Building Ontario’s Reservoir of Water Knowledge
Stakeholders hold workshop on water quantity policy and innovation.
October 4, 2017 (Guelph, ON) – Ontarians are surrounded by water—we’ve got about 250,000 lakes—so many of us would be surprised to learn that water quantity is a concern for Ontario’s conservationists, environmental researchers and agricultural leaders.
Many of these concerned stakeholders came together to discuss water quantity policy and technical innovation during the Water Stewardship Workshop, held on September 28 in Guelph, Ontario. The event was hosted by the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO), with funding through the Agricultural Adaptation Council.
“Water use is an emerging issue for Ontario, and erratic weather is going to impact the next generation of farmers,” says Suzanne Armstrong, Director of Research and Policy for the CFFO. “Weather like we saw this summer means that Ontario’s farmers need to be prepared to manage water through heavy storms and extreme drought.”
Speakers at the workshop included academic and technical experts working in the field. They spoke about technology including irrigation and drainage, moisture sensors, and vegetable washers. Policy presentations focused on provincial and international water governance, groundwater monitoring, and valuing the environment.
Invited guests at the workshop included farmers and farm leaders, as well as stakeholders from other sectors, such as municipalities, conservation authorities, environmental NGOs, provincial ministries, and academia.
“We actually think that all of that fresh water we have here in Ontario gives farmers a potential advantage—if it’s cared for properly,” cautions Armstrong. “That’s why we are getting the conversation going on water quantity issues for farming.”
In 2015, the CFFO formed the Water Resource Stewardship Team, which includes staff from commodity groups, general farm organizations, conservation authorities, environmental NGOs, and government. This workshop is part of the team’s efforts to build knowledge across agricultural sectors and to lead the industry on water stewardship issues.
Video recordings of the workshop presentations will be available soon on the CFFO’s website.
This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.
For further information:
Suzanne Armstrong, Director of Research and Policy, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario – www.christianfarmers.org; 519-837-1620
The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) is a professional organization for families called to the vocation of farming. The CFFO values family farm enterprise, profitability, and responsible stewardship of resources. CFFO policy promotes economically, socially and environmentally sustainable farming, advocating that farmers receive fair return for their production and stewardship efforts. www.christianfarmers.org