The decision made by the City of Montreal to dump an estimated 8 billion litres of raw
sewage into the St. Lawrence River during the late autumn of 2015 was, to say the least,
unsettling.

The fact it was considered “the best option available” by educated public and private
sector professionals makes it all the more disturbing.

It brings to mind G. K. Chesterton’s assertion: “The curious thing about the educated is
that, exactly what they don’t know, is what they talk about.”

Fresh, clean drinking water is, without question, our most valuable natural resource. Yet
we abuse and defile it with hardly a hesitation.

Why are lakes, rivers and oceans considered ideal places in which to dispose of
everything from industrial waste to old tires?

Over 50 percent of global populations suffering a life-threatening disease can trace their
infections to contaminated water.

Reports show up to 30 percent of Canadians — most residents of indigenous
communities — also fail to enjoy regular access to clean water.

Water Woes

Our collective disregard for earth’s water resources places a tremendous burden on
natural environments, our communal good health and, not surprisingly, both our shared
economies and personal wealth.

Think of the costly, unnecessary and often irreversible damages we’ve foisted upon
freshwater and marine habitats, ground water, coastal environments, mountain streams,
ancient aquifers, and the list goes on.

At the very least consider the medical costs associated with treating those who, through
no fault of their own, suffer water-borne chemical and pathogen related illnesses.

At this juncture, there are perhaps three distinct water related viewpoints we might adopt
here:

1. Accept that our species will eventually destroy itself anyway so why bother making
special new efforts now.

2. Declare a world-wide disaster and trust global fear and panic to force a return to our
collective common sense.

3. Set a decisive new course and take advantage of the myriad new opportunities
change inevitably presents.

Of course you picked number three! Canadians, after all, know how to turn lemons into
lemonade.

“Some people see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and
ask why not?” — Robert F. Kennedy

Like Robert Kennedy, shouldn’t our question be why not? Why not find affordable,
reliable and efficient solutions to this obvious life-threatening problem?

Why not indeed. Let’s look at one such solution.

A Watery Dream

Dean Kamen, founder of DEKA Research & Development Corp., recently developed a
product some believe may be a water purification game-changer.

It’s called the Sling Shot.

While you may not instantly recognize Kamen’s name, among his many patents is the
innovative Segway, billed as a “leader in personal green transportation.”

Each of Kamen’s Sling Shot systems is said to produce up to 1,000 litres of safe, clean
drinking water per day no matter what the contaminates.

The product is currently in development and projected to be mass manufactured for sale
at around $2,000 USD per unit.

Imagine packing these Sling Shots into indestructible shells ( like those produced by
Armor Lite Technologies in Edmonton ) for delivery anywhere in Canada.

With new federal and provincial governments across the country promising concerted
new action on a range of environmental issues, now is the right time to reach out to
companies like DEKA Research.

Why not produce these smart, new water-purification products locally, right here in
Alberta?

We could create potentially hundreds of new jobs, help save lives, reduce health-care
costs, generate exciting new export opportunities and feed a growing new enthusiasm
for green initiatives.

Personally, I believe the benefits of seeing this watery dream come true would more
than justify the initial public and private sector investments necessary.

A greener and, in this case, bluer planet to call home? It’s an awesome dream — and a
challenge!

Let’s make it a reality.

Alan Howat
Publisher
Green Business Canada