to take a look at a possible water crisis in the future, Canadians are all too aware that there is an issue to the south that does have an affect, to some extent, on their well-being. Staying engaged with what is happening and being more aware will be helpful in being prepared for whatever the weather may bring in the future.