Water Literacy: What is it And Why Does it Matter?

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Water is one of the fundamental human necessities. We consume it every day to survive. Most of us choose to live near water. Many of us have a love for water. But do we know water? Do we understand water? Are we water literate?

Someone can be financially literate, digitally literate, artistically literate, or literate in any number of diverse topics. To be considered literate in a subject, you can understand specific jargon, be able to proficiently express yourself in that topic, and recognize when something is or is not working properly. Similarly, you can be water literate.



A water literate person understands water terminology, is aware of events affecting bodies of water, and can read the water. Generally, it means that you know where your water comes from, how you use and affect the water around you, and can recognize and report threats to water. If you know and understand water, and are therefore water literate, you can contribute to keeping it swimmable, drinkable, and fishable.

When you are water literate, you are able to make choices that protect your waterbody. As a result, you may find improvements to your sense of wellbeing and to your physical and mental health. With a community of people that are able to understand their waterbody, people are better able to care for it. A water literate community can bond over their passion and knowledge of water. While working to protect swimmable, drinkable, and fishable water, a community may find they are simultaneously strengthening their relationships, creating social bonds that benefit the water as well as the people relying on it.



The North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper is working to build a water literate community. If you are still on the search for a resolution, why not strive to inform yourself on water literacy? There are many useful materials available for those looking to become water literate. Through reading articles, watching videos, staying up to date with the news, and by visiting local bodies of water, you can learn interesting, important, and surprising facts while improving your understanding of water. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the latest water literacy information.

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